Southern Utah University is in Utah. You probably already knew this. Utah is full of Mormons AKA members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You probably knew that too. Of course not everyone in Utah, at SUU, or associated with Tbirdnation is LDS or religious, but many are. (SUU has a very active LDS Institute program and lots of great singles’ wards to attend!) In October of last year, the LDS church announced that those desiring to serve as full-time missionaries for the church could now do so at a younger ages. Men may now leave as early as age 18 (previously age 19) and women can go at age 19 or after (previously 21).
For lots of Tbirdnation fans, the change in missionary ages means nothing. That’s fine. However, this announcement in October has changed a lot of things for a lot of people at SUU. Many of those who were considering college are now considering FIRST a mission and THEN college. Or for some, that fast-track to graduation will be interrupted by a couple years for the mission-thing. This means less students at SUU for a little while (a couple years or s0) until the missionaries/returned missionary situation evens itself out. This could be good or bad depending on how you view change and which side of the table you’re sitting on. Regardless of how you feel about it, there are some very excited “Future Missionaries” roaming SUU’s campus.
Over Christmas Break I was able to send of my dear friend Ashleigh (pictured above in the middle) on a mission to Sacramento California. She and I have known each other for almost five years. She left behind a place in SUU’s prestigious nursing program to answer another call. Another cute friend from SUU, Samantha (pictured above on the left), is headed to Houston Texas. Heather (above on the right) is a super cute girl I worked with her at SUU; she has her mission call to Nicaragua (?). These cute girls are putting their SUU-education on hold in favor of other learning experiences. I’m fully supportive!
The nice thing is that SUU will still be here when they get back. Tbirdnation isn’t going anywhere while they head off into the great unknown. If you are considering coming to Southern Utah University but you’re trying to figure out how to balance it with an LDS mission, have no fear. Many departments and programs on campus are willing to work with you, especially since the new age-change is affecting so many students. Lots of people are figuring out how to fit missions and education and “real life” in with all the other adventures of young adulthood.
I speak from experience when I say missions and school are both great. I’ve done the mission thing (see that awesome picture above?) and I’m doing the school thing. I’ll never have regrets about either. So rock your mission, rock the SUU experience, and don’t worry about how it’ll all work out. It just will.