Single students attend family home evening, or FHE, with varying levels of dedication, but overall they shared similar sentiments that it’s a good way to get to know people in their ward and temporarily escape college stress.
Ally Pack, a freshman from Idaho majoring in business management, attends the Laie Young Single Adult 10th ward and said, “I feel like since everyone is around the same age, we relate to each other more, so we’re not afraid to share our opinions or views. It's a lot more of a classroom setting in church and I feel like I'll learn a lot more because no one is afraid of judgment. … I feel like it's a good place to safely get to know people.”
Teaghan Strong, a freshman from Wisconsin majoring in music education, does her best not to miss a single YSA FHE. If she misses one, she said it’s because of work. “I go whenever I can. Last semester was really busy and academically stressful, and family home evening was where I found relief from the new-found stressors of college life.”
“When I’m at family home evening, I don’t feel as shy or alone." She added with a chuckle, “And it’s a good way to avoid homework.”
Strong said she likes her YSA ward’s FHE more than her family ward’s FHE back in Wisconsin. “Everybody is my age and I’m not with a bunch of old ladies for Relief Society, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I feel more comfortable because people are going through the same experiences as I am.”
Morgan Mickelsen, a freshman from Texas studying history education, had only attended her YSA FHE three times when she was interviewed and said she already loves it. She stated, “It's just a time for everyone in the ward to come together and get to know each other better.”
Mickelsen advised, “I think that anytime you give up part of your week or day to Heavenly Father, even for something as simple as family home evening, then you are blessed and able to find time to do the things that you could’ve been doing instead.
“There’s a reason the church told us to hold a family home evening. Obviously there are blessings that come along with it. I have had personal experiences where I would reshuffle my schedule so I could spend time at family home evening, and not only was I able to get those things done, but I was blessed and able to feel closer to my Heavenly Father that day.”
“It's also nice to learn about other cultures represented in my ward and trying ‘exotic foods’ with my Wisconsin taste buds," Strong said with a laugh.
When asked if there was anything she didn’t like about attending FHE, Strong said, “No, not that I can think of. Maybe that it starts 20 minutes later, but that's just Hawaii time. College is stressful and life can get hard when you’re on your own, so it's important to have that outlet.”
Pack mentioned she doesn’t go to FHE regularly because of homework, sleep, or being introverted. “My ward has it from 9 or 9:30 p.m. to 11. It isn’t worth it to me to jeopardize my health ... and lose sleep to go. I hate that they’re so late because as a student, I like to be in my room at least at a reasonable hour, especially because it’s Monday night.”
Pack suggested FHE coordinators have the event at an earlier time and offer food because “everybody likes food.”
Mickelson concluded, “Just go. You might not make friends the first time. It's by continuously going that you’re able to feel closer to your ward. It takes effort.”