Latter-day Saint Life

A Letter for Those Who Don't Make It Into BYU


First let me just say, I’m sorry you’re hurting. Getting denied admittance to any college hurts, but there is a special sting when that college is owned by your Church. Though your Instagram feed may be flooded by #byubound posts please know you are not alone. There are thousands of kids who are quietly hurting just like you.

In 2006 I applied to BYU because that’s where all my older siblings and both of my parents went. I only applied to one other school because I had no doubt in my mind that I would be going to BYU. When I wasn’t accepted to BYU I felt sad and hurt, but mostly embarrassed. It felt like somehow, I wasn’t good enough for BYU even though my whole family was. It was a really sad time.

Luckily, I was accepted to the small state college that I applied to as my Plan B. It was at this small school that I realized that God had a hand in me not making it into BYU. My time at this school changed my life. I made friends who helped me discovered my true self. I had opportunities in student leadership that I wouldn’t have had at a larger university. I was blessed by small class sizes and involved professors. Getting rejected by BYU turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me.

After three semesters of hard work and hard play, I transferred to BYU ready for a new adventure.

Elsie Talmage Brandley said “to know the fundamental truths of the gospel is to leave one free to go far and wide, anchored by that knowledge, in search of all else that else and sea and skies have to teach.” You’re spiritual and scholarly progression are not dependent on college lectures opening with a prayer. In the words of Oprah, “The burning bush is all around us.” You can find wisdom and strengthen your testimony at BYU and any other college in the world.

Your Heavenly Parents have so many lessons to teach you. Trust that They can do so no matter where you go. They will go with you. If you didn’t make it into BYU, you aren’t missing out. The only way you can “miss out” is if you let this stop you from learning from and enjoying the unique plan They are offering you.

Above all, please know that your worth is not determined by the college you attend. Work hard and be kind wherever you end up. You won’t regret it!




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