We are not Mormon. Is Bringham Young Univ. appropriate?

MyFavoriteSon - posted on 07/05/2012 ( 26 moms have responded )

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Hi, I am looking for a dry campus for my Son. He will be attending College Fall, 2013. I am inquiring about Bringham Young Univ. in Utah. Wanted to see if any one has attended BYU that is not a Mormon, and what kind of experience it was. We are Catholic and don't frequent Church on a regular basis. I love the idea of a wholesome campus where there is not any alcohol, drugs or smoking.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/06/2012

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To be completely honest with you, I would not send him to a fancy university at all if this was my kid and partying was his top and only priority. I would send them to community college for 2 years to prove themselves, and then transfer to a big University after he has chosen his career. That is way to much money to blow when he might drop out or fail out due to partying. Or, you can see if he can get a scholarship. That way if he starts dropping his grades, it is on him, or just simply get the financial aid under his name. If he flunks out, it is on his shoulders. That will make him focus if it is his dollar and not moms and dads. Makes a BIG difference in responsibility level.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/05/2012

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This is really weird that you are picking out your sons college. It is his life, and he should be able to choose where to go. I am a bit creeped out by this. You do know at 18 he is legally an adult right? You also know, he can travel off campus, have sex, drink and do drugs right? Where there is a will, there is a way.

Krista - posted on 07/06/2012

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I agree with LM -- if he wants you guys to foot the bill for university, then he has to EARN that privilege. And if nothing he's done so far has gone towards earning that, then why should he go? He is complaining that all of his friends are going, so why shouldn't he? To me, that says that he feels like he is entitled to it, and will not take it seriously.

I would sit down with him and say, "Look, it's time for you to grow up. A free post-secondary education is a privilege that you have to EARN. And you have done absolutely nothing to earn this. Instead, you've been slacking off and whining. So you can either pay for your own college, if you're that determined to go. Or, we'll pay for a year of community college for you, and it'll be your one and only chance to prove that you deserve this. If you apply yourself and work hard and cut down on the partying, then we'll look at paying for university. But if you keep doing what you've been doing all this time, then you're going to have to do it on your own dime."

Sending him to BYU would just be sheltering him. He needs to realize that there are actual consequences to his actions, and needs to learn how to make sensible choices. Shielding him from temptation will accomplish neither.

Time to get tough, Mom.

Krista - posted on 07/05/2012

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I'm with LittleMiss. He should be selecting his college based on what he envisions for his future, and how he plans to get there. It's reasonable for you to provide guidance and advice, obviously, but the ultimate decision really should be up to him. BYU is a great school in many aspects, but it can't be all things to all people.

As well, keep in mind that as a Catholic attending BYU, he will be very much in the minority, and will likely receive a lot of pressure to convert. Would you be okay with that?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/06/2012

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EXACTLY! And if you choose to pay for community college for the first year so he can prove a university is worth it, really the prices aren't bad. Or better yet, have him apply and get the financial aid for it. He will be freaking over the 4 grand plus books and realize how much money it would take to put him all the way through college. Really, if he is that set on partying, I would not be paying for that.

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Lady Heather - posted on 09/23/2012

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1. If I wasn't sure my kid was going to focus on school I wouldn't pay for them to go anywhere. Let him get an apartment and pay for it himself at some crappy job and see how fun that is. Partying doesn't look so good when you realize you need to pay for it and your lack of education left you with limited job options. Yes, at the very least make him pay the bill for school.



2. Dry campus doesn't mean shit. I remember back in high school the best place to get drugs was the fancy private school that was supposed to be all anti-drug. They were all high on something. I bet dry uni campuses work the same. Even with the drinking age as high as it is there I'm sure there will be plenty of students willing to buy. Let's be honest - drugs are illegal everywhere but there wasn't any shortage of marijuana at my university! Ha.

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I graduated from BYU and I'm a member of the LDS church (Mormon). Raised in Southern California to very liberal Mormon parents with few Mormon friends, most non-mormon. I attended the Campus Life program led my a Evangelical Christian church during high school. It was a great place to hang out with like minded kids. I wanted to be there. I did not convert them and they did not convert me, but we shared ideas. Why can't a non-Mormon person have a similiar expereince at BYU? Two personal stories:

1) In first year dorms my dorm neighbor was non-Mormon from the South, his father was a protestant preacher and sent him to BYU for the surroundings. He was already a kid with good morals and wanted to be there. He had no problem with the rules. He was a better kid in every way than many of the Mormons I knew at BYU at the time. He particpated in the social activities that are structured through the church activity arm. He went to his church regularly and ours occassionally. Not sure how it all worked out after 4 years as I lost track of him, but with an attitude like that I'm sure he had a great expereince.

