Silver Lining: About BYU Stereotypes

June 11, 2012

About BYU Stereotypes

Today, I'm going to my last undergraduate college class ever. {Ever, people!} It will be so weird when I walk out of my very last final on Wednesday.

Lest I get all cliche and in-love-with-my-alma-mater on you, I'm going to stick to my main topic, which is looking at BYU stereotypes. I don't want to offend people or make anyone mad, but rather just to share my thoughts about the people at BYU.

{But first, a quick plug to this university of mine: it's where I met my very best friends, had amazing adventures, went through the hardest thing in my life, found true love, got married, got an education, was mentored by amazing bosses and professors, and worked for the past four years. How can you experience so much growth and not get a little attached, right?}

Anyway, back to BYU.

Here are some stats:
I've met 600 BYU students through my wards here.
I've met 250 BYU students through my work.
I've been in classes with probably a total of 1,000 different people.
And I've personally mentored over 200 BYU students.

That's a lot of people.

Sometimes it cracks me up when I hear things about BYU. They're all Molly Mormon there, nobody's a true Mormon there, they're always singing and happy, they're just going through the motions, they're all homophobic and conservative, they're just there to get married, etc.

I know it's not worth much, but I'd just like to add my personal thoughts about this:

I know people at BYU that are really Mormon. I also know people here that are the farthest thing from "Molly Mormon" as you get. I also know people who aren't Mormon at all, but who are Muslim, Jewish, agnostic, and Unitarian.

I know people at BYU that are straight. I also know people who are gay, and people who are lesbian (and they're all really good people). I know people here with closed minds, and those with open minds. 

I know people at BYU who are extremely conservative, and I know people who are extremely liberal.

I know people here who maybe do not spend enough time on their personal health and appearance, as well as people who are obsessed with their image and appearance.

I could go on and on, but what I'm trying to say is that BYU, like any other place, has the full spectrum of people. I personally believe that people find what they're looking for. Like any other place, I chose to seek out the good and have a positive, growing experience here. And that's what I did.


So I guess before you make up your mind to stereotype BYU - look around and ask if BYU is really the only place you can find people who are ___________. My guess is you'll say no.

BYU really is full of amazing, diverse people and ideas - and I'm really going to miss it.

P.S. If you've heard any stereotypes about how bad parking is during fall/winter semesters - that one's totally true :)


  1. parking year round in utah, its terrible. seriously drive me nuts.
    last class, crazy. im jealous.
    one year, thats what i keep telling myself.i love all of these pictures.
    also, byu seriously is diverse, but no one would ever think it.


  2. Although I agree with your post, my favorite thing about BYU was how much in common we all had! I remember my very first "FHE" at BYU. We played cards! And it was so much fun. I thought, "Look at us all, sitting around laughing playing a dumb card game. Having a great time while not breaking any commandments". I think that will remain one of my favorite memories of BYU.
    Now, I know a lot students at BYU do break the commandments, and there are a ton of LDS and non-LDS kids at other schools who have fun playing dumb card games too, but I loved that we all had the gospel in common. Even though everyone varied widely in what they believed and how they lived, most of us had at least an understanding of the gospel, which helped me feel like I belonged. I never had that same feeling at Virginia Tech (although I wasn't a student, I was just living on campus because of Matt's job).

  3. AnonymousJune 11, 2012

    I agree! Someone just last week accused me of being a "BYU Mormon" because I got married while I was going to school here. What does that even mean?? Seriously, guy? It was stupid.


  4. I love this post Brooke. Sure, the stereotypes are true for some people, and there can be some frustrating things about the culture at BYU. But during my time at BYU, I too have met some of the most diverse and beautiful people. I feel grateful to attend a school where every day I am uplifted and inspired by the people around me. (well, I WAS at BYU... and will be again in 2014.) ;)

    Thanks for writing this!

  5. Thanks for your comment! And wow, can we give you an award for hitting the nail on the head?! Loved this post and happy last day of class!

  6. Amen and well said. Now, if you could please pass on that advice about having a positive attitude and finding what you're looking for to Stuart, that would be much appreciated.

    And phew! I'm all caught up on your blogs. I had to take a break to go make pancakes. But I love reading them and I didn't want to miss anything!

  7. Good comments. BYU is what you make of it. You can go there and make it the best experience EVER! On the other hand there are those FEW who go there and find it's not for them. I loved BYU just wish there was more diversity.


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