If you’re anything like me, you’re looking for all the information you can find about BYU before you head to Utah for your first semester as a cougar. Well, you’re in luck Chuck! Because I’ve compiled a list of seemingly small things that I wish everyone could know before coming to BYU.
  1. There’s a Facebook group called “BYU Textbook Buy/Sell”, and it’s your new favorite group because it’ll save you literally hundreds of dollars on books. This Facebook group was made so that kids didn’t have to give an arm and a leg to get a book they would only open once in a semester (or even the books they opened every day, obviously). It works just like Craigslist or KSL. For example, when I took American Heritage, I found a student selling theirs for $15 when it’s originally $50 from the bookstore. I then sold the same book for $35 at the end of the semester on the Facebook page, and made a profit. That doesn’t always happen, but you can normally sell the book again for what you got it for! But you can neeeever sell the book back to the bookstore—or anyone for that matter—for what you bought it for from the bookstore.
  2. You DO NOT need to buy that set of pots and pans, or the dining set with 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 forks, 4 spoons, 4 everything—from Target. I can basically bet my life that every one of your roommates will buy those things and happily share with you. My suggestion would be to buy 1 of each item (normal or even thrift store), or just take the cheap stuff from your house. Your stuff will get stolen, lost, or misused. It’s not worth getting nice things until you have a home of your own. No one cares that you have a matching dining set, I promise.
  3. You don’t need to take American Heritage your first semester! I’m sure you’ve heard of this class if you’ve been accepted to BYU. It’s what everyone calls “the scholarship breaker”, and it’s so true! Guys, this is a tough class, it just is. And you all have to take it to graduate, unfortunately. The worst part is that BYU makes it sound like you HAVE to take this class your freshman year. It’s not true! You can take it whenever you want. And if you’re smart, you won’t take it your freshman year, or at least your first semester. Maybe the next, or the next. But hold off for a second so you don’t spend every weekend of your first semester of college in the library doing 20+ pages of textbook reading. Let yourself enjoy college first, as well as learn how you study best before taking this class. By the way, I took it my sophomore year and still got a D (that’s passing, for anyone that needs to know) without doing any of the reading. Waiting to take the class doesn’t guarantee a better grade, but it does guarantee a happier freshman year 😉
  4. Consider buying your laptop at the BYU Bookstore. Why? Because anything you buy at the BYU bookstore is tax free when you show your school ID card. Guys, this is huge!! I got my MacBook Air there and didn’t have to pay tax! The laptop was on sale for $800. If I had to pay tax, it would have been $862. Do you know how much you can buy with $62 extra?! So many cookies, you could buy so many cookies. For your reference, the BYU Bookstore sells books, school supplies, clothes, computers, headphones, basically everything, etc.
  5. Put your phone number in sharpie on the bottom of your Hydroflask (or any other nice water bottle). Listen Lindas. Let me tell you the power of the pen. I lost my flask (I love the black flasks, they kind of makes me feel important) two times in two hours last semester and both times I got a call within 5 minutes of losing it. At BYU, people are generally pretty great. If you leave your phone in class, it’s in the lost and found before you walk out the door. There are literally hundreds of water bottles lost in a week, and the lost and found has to get rid of them after like a week or something. I’d rather risk a creeper getting my phone number than losing my flask, honestly.
These are only a few of the things I wish more people (myself included) knew before leaving home base and landing at BYU. The best thing you can do as a freshman is ask ask ask. Don’t be afraid to talk to older students to find out their helpful tips. The more you know, the more you know. You know?