2) One of my best (non-Mormon) friends from home was going no-where real fast. His parents thought BYU would solve his problems so he agreed to come live at my off campus house in my second year. Within 5 days he found his drug supplier, stopped coming to class, and force by his parents to return home a month later. It was a complete disaster.



My take away on this:

- Your son has to want to be at BYU or any other school for that matter and agree to follow the rules.

- No one at BYU is going to force your son to follow the rules, go to church, or particpate in any way. They will encourage, but as Mormon's we're big into free agency.

- Consider a local school for the first two years and see how he does. Give him the address of the LDS Institute building. It's a sorority/fraternity alternative for Mormon kids at almost every campus in the USA where they have religious classes and a social center gathering hot spot. have him take Old and New Testament classes there.

- Consider other schools with rekigious standards like Texas Christian University. They are much more relaxed on the rules, but the school attracts some very good kids. The TCU sport teams made several trips to BYU and the newspapers commented on how respectful they were to both the students and our religious beliefs.

Karen - posted on 08/07/2012

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I'm also not sure a dry campus will help him learn how to deal with temptation and the real world. Hopefully he will learn quickly that he can't keep doing what he is doing and function (and be successful) in society. Being on a dry campus is too artificial and not realistic so it will just postpone his issues until after he graduates (and if he gets caught he won't just mess up his grades but will get tossed from school which could have even greater ramifications).

Karen - posted on 08/07/2012

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I'm sure that Ave Maria is a good school, but many of your concerns about your son feeling left out at BYU due to the religion thing will also happen there, but because you are not particularly conservative Catholics. Have you looked at some of the smaller, Division III schools? I went to a Presbyterian affiliated school (Alma College in mid-Michigan - not a lot to do so not a lot of places to get in trouble in) as a Catholic but never felt left out, in fact there were more Catholics on campus than other denominations. Yes people did drink, etc., however because the schools are smaller and the academics were tougher than other places, you learned pretty quickly that you weren't going to last doing stupid stuff. Also, being smaller the Professors tended to get to know you better and you were less likely to slip through the cracks. I would be very hesistant to send him so far from home - it's a lot easier to fool your parents from afar (especially if you are smart enough to get by without a whole lot of effort). Keep a very tight leash on your wallet until he proves himself. I know HE wants to go to certain schools, but if you are paying the bill he gets to choose from a short list of your choosing. And so what if he's "miserable" going to a Community College? Unless he's paying the bills...I think he can handle a lot of misery if he's not writing the checks. I appreciate that you are trying to make him happy, but I don't think sending him to BYU will accomplish your goal.

Stephanie - posted on 08/06/2012

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Maybe being miserable will teach your son a lesson about responsibility. Community college isn't the end of the world and if he does not have the grades, don't waste money on a four year institution. I was never a great student, and community college was a good way for me to get used to the college workload without having t learn about life away from home at the same time. I wasn't a party person, I was just lazy.
Have you looked at Ave Maria University in Florida? They are a conservative Catholic school. I would be very Leary of sending him away to be with Mormons if he has never dealt with that culture before. Nothing against the Mormons but they can be persistent. I have heard of some anti-catholic sentiment as well but I have never experienced any from the Mormon people I have worked with.

MyFavoriteSon - posted on 07/09/2012

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Thank you. We have not looked into it. But I will do some research on it!

Penny - posted on 07/09/2012

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Have you considered Christian colleges? My son went to Pensacola Christian College, which is a very good college with high morals. You may want to check into that (tuition is very cheap too). Just a suggestion...

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/06/2012

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Good luck Fav! He may think he wants a party school now, but give him a year...LOL...My son thought the same, and then ended up enrolling in the CC because he liked the smaller classes, and more instructor time. He's starting his Freshman semester this fall, and waiting for the Army to decide if he's medically fit.

Its a struggle to know when to say "it's up to you"! It's a struggle to know how to handle them once they hit a certain age! I'm there, and I've had to ask my older friends, with older kids, how to approach that.

