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BYU – The Official Website of Kendel Christensen – The Official Website of Kendel Christensen

BYU – The Official Website of Kendel Christensen

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‘I hope there is not a day that passes that you do not get on your knees and thank the Lord for the marvelous privileges you have in attending this university. Where in the world is there a more beautiful campus than this? Where are there better facilities? Where is there a better-qualified faculty of men and women not only of learning, but also of faith? Where will you find better associations than here? Be thankful. Be appreciative of the marvelous opportunity you have to study at this magnificent university… We have great expectations for you. We are entitled to those expectations. The widow of whom I spoke, and the hundreds of thousands like her who bring their tithes to the storehouse of the Lord, count on you to do something in a very exceptional and worthy way.’ -Gordon B. Hinckley, BYU Devotional, September 17, 1985 (MY DATE OF BIRTH!).

Brigham Young University: Your Ideal Place for Education

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At the time of this writing, I can safely say that four of the best years of my life were spent studying at this University.  BYU, for me, was a sacred experience.  What I learned there will forever be a part of who I am and how I view the world.  SO, this page is dedicated to my time there.  For now, here is a list of classes and teachers I was recommended and three talks, “Stand Up for Truth”“The Widow’s Mite,” and “Out of Your Experience Here”–excellent talks by GORDON B. HINCKLEY talking TO BYU students ABOUT being at BYU.  Also, at the bottom left of this page is a download link of a 4-paragraph article that contains some of the best advice I ever received about getting the most out of college.  Enjoy!

Secrets to Success at BYU that Nobody Thought to Tell You

1.      Start Early!  The moment you get the syllabus,
·        READ IT! 
·        MARK on your calendar the important due dates
·        PLAN to take tests on one of the first days the tests are offered.  Trust me, if you PLAN to take it the LAST day, things will come up, and BAAAAD things will happen.  Avoid test fees and headaches.  Take the test early.

2.      Be An Honors Student.  Go to honors.byu.edu and sign up.  Not only is being in the program an ideal way to get to know the cream of the crop at BYU, not only is it one of the best places to be exposed to life-changing concepts, not only do the Thursday at 11am lectures in the Maeser building give you free food, not only can you sign up for classes early, not only do you get into any event at the HFAC for $2, but it also introduces you to a lifestyle of being appreciating the fine arts that every member is encouraged to make a part of their character.

3.      Use www.ratemyprofessor.com.  While not infallible (actually, I strongly disagree with some of the overall assessment of some teachers), it is nevertheless an excellent way to know what you are getting into with a class and teacher. 

4.      I **highly** recommend, early on, ‘adopting’ a professor.  Not only go into their office hours to ask questions about the class (which you should do as much as you can!), but ask them what they are researching outside of class.  Offer to help them research or work on something.  If you can turn such interaction into a tangible accomplishment, you are worlds ahead of most of your graduating class in terms of resume building, almost regardless of GPA differences.
4b.  Relatedly, perhaps more importantly, build a list of “professor-friends.” Do well in their class, raise your hand with insightful comments, and then have something like the following conversation with them at the end of the class: “I really enjoyed your class.  I will never forget ____.  Thank you.  Can I keep you in mind as someone I can go to for a letter of recommendation or career advice?”  Doing so, I promise, will prove to be EXTREMELY valuable.

5.      Consider getting a locker.  Split the cost with a friend or two, and have a place to drop off those heavy books, keep dating essentials, and… my favorite, keep food! I have saved $$hundreds$$ by keeping sandwich materials, potatoes, oatmeal with a bowl and a spoon, and other less-perishables in my locker and heading to the nearest microwave rather than buying from the Cougareat.

6.      The 2nd-4th floors in the JFSB, in the middle of each of the 4 main hallways, are great places to study: quiet, windowed, and equipped with really soft chairs, ottomans, wifi, and plugs! Also a good place for a nap, because, let’s face it… College students don’t get enough rest.

7.      Grades are important, but #1 Don’t let them hold your life.  No matter what your grades are, opportunities will come—have faith.  And #2, every job I’ve gotten has been through friends I’ve made at BYU.  Being social (aka networking), in my experience, pays off as much or more than studying itself. 

8.      Get involvedThere are TONS of AMAAAAAAAAZING clubs at BYU.  Remember networking?  The most connected people are in clubs.  You should be, too. 

9.      Call the info desk, 801-422-4636 for anything.  They’ll help you understand anything.  And don’t be prideful: you don’t know a fraction of what is offered at BYU, nor how it all works J

10.      Take advantage of auditing classes.  In the list of best classes, I only got to take about half of them.  And half of those were audits.  No homework, just attend class when your time allows, but be exposed to TONS of LIFE-CHANGING principles and skills.

11.    Always have a side passion that you are working on.  Love a certain part of history? Write a book about it.  Love music? Write a collection of songs and publish them.  Write a computer program or organize a database.  You will have largely the same lifestyle for at least 4 years–save a little piece of that time so that by the end of the four years, you’ll have something to REALLY show people so that you will be more than “just another kid with a degree.”

12.    More as I think of ‘em. Send suggestions to [email protected]

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The above pdf was an insightful article written by the dean of Honors education about what he recommends for each student. I endorse all of his suggestions!