Madison Fryrear is a freshman studying English. For her, living in Idaho is a bit different than her hometown back in lliff, Colorado.

Q: What was your high school experience like?

A: It was interesting, I suppose. It was small. Very small and I knew everyone basically. There wasn’t much to it. Everyone played sports, then you would graduate high school.

Q: How many were in your graduating class?

A: There were twenty-one.

Q: Have you ever been away from home before?

A: This is my first adventure for an extended period of time.

Q: So this is the longest you have been away from home?

A: This is definitely the longest I’ve been away from home.

Q: How has the transition from a small town to a more populated area been for you?

A: It has been different. The fact that I don’t know everyone in my class is kind of awkward because I went from knowing everyone to “I guess that is the girl from humanities,” and “I guess that is the girl from biology.”

Q: What are some of the biggest differences from home compared to being here at BYU-Idaho?

A: I would definitely say the amount of people. I mean, I went from having 84 people in my whole high school to several thousand students. I won’t be able to know all of your names, and I won’t be able to know all of your personal stories, which is kind of frustrating. I went to from being somebody to being a number, and it’s a totally different story here.”

Q: What are some opportunities that you have been offered here that you do not see back home?

A: I would say the gospel has been a huge new opportunity available for me here. Back home, I was the only member in my entire high school, which was so frustrating because not everyone held to the same ideal and standard. Then when I moved here, I had the opportunity to become something bigger. I participate every day in the gospel. I learn so much through my religion courses, devotional and all the activities available here. I love it so much.

It’s been such an opportunity here to be able to grow. It has been more fun with other activities not even related to the gospel. What the school offers here like the philosophy groups or the writing groups. My high school never had those kinds of things. We had a book club, but that was about it. So when I moved here, it was awesome to see people be interested in the same things I was and they would want to get together to have a meeting about it.

Q: Would you ever consider going back to your hometown after you graduate?

A: I would never live in a small town again. I don’t like having everyone know my business. I liked coming here being able to meet new people, but not everyone knows me because I don’t know everyone personally. You’re all just there together in a group. So it was nice to be able to come here and not everyone knows me or my personal story.

It is also easier to make friends. When you go to a small school you have the same friends since 6th grade. That’s who you are with and you sit at the same lunch table until everyone graduates. When you come here you can make friends with whoever.

I am just Madi, and I can come here to do my own thing.