BYU is a special school because it is an LDS school where religious and spiritual education is just as much of a focus as more secular study. Standards are not only high for scholarly pursuits, but for integrity, honor, and personal conversion. The BYU educational experience aims to be:
- "Spiritually Strengthening,
- "Intellectually Enlarging,
- "Character Building, and
- "Leading to Lifelong Learning and Service."
I was also fortunate to be a part of the School of Family Life. So, in addition to these high targets, my undergraduate program's mission was to:
- "Provide instruction that fosters commitment to the principles in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
- "Conduct research that contributes to the understanding and enhancement of human development, temporal well-being in the home, and marriage and family relationships.
- "Help students develop the attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and skills that characterize persons of positive influence - in their own marriages and families, in their professions, in church and public service, and other personal relationships."
In a world where priorities are confused and muddled and where Christian values and beliefs are mocked at seemingly every corner, I am so grateful to have attended a university where the things of eternity were a major focus. Additionally, the things I learned qualified me for a career outside the home, further schooling, AND improved familial roles, depending on my circumstances and choices. My desire to be a stay-at-home mom was never just dismissed by my professors-- it is something they applaud.
My BYU experience helped me to grow in ways I had never dreamed were possible when I moved to Provo in 2008:
I am more fully committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have faced and conquered intellectual challenges (...like Calculus... or wading through scholarly articles). I am a far more critical thinker than I used to be (in part thanks to Thomas, as well!!). I am motivated to continue learning and growing-- and to teach and encourage others in their educational pursuits. I feel a strong personal commitment to defend and strengthen marriage, children, virtue, and positive family values. Although my formal education is complete (for now, at least), I will be a lifelong learner and a lifelong teacher. I learned principles and skills that already help me in my marriage and that I expect will be invaluable in the future when I become a mother.Some BYU courses I highly recommend include:
- SFL 100 Strengthening Marriage and Family (Dr. Hill)
- This class was really amazing and really piqued my interest in SFL. This class was hugely instrumental in my personal marriage preparation. I probably could have benefited from an actual marriage prep course as well, but I did not take one. I learned so much in this class about my family of origin (including what that term means) and about my hopes for my family of procreation (and what that term means).
- RELC 324 Doctrine and Covenants (Dr. Perkins)
- I struggled with studying the Doctrine and Covenants until I took this class. Now I love the Doctrine and Covenants. Dr. Perkins seemed genuinely interested in his students.
- RELC 342 Pioneers & Persecution (Dr. Cope)
- I don't know if Dr. Cope has changed the way she teaches this course (I took it from her her first semester as a BYU prof.) but it was a powerful class. I learned so much about church history, including extensively about polygamy and its practice among early Latter-day Saints. I really loved the assignment to transcribe a manuscript from the HBLL L. Tom Perry Special Collections as well (where I also learned about fore-edge painting).
- PHSCS 105 Intro to Physics (Dr. Stokes)
- I probably would not have taken this class if I had not considered majoring in Geology, but it was a fun challenge and I learned a lot.
- SFL 230 Housing the Family (Dr. Nielson)
- This class was fairly informative, but more than that, it satisfied my creative appetite. I enjoyed the projects where we basically shopped for homes, appliances, decor, etc. and then experimented with arranging rooms using software.
- SFL 351 Socialization Across Childhood (Dr. D. Nelson)
- I took a couple of classes from Dr. David Nelson and I really really like his teaching style. He is very organized, very smart, and very funny. I learned a lot in this class about children's needs and how to be a good parent/teacher/etc.
- SFL 185 Sewing
- WAY fun. Time consuming (5-6+ hours in lab/week), but I learned a lot that I didn't even realize I didn't know about sewing. The lab is really fun and you get to know the people in your lab very well. The resources I ended up with after this class are things I will probably keep forever (we did "samples" of various techniques, like button-holes, and now they are in a binder). Another class that scratched my creative itch.
- SFL 498 Family Life Education (Dr. Duncan)
- My only regret about this class is that I did not take it earlier in my educational career and that I did not know about/explore the FLE certification route in the School of Family Life. This class sparked my passion for Family Life Education. It is definitely something I could see myself doing in the future and I very well may pursue certification.
- SFL 336 Theories in Family Perspective (Dr. Holmes)
- This class made me really analyze my thinking in new ways.