If anyone asked me at the beginning of the semester about my plans for next year, I would have told them, “Eeehhh…” Now I happily declare, “I’m going to BYU.”
It’s a decision that took me less than 24 hours to make. One moment I was adamant in taking a year off or ending my education, and the next I was applying for BYU. A school with an acceptance rate lower than 50 percent and more students in the summer than Eastern has any time of the year. To any onlooker, my decision appeared a choice made from midnight crazies. But to me, it was much more than that.
At the beginning of the year, I was set on calling it quits with my college education. I was burned out from my generals and new friends I hadn’t made. After everything I hadn’t experienced, I wanted a break.
There was time I wanted to set aside for activities, money I intended to save for whatever life had in store and a story begging to be written—a book I’ve worked on since I was 12. While in college, I was crushed with stress and deadlines that kept me from doing what I wanted to do. I was done.
So I decided once I graduated, I was going to take a break. I was going to take time figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, and going to enjoy it no matter what anyone said. I was going to have fun and no one was going to stop me. Or at least, that’s what I planned.
Shortly after deciding I was going to take a year off, I was plagued with a frustration I couldn’t fight. I became emotional over everything and mad at others over nothing. I found myself incapable of working past my lack of friends and my stress from homework. But above all, I felt trapped. I wanted to grow and knew who my Heavenly Father wanted me to be, but I had no idea how to do it in Price.
For a time, I relied on myself to get through my trial. Eventually I realized I couldn’t do that. I needed strength beyond my own to figure out where I needed to go. I prayed for direction. I poured my heart more fully into my institute classes. When I hit a breaking point, I turned to two friends for comfort: Trenton and Sarah Oakeson; one for a priesthood blessing and the other for a long, much-needed discussion.
Sarah and I had been friends since we were 12. She had been with me through my toughest trials and witnessed first-hand the issue I was facing. She put her heart into helping in any way she could, and gifting me with the best advice I’d heard in years. “Pray for Heavenly Father to open your eyes.”
After our talk, I went home and followed her counsel. I prayed for Heavenly Father to open my eyes, trusting that in His time, so long as I kept my heart open, He would show me where I needed to go.
The following Monday, Susan Polster, the journalism adviser, talked to me about my plans for the future; in particular, college. It was a common discussion I avoided, and most often shrugged off. But that day, for the first time, I listened. She suggested I apply to BYU.
Gradually, I opened up to the idea. I felt peace unlike ever before. It was as if I could feel my Heavenly Father wrap his arms around me as he told me, “That’s where you need to be.” I started crying. But for the first time in a long time, I was crying from joy.
Before I knew it, I was scrambling to fill out the application. The deadline was in a week and there was a lot to do. Against all odds, I finished the application in time. About a month later, I was accepted to BYU, and a brand new world of possibilities opened.
My Heavenly Father loves me. He knows me perfectly. By acting and doing my part, He’s led
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me to what I need, even though at first, it wasn’t what I wanted. He’s opened a new world to me, and I’m excited to jump in and follow in the steps of an Eastern alumni who serves as the president of BYU, Kevin Worthen. It’s a new adventure and I’m ready to start.