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Friday, August 3, 2012

Cheese Contemplates College - To Y or Not to Y

Hi, Bro Jo!

I have a question for you--not dating related, or male-related. (But it is mail related!) I recently got an acceptance letter from Montana State University (which was weird because I didn't apply and I'm technically only a sophomore in high school.) But it started me thinking about college, and specifically MSU.

You teach there, right?

What can you tell me about it, in terms of the LDS people there.

My dad kinda freaked out at the idea of me going out of Utah (ok; out of Provo!) to go to school because he said the chances of me finding a great guy to marry go way down if I do. So help me out; about how many single guys who meet Dad's Big 3 criteria are available at MSU-Bozeman (or close by) at any given time.

The Big 3 criteria are:

1. Righteous (like he says usually returned missionary is a kind of "starter" indicator on this one, but not an absolute necessity, and also not a guarantee either.)

2. Kind (speaks for itself) and

3. Will be able to support a family.

(Let's face the facts: I want to be a stay-at-home mom with a bunch of kids, which is expensive. And I don't really want the home I'm staying in to be a cardboard box. I don't need to be married to a Bill Gates, but the guy has got to have a way to do the "provide" part that the Proclamation on the Family talks about. He needs to do the "preside in love and righteousness" and "protect" parts too, which is what #1 and #2 on the list are about, I guess.)

Anyway...I'm interested in MSU because I think I could get a pretty good scholarship there.

I'm nearly certain that I'd make their cheer squad, which would be a full scholarship, and all my AP classes and concurrent enrollment stuff would transfer. So I think it would be an economically good choice. And it IS pretty far away from my parents, which I think would be good for me.

But if it's someplace where the RM population is really small, Mom and Dad will probably veto it.

- Cheese

Dear Cheese,

Hello Cheesy!

I can't imagine how you go accepted to a school you didn't apply at . . . that just doesn't make sense. No offense, but it's got to be some kind of clerical error . . . or perhaps it's a "gee, we sure would like you to come here" letter? Trust me. I know the Admissions Office: if you don't apply, you don't get in.

Yes, I do teach there. I'm the head of the Design-Drafting Department. I can tell you anything about it you want to know.

In terms of LDS People let me just say this: life is a bit different on my side of the Zion Curtain.

And then again, it's not.

The Church is the same everywhere, but there's a big difference between living in an area where nearly everyone is an active (or so they claim) Latter-day Saint, your entire ward lives in your neighborhood and your home teacher lives on the same street you do; and an area where it takes three hours to drive from one end of your stake to the other.

We have ONE Student Ward here, with about 80-100 active members, (I think).

Are there righteous RMs here?

You bet!

There are also dorky guys that aren't advancing towards marriage like they should be.

Just like there are in Provo.

The only real difference is that the numbers of each are much smaller.

Plenty of young people, whether originally from this area or here from somewhere else, have met wonderful eternal companions and started families in my little town. Just like they have in thousands of locations all over the world.

Including Provo.

The thing we dads like about the Y (and the Y of I) is the odds. While it may not be correct math, we're convinced that 1 in 50,000 is a lot better odds than 1 in 50 when it comes to finding a Good Eternal Companion.

I totally understand the desire to try something different, move away, going to college somewhere other than your home town. Given the culture and atmosphere, Sister Jo and I have wondered if, for kids that grow up in the shadow of the Y, attending there doesn’t feel a lot like High School.

You still have tons of time. Whether it's MSU or somewhere else, go check it out. With your parents. Go to the Institute Ward and meet their Bishop and other members as well as checking out the school.

When you come to visit, make sure you come say hello!

The Jo Boys say to tell you that there will be at least two good-looking RMs (them) that they know of if you decide to come here for school . . .

Unless, of course, they're at the Y!

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

And there are other places that aren't one of the BYU's where there are high LDS populations...Arizona State for example! The institute there is awesome! So don't worry Cheese, There are plenty of options. :)

Anonymous said...

Well the thing about BYU is that sure, there are 20,000 LDS RM types, but there are also 20,000 other girls looking for the same thing you are. There are a lot more guys, but also a lot more competition.

I looked at a lot of schools when I chose mine, both in and out of Utah. If you really want to get a feel for the LDS population of a college, when you visit a campus, visit the local Institute and see if you can talk to one of the directors. I chose a smaller state school (Northern Arizona University), but they had three whole student wards and so many activities I could have been at the institute every single day of the week if I had the time.

