The Brigham Young University-Idaho College Experience

Blythe earned her bachelor’s degree in geology from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She specializes in writing tutoring, science tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Below, she shares her experience at Brigham Young University-Idaho:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options.

Blythe: The campus is fairly small for a university campus. It’s about a fifteen minute walk from one end to the other. The campus is rural, located in the small town of Rexburg, Idaho. I felt very safe on campus; there was never a time when I felt at risk in any way. There are buses for specific places, such as Walmart or certain apartment complexes. However, nearly everything needed is within walking distance, so neither a car nor bike is a huge necessity.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Blythe: In my experience, the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants are always available. If the professors aren’t available, their TAs definitely are. As a former TA, I can attest that we were available as much as possible for the students.

The campus is very student friendly. The professors all are working there because they want their students to succeed, so they make themselves available as often as possible. I did not have a single professor that was unwilling to work outside of the classroom with a student.

How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Blythe: I did not participate in the dorm life, but most of the apartment complexes are located within a five or ten-minute walk to campus. Both dorms and off-campus apartments live by an honor code; all students abide by it, whether they live in dorms or apartments. The Honor Code is a set of rules or guidelines each student pledges and promises to follow, which creates a safe and respectful environment on and off campus. There are usually two persons to a room, and anywhere between four and eight to apartments, depending on the size.

The socialization opportunities are excellent. Almost every evening, and definitely every weekend, there are multiple social activities going on. These vary from dancing, to cultural celebrations, to group hikes. There is a great variety of activities continuously being held. I’ve never been in a more social environment.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?

Blythe: The majority of the majors and programs are represented and supported. It seems like I heard more about the communications major than any other major, but each program on campus is supported. I studied geology, because I love learning about the processes of the earth and its formation. BYU-I is lacking a bit in the support of the sciences, however. There are fewer students majoring in science than in other areas, such as communications and physical therapy. As a result, the university really cuts back on the funds and classes for the science departments, especially geology. The science professors, however, fight fiercely to keep the departments running smoothly and efficiently, so I would still recommend majoring in science.

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Blythe: As a freshman, it is extremely easy to meet people and make friends. The orientation at the beginning of each semester is centered around getting the students involved in as many activities as possible. I fully believe the school puts almost as much work into the social aspect, as it does the academic aspect. They do not have a Greek life at BYU-I.

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services?

Blythe: BYU-I has a career center, a tutoring center, and rehabilitation classes, just to name a few services. There are many different student support services, and if you utilize them, they are very helpful. In my experience, there is not a ton of campus recruiting. The recruiting that I do remember was for things such as student leadership conferences and career fairs.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Blythe: Every study area is easily available. The library can get a bit crowded at times, but other than a few days out of the semester, you can always find a place to study in the library. The library has a specific floor for quiet studying, so it’s always a great place to go before taking a test. Even if you can’t find a place in the library, which is extremely rare, there are multiple lounge areas located in every building and every apartment complex. There is always a place to study and most of them are spacious.

Describe the surrounding town.

Blythe: The surrounding town is small, but quaint and homey. There are several places to spend time and do activities. The campus has game rooms and a bowling area. There are a few movie theaters in town, one of which has bowling, an arcade, and mini golf. There are four or five parks located around town as well. The Teton Mountain Range is less than two hours away, and is great for hiking, camping, and various outdoor activities. Closer by, there are multiple camping and hiking areas. The area is perfect for almost any activity you can think of.

How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Blythe: The student body has around 20,000 students. The class sizes range from 15-40 students, depending on the class. I’ve never been in a class with more than 45 students in it. It makes the class very engaging and it makes it easy to listen and ask questions, and get in depth responses from the professors.

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Blythe: One of my most memorable experiences at BYU-I was during what the Geology Department calls Field School. We went out into the field for six weeks and studied and utilized all the skills we learned in our classes. It was an excellent learning and growing experience, spending that much time with our peers and colleagues. During that time, I grew to know my peers not just as peers, but as family. We learned to work with each other in ways I never realized were possible. The last two weeks were the most intense and rigorous physically and mentally. The weekend before, I was in a biking accident and I was having a hard time walking. Everyone was so helpful, that it actually began to be a bit annoying. As annoying as it got, the help and support that everyone there provided me was a great comfort. Field School was one of, if not the single, hardest thing I’ve ever done. Without the aid of my professors and peers, I would never have finished it. As hard as it was, it was also the most memorable and fulfilling thing I have done thus far. What makes BYU-I great is not the college itself, it’s the people. They are genuine, kind, loving, and fun. They make each other better, and they make attending BYU-I worth it.


Check out Blythe’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.