Thursday, April 24, 2014

A BYU Experience as Told By William Shakespeare

If you weren't aware, yesterday was William Shakespeare's 450th Birthday! (Happy Birthday, Billy! . . . are we on nickname terms yet? If not, I just went there.)

It also happens to be BYU's convocation. I'm not graduating this year (although I did just finish finals--hallelujah!), but I do have many close, good friends who are graduating.

So, in honor of the BYU Class of 2014 and the bard himself (and for the enjoyment of everyone else . . . or at least to satisfy my nerdiness), here is my take on BYU life as told by William Shakespeare a la Buzzfeed.

Because whether your story is a comedy, tragedy, romance, or part of a four-part history, Shakespeare--like university--is filled with interesting characters, universal themes, and life lessons. (I just really hope that your BYU experience was nothing like Titus Andronicus.)

You start BYU as an incoming freshman with high hopes and expectations
                                            "What is past is prologue." --The Tempest

Everything on campus is new and exciting.
                              "O, brave new world that has such people in't!" --The Tempest 

Sure, the dorms are a bit small, 
 "He's too big to go in there. What shall I do?" -- Merry Wives of Windsor 

Your roommate is passive-aggressive (or maybe you're the passive-aggressive one),

                              "Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile." -- Richard III

And you learn that you really don't know how to cook,
"'Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers." -- Romeo and Juliet 

But you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to take on the world . . . or at least pass Chem 105.
              "Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot unlikely wonders." -- Richard II

The grind of the semester begins, but you're grateful for the opportunity to receive an education.
"Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven." -- Henry VI, Part 2 

You make friends,
"Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find." -- The Passionate Pilgrim 

Some enemies,
"If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?" -- The Merchant of Venice

And a lot of people that are neither this-nor-that.
"You speak an infinite deal of nothing." -- The Merchant of Venice. 

But you find that there are some people that will stand with you and always be there for you, thick or thin, freshman or senior.
"I count myself in nothing else so happy 
As in a soul remembering my good friends." -- Richard II 

Mid-terms hit and you find yourself begging for mercy.
    "The quality of mercy is not strained." -- The Merchant of Venice

Still, you manage to have fun with your roommates and even manage to put your flirting skills to good use (I mean, after all, we are the hottest and smartest college campus in the USA).
And even if your first BYU date isn't quite like the masquerade scene from Romeo and Juliet . . .
"O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!" -- Romeo and Juliet 

hey, there are worse things.

Like teenage suicide. (Romeo and Juliet) 

Or having your eyes gouged out. (King Lear)

Or losing your kingdom for a horse. (Richard III)

In any case, the boys still have to go on their missions,
"We band of brothers" -- Henry V 

And you have finals to worry about . . . which really means that you have procrastination to do.
"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me." -- Richard II

Not to mention, you have to survive your first Provo winter, aka "the winter of our discontent" -- Richard III 

As you progress through your university years, life will throw you a lot of curve balls and you'll have to learn to handle life with grace.

You'll have to decide what to major in. 
"To be, or not to be: that is the question." -- Hamlet 

Then you'll have to decide what you're going to do with that major.

You have to learn to have to have the courage to try.
"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." -- Measure for Measure 

Some girls will decide to go on missions. But what used to be
"We few, we happy few"-- Henry V  

will turn into the thing to do.

You'll learn life lessons at BYU.

You'll learn about forgiveness.
"I as free forgive you
As I would be forgiven: I forgive all." -- Henry VIII

And about how you knew absolutely nothing freshman year.
"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool." -- As You Like It

"What fools these mortals be!" -- Midsummer Night's Dream 

You'll learn about trusting yourself.
"To thine own self be true." -- Hamlet 

And trusting others.
"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." -- All's Well That Ends Well 

And you'll fall in and out of love multiple times,
"Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps." -- Much Ado About Nothing

Which means you'll experience the joys and frustrations of falling in and out of love multiple times.

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; 
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind." -- Midsummer Night's Dream 

Because whether it's puppy love,
"No sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason." -- As You Like It

Or unrequited love;
"We should be woo'd and were not made to woo!" -- A Midsummer Night's Dream 

Whether you're tired of your bishop, home teachers, and long-lost third cousins telling you that you need to get married,
"Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife!" -- Much Ado About Nothing 

Or whether you vow that you never will marry, like Kate from Taming of the Shrew,

One thing's for sure: "The course of true love never did run smooth." -- Midsummer Night's Dream

And that's all too evident in Provo, Utah.

All too soon (or not soon enough, depending on your perspective), it's your last semester at BYU.

You take your final classes and final tests,
"But this rough magic
I here abjure [. . .]
I'll break my staff, 
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, 
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I'll drown my book." -- The Tempest 

And head to the Marriott Center to graduate and move on to the next chapter of your life,
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts."-- As You Like It 

All the while knowing that you will be forever changed by the experiences, challenges, and people you met while an undergraduate at Brigham Young University.
"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves." -- Julius Caesar 

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