And remember, college is a great place to find a spouse, it certainly worked for me, but it's also about your education. Think about what field you want to study and what schools have to offer in terms of the academics in that area. Regardless of your desire to be a stay-at-home-mom, you wouldn't want to be in a position where you couldn't find work because your degree was useless.

Part of the reason I chose my college was because at the time, I was doing a music major and I wanted the individual attention that came with a small school. Your academics shouldn't take a backseat because you want to find a husband.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a matter of distance, but I can't see not being in a student ward in Utah being a big deal. In fact, I'd say be glad you even have an option. Just to paint you a comparative picture- living in Australia, there isn't a single university student ward in the whole country. There are a grand total of two YSA units in Australia (a branch in Sydney and a ward in Brisbane), and they cover the entire metropolitan area in their respective cities as opposed to a single university. Although there are a lucky few that get to go to BYU, for most people here it isn't an option, and yet we do fine in the number of good RMs, including those not heading for marriage. Don't necessarily head for Australia, but stretch your wings :)

Christopher Cunningham said...

I had a dear friend who attended BYU desperate to get married. When she graduated, despondently unmarried, she was convinced she had to stay in Provo, at the tender age of 22 were she to have any chance at eternal happiness. Her mother convinced her to return to her home in Texas, and met her husband the week she got back. There is no magic formula to marriage. Going to school at BYU will not guarantee marriage (though it's a great school so maybe it's worth going anyway.)I am worried about your concern about your husband's income. I guess it's good that you recognize the lifestyle you want is tremendously expensive, but learn to embrace "poverty" now, it's one of life's greatest blessings. We all know the Savior's opinion on wealth.

Emilie said...

I'm a senior this year and last spring, my Dad took me there and a close friend showed me around. It was everything I've ever dreamed of and more and felt VERY strongly that This Is The Place for me (which is weird since I've been to BYU many many times). While the Cougar Fan (and future student) in me wants to call you crazy for considering anywhere BUT Provo, I must say that that would be awful advice. Thoroughly visit both schools (not just the tour and admissions people-go into the dorms, eat a meal at the cafeteria, talk to professors in your intended major, etc), fast and pray about it, apply to as many scholarships as you have time for, and keep working to be the best prospective student any school could ask for. Though you should be starting these things already, there's no need for much stress over it because you do have a lot of time. It willll all work out:) Keep up the good work, and happy hunting!

Kate said...

1. I love BYU-ID. It's got an amazing spirit, great people, awesome professors, and fun activities. I met my fiance here, and it's possible we wouldn't have met without going to school here.

2. I'm sure I would have been happy and successful at many other schools because I am a happy and successful person, and that doesn't depend on what school I go to. Your experience depends on you.

3. I know a LOT of girls who don't/didn't meet their husband at a church school or college in general.

4. Just do what feels right and makes sense. God will bless you for being righteous and working hard, no matter where you are.

5. Good luck! College is the best! :)

Laura said...

Yes, getting married is good and very important. It is very important to prepare for it now, while still a teenager. Form good habits, strengthen your testimony (you can never have enough testimony!), improve yourself.

And please please please - do NOT go to school just to get married. No matter the scholarship, you are going to have to play a lot of money. Food, books, supplies, clothing, and other essentials are not free. And if you get a full-ride scholarship, make it count. There are thousands of students competing for those scholarships. Make it count towards your education. President Hinckley told us to get as much education as we possibly can. You are only a sophomore in high school, so you have plenty of time to start figuring out what interests you. Talk to your teachers in your favorite subjects about degrees and jobs in your field of interest.

As a woman, I completely agree that it would be so nice to be a stay-at-home mom with lovely, well behaved children and a husband who brings home enough money for us to live in a lovely home and never have financial problems. I could spend money on supplies for my own hobbies and talents, send all of my kids to the best music teachers/sports teams, and have a beautiful, happy, wonderful life.

I hope to someday be able to have that. But before I can have that, I'm going to have to work for it. And so is my husband, assuming I'm blessed with that in this life.

So yes, it is totally possible to have that. But there is no guarantee - and very low chances, especially if you have no other plans.

University is great for growing into an accomplished adult. Living away from mom and dad and gaining a bigger social life is a huge part of that, but taking classes and gaining an education - making personal goals for your own intelligence and capabilities - is just as important of a step towards becoming an adult as your social life and future married life.

Your letter really worries me that you seem to just want to go to college to get married. I hope you take some of Bro Jo's and the readers' advice. We're all here to help you out! :)