“You’re going to hate it.”
That was the response I got when I told my friends and family that I was transferring from Utah State University to BYU-Idaho.
For context, I graduated high school in 2019 and went to Utah State that fall. I moved to an apartment complex where I didn’t know anyone, worked at a soda shop and took some general classes — your typical Utah college student.
I loved my experience in Logan. The campus was beautiful, my classes were uplifting and my roommates influenced my life in a positive way. While placed in fortunate circumstances, I continued with an aimless direction in my classes and life.
When the pandemic hit and in-person classes were canceled, I was relieved. I was unsure how to handle the college workload, so even though the world was afraid, I felt a weight off my chest. The lockdown ended up being a period of pristine reflection.
On paper, my life seemed complete. Even though physically everything was fine, something was off, and I felt I wasn’t where I needed to be.
I remember sitting in my kitchen and a thought came to my mind, “You could go to BYU-Idaho.”
That sentence was quiet and vague. Although soundless, those thoughts spanned my mind, and I realized I was at a crossroads: I could stay and live my life in Logan or go on a different course in Rexburg.
After reflecting for a few weeks, one of my friends decided to transfer to BYU-I and asked me to be her roommate. To me, that was the push I needed. I didn’t let the confused responses I received cloud my vision, I just did it. I moved to Rexburg, Idaho, in the fall of 2020.
Of course, that first semester wasn’t what I had in my head.
The campus looked completely separate from a contemporary university. The people were different, the town was small and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. On day two of living in Rexburg, I called my family and told them that they were right.
But I decided to stay.
Close to two years later, I sit here as a married woman planning to graduate next fall. Looking back, I realize that Rexburg has given me my entire life. This simple town has given me joy, relationships and lessons that are the most beautiful things I can offer from my life thus far.
Nothing is perfect though — Rexburg is cold in the winter, hot in the summer and feels limiting. However, I let that modest location change my world in a positive way.
I started this process by going outside of my comfort zone. I changed my major, applied to be an editor for the school newspaper and spoke up about what was important to me, even if I was afraid of what others had to say. It was how I met my husband and learned to love who I see in the mirror.
If Rexburg is a difficult place for you, believe me, I get it. Despite what you have in mind, I encourage students here at BYU-I to take advantage of the social, academic and spiritual opportunities around them because it is more beautiful than you think.
So why did I choose to come to BYU-I? It was because I wanted to. I felt like it would give me a positive change.
Create direction in your life, even if you are discouraged and unsure. Your time here in Rexburg could create a stunning story for you if let it.