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In the four years that I’ve attended BYU-Idaho there’s one thing I’ve always hated – Rexburg winters. Growing up in Southern California, the coldest weather I ever experienced was when my family would go up to Big Bear Mountain when it was 30 degrees outside with a light snow. Luckily for me, I’ve always been on the Fall/Spring track so I’ve only had to deal with the Rexburg winters for just a few weeks, until now.

About two weeks ago, a friend suggested that I stay in Rexburg for the winter semester. I was having some questions about what I would do at home for four months, as well as what would be happening at work if I left. That’s when he said “Why don’t you just stay here in Rexburg and work full time?”

He went on to explain how beneficial it would be for me – I could actually make money, have a better portfolio and resume, and not be bored at home where I’d be doing nothing the whole time. As much as I hated to admit it, it sounded like a really good opportunity to take.

I went home and made a pros and cons list, and just as I expected, the pros significantly outweighed the cons. Within a few days of that conversation, I signed a new apartment lease, accepted my override invitation for the semester and let my friends and family know that I’d be staying in Rexburg for another four months.

Am I excited to be in Rexburg for winter? Yes and no. I’m looking forward to all the things my friend told me about, and I’m excited to spend more time with the friends I’ve made up here, I’m just really not looking forward to freezing outside, despite wearing four or five layers of clothing.

I’ve noticed that there’s been a common theme in my life this semester. The week before General Conference, my religion teacher talked about how we sometimes need to make sacrifices in order to progress in life and receive blessings. He shared stories where he’s had to make sacrifices he didn’t understand, like selling his car, in order to know what steps to take to best provide for his family.

Since that lesson, I’ve noticed certain situations in my life that were either sacrifices needing to be made, or blessings that came as a result of a sacrifice. Making the decision to stay in Rexburg has already brought blessings, even though the winter semester hasn’t started yet.

Last week my family’s truck got totaled, and now my parents are planning on selling our Camaro. With my family going from four cars down to two, I was surprised when my first reaction to the news was “Well, it’s a good thing I’m staying up here in Rexburg.” Sharing two cars between a family of four would’ve been nearly impossible, but by me staying here it’ll be easier for my family to figure it out.

Staying in Rexburg is going to be a big sacrifice for me. I’m giving up my warm California weather, quality time with my friends at home, and four months of down-time to work full time in Rexburg and freeze. As much as I’m going to miss out on those things at home, I’m looking forward to what this winter semester has in store for me.

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