Good luck! When he gets closer to graduation, let me know, and I'll send you info for community colleges in this area (Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah)

MyFavoriteSon - posted on 07/06/2012

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I agree with you Shawnn, your point is well made. This is something to ponder over. He will be miserable at a Community College. He has one more year to prove he can be more responsible. Based on everyone's input I have some tough decisions to make. WE want our Son to be successful. We will be having a heart to heart. He will have to change his ways and know we're not messing around! Thanks, for all your feed back everyone!! You have been incredibly helpful!! Thank you!!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/06/2012

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I know it's in UTAH...but just because they sign a behaviour contract DOES NOT mean that they follow it. Having lived in surrounding communities in Idaho, and in Wyoming, I'm speaking from experience.



Your son is NOT ready for a 4 year, BIG institution. Your wallet does not need that hit. And your assumption that because it's a MORMON facility, he'll be "fine" and won't do anything that you don't want him to is off base.



Yes, he'll be looked a little down on because he's not Mormon. Yes, he may be left out, or get a feeling that he doesn't belong, because he's not Mormon. If he's not been exposed to the religion before now, dropping him into the middle of that situation could cause more problems. (EDIT) The feelings of left out, or looked down on won't last long, since, in general, the folks in Utah are extremely friendly (END EDIT)



Yes, the people are nice, the surrounding vicinity is BEAUTIFUL, but I would have serious reservations, were I in your shoes. Another thing to consider...the further from home, the easier to misbehave, because it'll take longer to get back to mom and dad. I see it every day at the University I work at, which is why I'm advocating against it.

MyFavoriteSon - posted on 07/06/2012

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It is in Utah!! It is a beautiful campus and is known to be a quality school. It is 95% Mormon. They will hold him to a promise. He cannot drink, smoke, or drink anything caffeinated. If he gets caught, doing any of the above he is out. This is where my original question came from. Will he be an outsider, or will be be included? To Shawnn, I totally get what you are saying. It is going to be a decision of his. It is clearly our idea, but let's see what he has to say. He is away till beginning of August. We will keep you posted. I get you though. I agree, if he wants pot or booze and looks for it he will find it. I am hoping a clean campus will show him things can be fun and doesn't always have to party.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/06/2012

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I have to caution you, favoriteson...Just because YOU think that BYU is going to be tops for a dry, no chemical campus, you're sorely mistaken.

Drug use in Utah is just as bad as anywhere else. Drinking in Utah is the same problem as everywhere else. If your son has already set in his head that he's gonna party during college, HE WILL FIND A WAY. Getting ahold of a bag of dope is as easy as asking your roommate who smokes.

Getting drunk only requires a drive to Wyoming if they're underage (alcohol is state regulated in Utah), but if they're over 21, anyone can purchase at a state liquor store...again, no challenge to a student who wants to get wasted.

You are not going to "improve" your son's choices by sending him to a religious college, especially a religion who's views are so radically different from your own Catholicism. And, the more you try to force him to change, the more he will resist.

You are assuming that "community college" means something close to home...Google Community Colleges in the US...Your kid doesn't have to go to the closest one, and I'm sorry, but if he's proved to be THAT IRRESPONSIBLE that you are considering deporting him to a dry campus in hopes that he'll straighten out, (if he were MY son) he only deserves Community college.

If my son were that irresponsible, as consistently as you claim, I would dish for NOTHING. As a matter of fact, I've already had a discussion with my college bound son about not wasting a professor's time. It's a waste of the instructors time, and that of the institution, to try to save the students from themselves. If a student doesn't want to take a course, they will inevitably cause a disruption, or create a situation that takes time away from the instructor being able to help the students that actually want to be there.

So, IMO, DON'T send him to a 4 year institution when it's only going to be a waste of your money, and any effort put out by instructors to try to "reach" a kid that obviously isn't ready to grow up.

But, I guess, if you're well enough off that you can throw that money away, expecting a Mormon university to do WONDERS and turn the kid around, that's your call as well...and good luck with that, btw...The Wyoming and Idaho state borders aren't that far from BYU...and they see LOADS of college students coming to Evanston to drink because they are on a dry campus...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/06/2012

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GOtcha! Yeah, totally have him foot the bill! That will get his ass in gear. Where is Brighams?

