This post turned out to be much longer than I initially anticipated, so I split it into different sections. Here are the different sections, as well as what they cover, in case you want to skip around:
Part One: Housing and Food
Part Two: Classes and Paying for College and Jobs
Part Three: Fun and Entertainment/Freebies and Deals
Part Four: Studying, Spiritual, Transportation, and Miscellaneous Tips
Fun, Entertainment, and Getting Involved
There is so much fun to be had at BYU! Just get out there and get involved, and I can almost guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself. There really is something for everyone! One way to find out what’s going on is just to walk through the Wilkinson Center. Any big (or even semi-big) even that’s going on will typically have a
Divine Comedy – Have you heard of Studio C? They are a popular comedy sketch that is on both YouTube and BYUTV (and if you haven’t seen it, check out this post with our favorite sketches), and all of the original cast members started out at Divine Comedy. Divine Comedy still goes on today, and they do several shows each school year with funny (albeit, cheesy) and clean sketches. This is definitely a must-see when you go to BYU. It’s a great place to take a date! Tickets sell out fast though, so be on the look out.
On a similar note, Studio C is often looking for extras. Forrest did this once and loved it. Just follow them on Facebook, which is where they’ll often put out notifications.
Intramurals – I didn’t do intramurals until I met Forrest, and he convinced me to join his soccer team. I was always really bad, but it was fun to be involved. Forrest LOVED doing intramurals each semester, and I think it’s an awesome way to get active and have some fun. They have tons of different sports you can do (you can see all over them on the official page.) If you do want to participate, make sure you are vigilant about checking to see when registration opens. The line is SUPER long to try and get a schedule, so you want to get their early on the day of. Being a captain can be kind of stressful (as Forrest will attest to), but it’s fun. If you don’t want to be a captain of a team, just ask around your ward or classes to see if anyone has an open spot. There is a small fee to start a team, but it’s totally worth it!
Dances – Occasionally there are different dances that go on. Some are rather casual, and then some are more elaborate. There is one that BYUSA (more on that organization in a minute) that is really fancy, but there is only a limited number of tickets available. There are always homecoming dances and a few other formal ones spread throughout the year. I went to a couple dances my freshman year, and then never after that…but my freshman year ones were a blast!
Museums – BYU has a bunch of free museums that you have to visit! There is the Museum of Art, which is really neat, especially when they have something like the Carl Bloch paintings come. The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum has all sorts of neat displays – most notably, the animals that have been preserved. Then there is the Dinosaur Museum (which I’m not sure the actual name is), which is small and not really well-known…but still cool to see. It’s not exactly on campus – it’s west of campus on University Avenue. Then there’s the Museum of Peoples and Cultures, which is dear to my heart, because I worked there as the office manager. It just moved to a location off-campus, but it’s definitely one you don’t want to miss (especially their date nights!) All the museums are open to the public and most of them have FHE reservations available, date nights, and other special nights throughout the yea.r
Tunnel Singing – This is something that mostly just freshman attend, but it’s definitely fun. Every Sunday evening, everyone gathers at a tunnel that nearby Heritage Halls to sing church hymns and anyone who got a mission call in the previous week can announce it.
Sporting Events – Sports are pretty big at BYU and people get pretty in to them. Students will camp out outside of the Marriott Center before big basketball games. The football stadium is always packed. Soccer and baseball games are usually pretty full too. Even if you don’t love sports, the games are really fun to go to with your roommates or friends. I got an All-Sports Pass my freshman year, and I was so glad I did! My roommates always went, as well as some of my friends from back home, and it was a blast (even though I don’t really like sports.) It was the only year I felt like I was glad I got the All-Sports Pass, but it was worth doing.
Hiking the Y – This is something I say everyone has to do at least once. Hiking the Y is kind of like a rite of passage at BYU. The hike is kind of hard, but it’s fun to do with your ward or friends. During Homecoming, they have a “Light the Y” event, where tons of people hike it. It’s a good time to go if you want to!
Get Off Campus – Even though I was content with staying on campus most of the time, it was nice to getaway sometimes. There’s a lot to do in the area (and up in Salt Lake, as well).
BYUSA – This is basically the student government organization at BYU. They are in charge of tons of different events around campus
Clubs – There are a crazy amount of clubs at BYU, and for just about every interest you could possibly thing about. There is a club night every Tuesday where you can go and check out all the different clubs. I think clubs are a great way to connect with others who have similar interests to you. And if there’s something you are interested in, and there’s no club that exists, you can start it!)
Y Serve Y Serve is an excellent organization, located in the Wilkinson Center, which is there to help you find service opportunities. Whether you need services hours for a class, or you just are wanting to give back, definitely check this place out. I know they are always looking for those who are willing and able, and they have everything from tutoring, to making care packages for servicemen overseas, to being a science fair judge.
