Saturday, August 28, 2010

Going Forth to Serve...

I know that I said graduation post would be coming soon. I didn't expect it to take 4 months. Oh well. I was going through all my photos and realized there was no way to choose which ones to post.

I can honestly say that graduation was one of the happiest and most joyful moments of my life- besides some special experiences as a missionary. I can think of a couple of times in my life where I felt my Heavenly Father's love for me so pronounced and sure- this was one of those times. For those of you who have walked the grad march and experienced that small moment on stage where they read your name and you receive your diploma... there really is nothing like it. For some, it may not be a big deal. For me, it was awesome.

I remember my high school graduation. I remember the morning of: My grams was ironing my gown and I was complaining to my mom that I didn't want to go because I didn't feel like it was that big of deal. I complained that I had to pay $50 to rent the stupid gown and be escorted by some dumb boy who probably didn't even know who I was, and then sit through speech after speech while idiot kids threw beach balls, toilet paper, and made cat calls... and faculty tried to "graciously" reprimand them for the last time. I didn't want to do it. I graduated. I was done. Now on to bigger and better things- like Brigham Young University.

I have wanted to go to BYU from the time I was 5. As dumb as it sounds, it all started with a football game. My dad was invited to a BYU football game in 1984 (the same year the Coug's won the national championship) by a guy named Marty Sheide who's brother Gary was a player in the late 70's. Dad was so impressed and enjoyed it so much, he decided to buy his own season tickets and it's history from there. I have fond memories of BYU football games with dad. Especially the hotdogs and peanut M&Ms. ;) I remember when I finally learned what the game was about and how much more exciting it became. I looked forward to those drives to Provo so much, because it was just me, "the general", and a stadium of blue blood. As I watched the football players enter the field, my heart always gave a little jump and in my mind I always said to myself "I'm going here someday. I want to be part of this legacy." And now, even as I attend the first game of the season next week at Lavell Edwards Stadium and those players run out onto the field, my heart will still leap and I will say to myself "I am a BYU alumni. I'm glad to be part of this legacy."
(this is about 5 days after my surgery, so don't judge.)

I started as a freshman at BYU in the fall of 2003 spending my days in Deseret Towers T hall (which is now nothing more than a grassy hill). I remember I was in my white chevy cobalt, which was packed to the brim with stuff, and I drove past the sign "Enter to learn, Go forth to serve." Something inside me clicked and I remember thinking " This is just the beginning." Of course, little did I know there would be so much learning that happened outside the classroom. I was dumb, emotional, naive, and petty. I had a lot of growing up to do and I'm grateful for friends, roommates, and peers who were patient and helped me along the way. There was a time that I thought maybe BYU wasn't for me and came very close to dropping out. But, the Lord stayed by my side and my parents continued to encourage and uplift. Eventually, I decided to serve a mission and take a break from my studies. My mission was one the best decisions I have ever made in my life, and as I came back to BYU 2 weeks after I got home, I saw things more clearly and had a greater understanding of what my role was as a student and the opportunities available to me at this university. I would have to say the last 2 years as a student at BYU were the best. More fun, more friends, and more focus. I decided on my major in psychology and did well and found great success.

Officially, I graduated December 2009, but decided to walk in April. I moved back home to SLC and at the end of April, found myself back down in Provo for one last "hurrah". As me and good friend and also "high school grad buddy" Nycole walked up the ramp into the Marriott Center, we approached the tent under which President Samuelson (His first year at BYU was fall 2003 as well) and Elder Christofferson sat. They waved and we continued to walk with our professors lining the way. It was silent as they watched us and applauded us with their smiles. But, it wasn't until the moment I entered the building and I saw my mom and dad standing and clapping with smiles on their faces, the spirit overwhelmed me and a voice so clear and perfect whispered "You have made it. This has always been part of the plan." and this strong and definite feeling of love filled my heart and I could not help but let the tears flow freely from my eyes. I knew so strongly and clearly how much my Heavenly Father loved me and I couldn't deny it. As we were walking up the steps, I'm blowing my face with my hands and this girl looks at me and I hear her say as I pass her "Did you see that girl? She's really crying. Like hard." We had a good laugh over that one.

I am the first in my immediate family to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree. I am the first in my immediate and extended family to graduate from BYU, besides one aunt. As my parents and I sat at the graduation dinner in the Hinckley Alumni Center, dad got choked up and teary as he expressed the legacy I was leaving for those coming after. My graduation from BYU was a stamp on my passport of life. It is a major milestone that will have great effect on my future and I need to remember that and live my life reflecting what I have learned and become as an alumni of Brigham Young University.

I love BYU. I always will. Is it perfect? Well... I think I could def say a few things about University Parking and Bookstore textbook refunding policy. ;) But it is a great institution and one that I support whole heartedly. I am grateful for wonderful professors, students, and administrators who I have met and have helped me. I am grateful for roommates. I am grateful for friends. I am grateful for family who never gave up and helped me "stick it" to the end. Thanks for such a great ride!

Now what? Onto bigger and better things... and going forth to serve.

And now, the final project:


  1. I loved this post - your video made me cry...I love BYU too. Congratulations, I'm so proud of you!!

  2. AAAAAAAAAA Megan! It's me Britt! I stalked you on FB and found your blog and this post was soo cool! It totally is like that when you graduate. I didn't always want to go to BYU but it was an amazing feeling when I graduated! Props to you! And I still want to hear this story about this guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!