MyFavoriteSon - posted on 07/06/2012

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I didn't tell you the price of Bringham Young. Low 20s. This way he gets a really nice academic education, nice people, dry campus, far from home (We live in the Northeast) and we would allow him to go skiing on weekends, if he shows his true colors. This is what I mean by trade off. We are giving him a chance to prove himself. And, go with your idea. Let him sign the financials for the first year. Then we'll see who is talking business!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/06/2012

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Right, but the money. That would kill me. He cannot have everything he wants, so a community college until he proves he can handle the full time work load. Totally up to you and him, just saying I would not want to spend that much money and fear every day that he is gonna flunk out with all the partying.

MyFavoriteSon - posted on 07/06/2012

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Thanks, I am with you Little Miss!! I can tell you right now he will not like the idea of a Community College. He wants to go away to College. Doesn't want to live at home. I don't want him to be bitter either. He's not the devil. He is a teen, testing his parents. This is why Bringham Young isn't looking so bad!!

MyFavoriteSon - posted on 07/06/2012

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I agree Little Miss!! Now you can see the whole story. I like the idea of putting the finances in his lap. Please don't get me wrong. We are happy to support our Sons College/Academic life. But, we will not be part of the party life. I understand teens party, I know I did. But, we need to come to a happy medium. Keep your grades up and do what you have to do. And we will support you as best we can. Party hardy, bomb out. Your on your own. What I may do is say.

Lets come up with a school we can all agree on (Not one of the top party schools!) Any regular school we are perfectly fine with!! We are reasonable people. As I said, 50k plus per yr. to have a good time. No!! Give it your best, that is a whole other story!! Perhaps what I may do is have him sign for the first year. Let him prove to himself and us that he can delegate academics/personal life while away at College and get decent grades!! Then we are talking!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/06/2012

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I just would not be paying for college if there was a threat of dropping or flunking out. 50 grand is nothing to smirk at for sure. I would not be paying that much to send my kid to party either.

MyFavoriteSon - posted on 07/06/2012

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His plans are to find the biggest party schools possible. My Sons first choice is Syracuse Univ. and the second is Penn State. Both are nice Colleges. The problem, they are party schools. They are on the top ten party school list in the Nation. Secondly, my Son loves to party. He is not very self disciplined. Based on these schools reputation I am afraid he will fall through the cracks and fail. We cannot afford $50,000. per year for him to party hardy. We are trying to discourage this party problem. I am even Ok with a party or so on weekends, but not when ever he has a chance!! So, how did I come across Bringham Young. As I said, it is a trade off. It will certainly be his decision for the final outcome. But top party schools are not going to be part of the choice!! We are not zillionaires and have a problem with 50k plus to bomb out. I know. Now your going to say how do I know he is going to bomb out. Because of what he is doing currently. Just getting bye. He studies a bit. We are in a rigorous school system and must work for decent grades. He is only a 3.0 end of Jr. year. Why, he has not applied himself to the best of his ability. Yes, we have spoken to him time and time again. He is not very motivated. We even thought about him taking a Yr. off and growing up a bit. No, what would his friends think he says? They are all going onto College, why shouldn't he. Well they are all going to the top schools in the Country because they worked for i!!. I am Ok Without a top school. The question is based on how he is doing currently and will he be barely a C student in College? We know our Child. We love him to pieces and want the best for him. Honestly, I feel at a loss and truly do not know what to do? PS He doesn't want a SUNY. WE are not thrilled ourselves because they are so large. He needs some attention that most smaller schools can offer. But, Bringham Young is so large you may say!! Yes, but hopefully he will not have pot or booze in his system from the night before. We pray and hope that he will have a more focused clear headed approach? Thank you for your input, I am really grateful!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/05/2012

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Yeah, but you cannot force that on him. He is going to make his choices regardless of how much you attempt to intentionally isolate him. Is he even willing to let YOU pick out his college? I mean, what are HIS plans? Has he discussed them with you?

MyFavoriteSon - posted on 07/05/2012

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I didn't give a thorough over view. I have had problems with him concerning pot and going to lots of parties. I feel he could be a much better student if he was focused. Of course it will be his choice at the end of the day. I realize there will be trade offs. One, he may be harassed about converting. Two, he will be in large classes. Three, there is the religion thing always to deal with. The Pros I see as such, mostly nice people and nice atmosphere, I hear the academics are quite good, go skiing on weekends, a supportive school for BYU's sports and lastly a very good price. My goal is to try and get away from the drugs and booze and hopefully achieve a strong academic education and be happy!!

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