BYU Events Calendar – This is where you’ll find a list of everything that is going on around campus. I always would check this at the beginning of the week to see if there was anything fun or interesting going on.
In the Know Emails – These emails go out once a month and share the most noteworthy and fun events going on around campus. Definitely subscribe!
Websites to Follow – there are a couple of blogs in Provo that you should definitely follow that will share about fun events going on in the area. First off, there is the Mayor John Curtis’s blog – Provo Insider. You’ll soon find out he’s pretty much awesome. Then there is a website a friend of mine runs called Utah Valley Moms. A lot of the events posted are for kids, but she always posts about freebies and fun events for everyone going on in the area! Provo Scene also share events in the area.
Freebies and Deals
Bowling – On the bottom floor of the Wilkinson Center is a bowling alley, and each student is allowed to have one free game there each school year. Oddly enough, I never even used mine. Then on Monday through Friday between 2 and 5 PM, you can get $1 games and $1 shoes. They also have family night specials that you can look into.
Movie Theaters – There are a bunch of different movie theaters in the area, including two places on campus that feature movies. On campus, there are sometimes movies for $1-2 in the Varsity Theater, which is in the Wilkinson Center. Those are announced usually a month or so before they premiere. There is also the the International Cinema, which offers free International films during the semester. Forrest and I went to a few of those movies, and it was always fun!
However, if you are itching to see a movie that’s in the real theaters, there’s a lot of options. We always liked go to the Carmike Theaters, which is at the end of University Avenue. They had a student discount, though I don’t remember what it was. Another popular theater is the Cinemark 8 on University Parkway. Tuesdays the tickets are $1, and on regular days, matinees are $1.50 and non-matinees are $2.25. I believe there is a discount if you show your student ID. Movies here are the ones that have been out for awhile but typically haven’t been released to DVD.
Little Caesar’s – This is not my favorite place to get pizza (especially when there are so many more delicious places) but they have $1 crazy bread with your student ID.
Cougar Creations – This is in the Wilkinson Center, and it’s a place where you can print off tons of different products, have things bound, etc. They seriously have the cheapest printing prices I’ve ever seen anywhere. You can print black & white and color prints at regular printers around campus (which have the same price per print cost), but this is a great place to go for presentations, signs, etc.
Sprouts – Sprouts is a grocery store in Orem that is known for having healthier food. On Thursdays, you can get 20% off your entire grocery bill!
Free Counseling – BYU students are able to have free counseling at the counseling center in the Wilkinson Center. This is a great and private resource available for anyone who may be struggling.
GYM and Pool – BYU students are able to use the BYU Gym, pool, and other exercise facilities (such as tennis and racquetball courts) for free! I loved using the gym (which is located in the Richard’s Building) during my freshman year especially. They have a lot of equipment.
Y Be Fit – If you are looking to get a little healthier, this is an awesome resource. It’s not free, but the cost for what they provide is very reasonable. It’s a fitness and lifestyle coaching program that is run by faculty and staffed trained in fitness and nutrition. For $70, you get 2 Bod Pod Assessments, a blood lipid profile, nutrition analysis, treadmill tests, strength and flexibility tests, and 12 follow-up appointments.
Free computer and tech classes – There are tons of free courses for different computer programs and systems that you can either take in person or online. I had to take a few for a job I had, and they were very well-done and descriptive.
Discounted electronics – The BYU Bookstore was one of my favorite places at BYU. On the top floor is the computer and technology store. You can purchase all sorts of electronics and software here for discounted rates.
Movie Rental – Also in the BYU Computer store, you can rent movies. There is a wide variety of new and old releases, and you can rent them for $1. It’s kind of like RedBox, though it has a bigger variety!
BYU Book Exchange – This was always one of my favorite ways to save money on textbooks. It’s a place where students can go and try and sell their books to each other. I always did my best to try and
Free Internet Security – Current BYU students can download free Internet protection from BYU. You can get more information here (you must have a valid and current BYU net ID and login.)
Computer Rentals – Not sure if you want to buy a laptop or desktop? Or perhaps you are going on a mission in a year and you don’t want to buy a computer, only to have it outdated when you get back. No problem! You can rent a computer! I used this service when my new laptop stopped working, and I had to send it in for repair. It’s $30 a month for a laptop, $20 for an iMac desktop, and $15 for a PC desktop. This is located off campus, but it’s a great resource to have!
Starving Student Card– Forrest and I always got these, and they are well worth the price. They are full of awesome discounts (and TONS of free stuff)
Click here for part four!