I arrived on this campus in April 2016, having finished my mission six months prior. My initial application had been rejected or I would have arrived in January. I mean, who gets rejected from BYU-Idaho?

I never had intentions of coming here growing up. The BYU schools were just a big no-go for me. I couldn’t tell you why, only that I wanted to stay in Tennessee and had no intentions of coming west.

Then I got my mission call to Boise, Idaho, of all places. In my final few months of serving, I had a feeling that BYU-I was where I needed to be. Since I was at peace with that, I applied.

As I said earlier, my application was rejected and I had to reapply. Surprinsingly, I got my acceptance email while in Rexburg. I went back to visit my mission and decided to stop in Rexburg to visit a friend I hadn’t seen in two and a half years.

When I arrived for my first semester, I walked into my apartment with my bags and my Subway sandwich to find it completely empty. I knew nothing about Rexburg and was hoping to have my roommates help me out a bit, but I had arrived long before them.

Fortunately, I had a friend from home in a complex not too far away, who showed me around Rexburg.

Three years later, I know Rexburg like the back of my hand. I could drive just about everywhere with my eyes closed. I’ve been to every restaurant about a hundred times and hiked R Mountain just as much.

But the time is coming for my final goodbye to Rexburg and BYU-I. Graduation is fast approaching, a moment I thought would never come.

I’ve heard mixed opinions of BYU-I and Rexburg in my time here. Some love it, others find the town kind of dull. I have even flip-flopped between these opinions at times.

But looking back, I realized how great of a situation we have here. Similar values and beliefs, smaller class sizes and no traffic.

Some of my greatest life memories will be from my time here. All the dinners my friends and I shared, all the flag football games, nail-biting Madden finishes with my roommates; they’ll all be with me forever.

But what will stick with me the most, quite literally, is my wife. She’s easily the best thing I got out of BYU-I, or as most call it BYU-I Do, ring by spring or your money back.

We met in April 2017 when a mutual friend introduced us and we were married the following January. I never would have met her or had the opportunity to find her if it wasn’t for BYU-I.

If you’d told me as a teenager that I would spend ages 18 to 23 in Idaho, I would have laughed in your face. But I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Now that my collegiate career has come to a close, I do look forward to the times ahead. I’m excited to begin a career, buy a house and start a family. However, I won’t forget my good times here and hope everyone staying at BYU-I will appreciate what they have here.

For those remaining, enjoy your time here; you’ll never get it back. I know you have those roommates that are difficult to get along with, and sometimes Rexburg seems a little small, but these can be some of the greatest years of your life. Make the most of them.