A Freshman's Guide to BYU
Snide Remarks #43
"A Freshman's Guide to BYU"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Daily Universe on August 27, 1998
We thought it would be helpful to give the incoming freshmen a practical guide to living at BYU, what with all the big decisions you are now facing, such as whether to eat dorm food all the time, or to try surviving on vending-machine items, which are more expensive, but which may contain more nutritional value.
For you see, we have been through this already. We are a senior now, and not only does that entitle us to say "we" when we mean "I," but it also gives us some insight as to how you, as a freshman, can make your first year at BYU a memorable, death-free experience.
The first thing you have probably realized is that you're not in high school anymore. BYU is nothing like high school. And you probably recognize this as being a good thing. If you had wanted to go to high school some more, you would have STAYED in high school, or perhaps gone to Ricks.
You have probably been thrust into a "Y Group." You were met by two unbelievably perky upperclassmen who have taken time out of their busy summer schedules (we're kidding; they weren't doing anything) to show you around campus and make you learn the Cougar fight song (which, by the way, you will be quizzed on in most of your first-semester classes). They have played fun "get-to-know-you" games, and they have promised to be your friends and guidance counselors to help you through your rocky first semester at BYU. You will never see these people again.
As you walk around campus, you may be concerned at first by how large BYU is, and how seemingly complicated it is to find your way from one building to another. Do not be alarmed, my friends. Due to the library construction, which is scheduled to be completed sometime in the late summer or early fall of the year 3281, by which time highly evolved monkeys will rule the Earth and will have either enslaved the humans or will be keeping them as pets -- due to the construction, NO ONE can find their way around campus. Even the upperclassmen, many of whom have been students here for well over a decade, have trouble getting from one place to another.
Our best advice is, if you see a path that will lead you to the building you want to enter, take it. You will occasionally see signs saying, "Construction area; do not enter; $300 fine." Do not heed these signs, for they are meant merely as jokes -- quaint examples of the refined senses of humor possessed by all construction workers (all of whom smoke, by the way, so don't be surprised). (We are just kidding, of course. About the signs, we mean, which you actually SHOULD obey. Not about the smoking, which is true.)
If you are living in Deseret Towers or Helaman Halls, it is important that you realize now that you will never accomplish anything of value in those buildings. You will make many friends, and have a great time singing loudly in the hallways at 3 a.m., and filling people's rooms with crumpled-up newspaper, and throwing furniture off the roof, and playing computer games until your eyes require corrective surgery, but you will never get ANY studying done. The dorms are scientifically engineered to make studying impossible. As soon as you try it, one of your dorm-mates will come along and demand that you accompany him and a thousand others to Denny's, where you will watch the freaks and weirdos and gasp in horror at all the people in Provo who are drinking coffee.
Which brings us to an important point: What is there to do in Provo? Some people would have you believe that Provo is boring, and that there is no fun to be had. Those people make us so mad that veins start to pop out of our forehead, and we have to go lie down for a while. There's PLENTY to do in Provo. For example, there's a lot of live community theater, which is occasionally not painful to watch. A bar called LeMar's used to have female dancers who danced while only partially clothed, but the City of Provo recently made them stop. Still, the movie "Titanic," in which the same sort of nudity is featured, played to sold-out Provo audiences for six months. (We do not seek to explain the motives of the people of Provo; we merely report them and, where appropriate, mock them.)
Speaking of movies, Provo also has a lot of movie theaters. These are places in which motion pictures -- such as the ones you've seen advertised on television -- are shown to members of the general public in exchange for money. There's even a place called Movies 8, also known as "the dollar theater," where movies cost -- that's right, you guessed it! -- $1.50. Provo is full of movie theaters. Unfortunately, they are too far from campus to walk to, and you don't have a car, so forget about it. Start crumpling up some newspaper, Sparky.
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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