standards set you free

Alex and I went to Crimson Nights at the University of Utah Friday night.

Needless to say, it wasn't a BYU sponsored party. Not that I was expecting anything like that, but I hope you get where I'm coming from.

Students who attend the U were able to get in free, and with a student ID, students from other colleges got in for $5. The person running the booth took one look at my BYU ID and snickered, get ready to have the time of your life, with a sick grin on his face. I shrugged it off and met Alex inside the doors. Once we were together, two girls came up to us and with chipper voices asked, do you guys want some free condoms? they're from the wellness committee. I kind of stared at them and then to Alex, and we shook our heads and kept walking. I think I had to pick my jaw up from the floor. At that point, I was starting to get the feeling that this party would be like nothing I had ever experienced.

Attending high school in Utah County didn't bring much diversity into my life. For the most part, everyone had the same view on modesty, life, and more specifically, religion. The school had strict rules regarding dress and grooming and conduct at the school. Being around people that upheld the same standards as myself made me feel relaxed and safe; knowing that my friends wouldn't participate in activities such as drinking, smoking, swearing, and immoral behavior, and trusting that they would dress in a way that showed respect to their bodies was a comfort in my life.

As I got ready to attend BYU, I started to see such standards concerning language and dress and additional things included in the Honor Code at BYU as stupid and kind of useless (don't kill me). I thought knee length shorts and shirts with sleeves were excessively modest. In all honestly, I thought that going to BYU and adhering to the honor code was going to be restrictive, obnoxious, and ridiculously hard, even though I had previously had such a great experience with high standards.

We walked around the inside portion of the party and headed out onto the terrace. There wasn't a crazy amount of people there because the party had only started 45 minutes earlier, but we could already tell that the individuals at the party had a different set of standards than ourselves. The girls were wearing very skimpy articles of clothing that wouldn't have passed as a sufficient amount of fabric for little girls. They were all laughing really loudly and talking to cute guys who were obviously very interested in these women. I wondered why all the slutty girls got all the attention from the cute guys, and then I realized that I didn't want attention from these guys if that's all they cared about. We got offered condoms again.

Inside, the dance/rave was going on strong. As expected, there was a huge mosh pit pressing up against the fence at the front, but to my surprise, there was a lot of grinding and dirty dancing all over the board. We kind of stood in the middle of the floor with people all around us dancing and moving to the beat of the music and felt extremely awkward. It was too bad because the DJ was pretty good, and I couldn't enjoy it because the atmosphere was so degrading.

After listening to the music for a while and being the only ones not dancing, we headed back outside. The first individuals we see are all smoking. Looking out over the grounds, people were just swarming around all the booths and activities going on.

In the large crowd of people two guys started talking to us. It came up that I was attending BYU (because I said that I don't drink) and one of the guys laughed in my face. He called to his friend and pointed to me saying, she's going to BYU!, with a jeering tone in his voice. His friend taunted back, that's bullsh!t. We were stuck next to them until Alex pushed me out of the crowd. I was getting a little heated because I really don't appreciate it when people attacked me, but I'm glad that Alex didn't let me stay in that situation for long.

But you know what? I was proud to say that I was going to BYU. Because going to BYU entails that you keep a specific set of standards for yourself, and people know that. The party as a whole was a complete eye opener to life outside of the bubble of Utah County. This was a stone hard smack in the face with the reasons you need an honor code. Dressing modestly shows that you respect your body and don't feel the need to show it to everyone you come in contact with. Choosing to abstain from participating in drug and alcohol use shows that you understand the consequences of these things to your body. Keeping yourself morally clean until marriage shows that you respect yourself and know how precious a gift your virtue is (even if it sounds nerdy that way). And using clean, appropriate language shows how vast your vocabulary can be without being crude.

Essentially, after this party I felt sorry for all those who had to go to feel cmplete. And don't get me wrong, I don't feel above them at all. The whole party was a mess of stupid behavior that really wasn't fun at all. And I believe that people were just acting like they were having fun in order to fill a void. I wish they knew that you can have fun without the help of such worldly things.

Here's a list of some of the fun things I love to do without the help of drugs, alcohol, swearing, immoral behavior, and that can be done while being dressed modestly. So pretty much fun things you can do that are in line with the honor code. What a coincidence!
1. Hiking hiking hiking
2. Go to Comedy Sportz, a Divine Comedy show, or see a screening of Studio C
3. Host a random party to celebrate something. Oh, it's national vanilla ice cream day? Throw an ice cream sundae party!
4. Bake cookies and take them to people
5. Golfing, bowling, classic skating,
6. Free concerts (like the one this friday with Kaskade)
7. Camping: in a tent, hammock, or under the stars
8. Have a huge bonfire
9. Swing dancing in Salt Lake City
10. Set up a huge game of capture the flag

See how happy you can be with standards?

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