Another list. Another post about EFY.
You have got to be kidding me.
Hey! I've been blogging more though! That's good, right?
Seriously, though. I've been thinking about this one for a while. There are some people that I talk to that go to EFY and have great times! They meet new friends, are able to feel the spirit, and can't shut up about EFY when it gets to be the most wonderful time of the year again. (That's me!) And then there are others who just find it to be a little lacking ...
I honestly don't know what makes the difference. There are a ton of factors that play into a successful EFY -- the counselors, your group, the teacher -- but you have no control over those. It is much better to focus on what you can change.
1. Be friendly with everyone. This is the best advice I have ever been given. If you are kind and considerate of everyone, people will notice (I think). And it's a great way to make you feel nice and fuzzy, which is a super big BONUS. Keep smiling through it all. Soon enough, you'll know the entire session and will be spending your free time with the session director swapping conversion stories.
2. Try to avoid having a COW. So easy to say ... so hard to do. I've only avoided having a COW twice, but don't let my track record fool you. It takes a TON of pressure off of yourself. COW's add drama to a sleep-deprived, emotionally charged week that is often the straw that breaks the camel's back. Believe me on this. If you can't avoid having a crush on super-righteous/cute person of the opposite gender, don't let that stop you from socializing with others from the session. The field is white, my friends.
3. Sacrifice your free time -- to be in the Musical Program! There was one dark year that I didn't participate in the MP ... for the first three days. Luckily, I had already been to EFY that year and I knew the songs, so the extra practice lost was not entirely needed. The Musical Program is honestly one of the best things about EFY. Something about sharing music with others helps the spirit to really hit you. Several times a day. I know the lush campus grounds are calling your name (or is that the Frisbee?) but giving up free time is so worth it. Plus, you get to skip in the lunch line. I think that's pretty cool.
4. Participate with a good attitude. When I went to EFY in Provo, this was a big deal for me. There were some things that I thought were silly, but I always made a point to be bouncy and bright so that others would know that I was having a good time. It honestly made a huge difference in my experience that year. I could tell that those who didn't have this same attitude were having a pretty terrible time. If you don't let anything dampen your spirits, than the whole week will be filled with love and happiness, which should always be a goal.
On that same note, the best way to ruin an EFY is to not participate at all. Leave your manual in the dorm, don't open your scriptures, don't take notes ... When you participate, that is when you get an awesome testimony. I'm the product of that. (I think I sound like an infomercial testimonial now! Please forgive me!)
5. Bear your testimony on Thursday, or whenever you have the opportunity. As a girl, I think it is pretty stinkin' cute when a guy has the courage to admit his feelings. Especially his righteous feelings. Even if you feel you are not the best looking or most charismatic, the spirit changes every aspect of your being. I think that's a quote from a General Authority ... but it's sooo true. Just look at missionaries! When I went to BYU-I, there was a guy there that my dad and I were talking to that said he was having trouble finding dates. This puzzled him because when he was on his mission, he couldn't get RID of the girls. Trust me, the spirit works wonders. Be sincere. I'm sure guys appreciate righteous women as well.
6. Don't worry too much about your appearance and manner. Once again, easier said than done. I am pretty chill when it comes to packing for EFY. Just the simple mani/pedi, eyebrow treatment, full-blown packing list, and practicing conversations in the mirror. I wish I still had the funds to do that after EFY/school shopping. There is actually a ton of unseen pressure (I think) to look stunning and be the funniest/wittiest/nicest person at EFY. It's like the Single's Ward for teens. Brutal. But once you realize that you will probably only see these kids when you are stalking them on Facebook, the pressure is totally off. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to look nice and neat, but we should always try to avoid the extremes. Like waking up at 2:30 and starting your pre-pre facial treatment.
7. Expect to have a good time ... and you will!