A Walk across Campus
October 1975

“A Walk across Campus,” Ensign, Oct. 1975, 10

BYU Centennial

A Walk across Campus

“I’ve always heard how important it is to ‘get an education.’ So here I am with thousands of others, ‘getting’ one. But getting what? It’s like ‘going on a mission’ or ‘getting married’—not an event, but an experience. These college years flow past with their rapids and eddies, but my memory, quite arbitrarily and sometimes unreasonably, decides that certain things are landmarks. You know. Remember the way raindrops sound when you’re all alone under an umbrella? Or how you become totally one with thousands of others during that unbelievable screaming end-run? New students won’t remember the library without a south wing, but this year’s geometry will be part of me forever.”

“The things I can’t quite remember are important too. To remember every single time I got up for my 4 A.M. grounds crew job? I’d slit my wrists. Every single time I opened a book? No thanks! But they were good for me, simply because they did happen every day, every week, every month. I’m glad going to class wasn’t such a rare event that each occasion sticks out in my mind, or home teaching either, or just talking. Habit has a lot to do with happiness too.”

“It’s funny how college teaches you what your family knew all along: some of the best things in the world can only happen together. And there are so many ways of being together: that contest somewhere between laughter and fury over the ball, facing into another contest knowing that your team is right there, that incredible kind of sharing where there’s no contest at all—only the joyous freedom of being truly together, of making a life that will never be the same again.”

“We talk about graduation a lot, as though it’s the goal of education. I suppose we need some event to say, “Hey, I made it!” But when do you ever stop matching your brains against a problem? Or chewing through an idea together? Eternal progression—I don’t quite know what the phrase means since I’m still very mortal—but I think it has a lot to do with eternal education. And I like the idea.”

Photography by Doug Martin