Sep. 2015, my parents and I arrived in Rexburg for the very first time. In our little Chevy Cruze stuffed to its limit with clothing, bedding and anything else I could possibly fit, we drove around and explored this small, middle-of-nowhere Idaho town.
Today, I’ll be a graduate, packed up and ready to leave Rexburg, going who-knows-where. As my time at BYU-Idaho comes to an end, I wanted to thank a few people who have impacted my time here, and leave some words of advice to those continuing on:
Trust your teachers
Most of my development as an artist and a student has happened due to the efforts of my teachers. They’ve seen my potential from the beginning and pushed me to try new things I never thought I’d be able to do. They taught me how to value and utilize each step of the creative process and helped me figure out how to be a better artist.
Learn to trust your teachers. They may give harsh feedback, but they know a lot more about what works and doesn’t in the real world. Take their advice, whether you agree or not, and use it. You’ll learn your strengths and weaknesses in the process, and you’ll ultimately be producing better work than you have before. Your teachers can be amazing mentors too, so cultivate relationships with them and learn as much as you can while you’re here.
Utilize your time at BYU-I
When I arrived in Rexburg four years ago, I thought it was just going to be this lame, isolated bubble where I’d be doing absolutely nothing but going to church and school. I never expected that I’d genuinely think of Rexburg as my home. This little town has seen some of the most difficult times of my life, and yet it’s shown me so much love and support through it all. Four years ago, I was looking forward to the day where I could leave Rexburg and never look back, but now as that time is coming closer, I’m finding it harder and harder to say goodbye.
Utilize your time while in Rexburg and at BYU-I. This community is a unique place where we’re surrounded by people with the same standards and beliefs, and we’ll probably never find another one quite like it. Take advantage of those similarities and build relationships because they may end up being some of the most important people in your life.
Seek out good friends
The friends I’ve made at BYU-I are unparalleled and special. They push me in the right direction even when I don’t want to listen; friends that know how to lift me up from my lowest points; they accept and love me for who I am, all the imperfections and awkwardness included.
Seek out friends that are good for you, that rejoice in your accomplishments and sympathize with your sorrows. Create friendships that’ll last beyond your time at BYU-I.
Find your “home”
When I look back at the time I’ve spent in Scroll, I see a lot more than just writing articles or designing pages. I see my first time getting to shoot a concert or the trips to In-N-Out during our General Conference trips. I see all the times I’ve cried in the office, whether from laughing too hard or from stressing about how to create the newspaper’s cover art. I see all the late nights I’ve spent eating pizza and hanging out with coworkers in the office, just because we wanted to.
Scroll has taught me so many valuable lessons. It’s taught me how to collaborate and communicate with other people, how to meet tight deadlines, and how to be a skilled worker.
Most importantly, Scroll introduced me to a number of insanely talented coworkers that I’m lucky to call best friends. These people and this organization truly have a place in my heart, and I’m forever grateful for the time I’ve been able to be a part of it.
You may not want to work at Scroll, but find a place outside of your regular classes — either a job, a club or something that allows you to learn things you’re passionate about and provides an escape from all of the stress. Find your home.
It’s okay to not know where you’re going
For the past four years, I’ve been convinced that I would return to California after graduation, have a really nice job in LA and life would be easy and perfect. These past few weeks, I’ve realized that it may go a completely different way — if I’m being honest, I have no idea where I’ll end up now, but I’m okay with it.
Learn to be okay with uncertainty. You won’t know where you’ll end up working after college or what you’ll be doing in five years. Focus on what you’re doing now, listen to the advice of others, and consider all your options — even the ones you don’t like. Trust that there is a plan for you and that you’ll end up where you need to be.
Above all else, enjoy your time at BYU-I. The time you spend here goes by so fast, and before you know it, you’ll be graduating and leaving this small, middle-of-nowhere Idaho town.