We are the millennial generation, said to be one of the most spoiled and entitled generations to have ever existed. While we as BYU-Idaho students try to live with the attitudes of gratitude and frugality, it is still easy for us to feel we deserve or have somehow earned being on this campus, having the best facilities, teachers and cost of education available to us.
The truth is that we don’t deserve any of it, and it is time we stop acting like we do.
In his address for the groundbreaking of the BYU-I Center in 2006, Elder David A. Bednar of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles warned students and faculty against the damaging effects of entitlement.
“If the day ever were to come that intellectual arrogance, a lack of appreciation, and a spirit of demanding entitlement take root on this campus — among the students, faculty, employees, the administration or within the community — then in that day, the Spirit of Ricks will be well on the way to being extinguished,” Elder Bednar said. “And the heavenly influence and blessings that have prospered this institution and the people associated with it will be withdrawn.”
It is easy to think that we all deserve a parking spot, to wear what we like or to stay out at night as late as we want. This is the folly of the spirit of entitlement that is creeping into the minds of students and those involved in this institution.
If we continue with this attitude, we will, as Elder Bednar promised, fail this institution and mock the work that was put into creating it.
For me, BYU-I is a special, sacred place.
Through volunteering with Student Support and interacting with faculty and students within my major, I have developed a sense of purpose. Giving back to those who work so hard to make this university so great to me fulfills the responsibility I feel in repaying the Lord for the great blessings he has given me here.
I am happy to follow the Honor Code, live by the Student Living principles and give back to this institution because I recognize that the school asks so little of us compared to what we receive in return.
Millions of tithing dollars have gone into new buildings, supplementing tuition, scholarships and more. By being ungrateful and abusing our resources, we are abusing the widow’s mite.
“The sacred tithing funds that support our efforts here should be treated with great reverence by all who attend and work here,” said Kip Harris, Dean of Students, in a 2008 devotional address entitled Becoming a Disciple. “There are many in the Church that do not get the opportunity to attend and your chance to be here can have great benefits in your life and the lives of others that you serve.”
How often do we take for granted the tithing dollars that go into funding our education?
I know for me, I wouldn’t be here without those generous donations.
Instead of feeling entitled, let us be grateful. Instead of demanding more, let us give back.