Date: December 30, 2017 08:56PM
Aggie checking in here.
The Mormon influence at Utah State University is not as terrible as you might think. There is quite an interesting cultural dynamic there, however. While I'd guess that 60% of the students there are active practicing LDS, I'd put 20% of the student body in the decisively NOT Mormon category. There's probably about another 20% who are Mormon-in-name-only or less active. I basically can't speak to the influence of the 60%; I never spent any time with them. There were times that even forgot that I lived in Utah, because I never overtly felt the LDS presence other than the year I lived on campus.
The 20% NON-Mormon crowd has a pretty strong counter-cultural influence in Logan, which has both benefits and downsides.
Benefits of hanging out with the non-LDS 20% is getting a strong exposure to the typical college party life; plenty of drugs, sex and rock and roll (if you are looking for that kind of exposure).
Unfortunately, you end up seeing the exact same kids at every house party, Greek event, and bar. This creates a relatively tight-knit "community" which is perfect for people with high extroversion who don't mind drama or a tiny, inbred dating pool.
The other drawback includes the endless partying (Could just have been the friends I made, so keep that in mind). While I loved the people I got to know there, it seemed as though all they wanted to do for fun was smoke weed, drink, and occasionally experiment with harder drugs. While I am grateful for my exposure to these things, as the resident health nut, I always felt like the odd woman out when I refrained from partaking every weekend. Oftentimes, I'd suggest more "wholesome" activities like backpacking trips, hotsprings visits, visits to other cities etc., and I found that there was little interest in anything besides altering states of mind. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that there is anything morally wrong with partaking in drugs or alcohol, but binge drinking every weekend is only entertaining for so long.
Additionally, I wouldn't advise a recent young exmo to just jump into an environment where these "vices" run rampant without some sort of balanced context and a grounded worldview.
While I graduated from USU, I had the experience to live in SLC for a while and hang out with kids from the University of Utah. That was a much different experience. While my UofU friends still enjoyed some good bud and brews, they seemed to be more moderate in their participation. Social events didn't always revolve around the use of some sort of mind-altering substance, rather events revolved around a concert or a brunch meet-up. Additionally, the non-LDS UofU students seemed to be more goal-oriented and driven than the non-LDS USU students. There was a strong intellectual atmosphere lacking at USU, likely due to the higher academic acceptance standards at UofU. Overall, I believe that the people I met from the UofU rubbed off positively on me.
That being said, there is a much smaller sense of community in the university district up by UofU. It was more difficult to make friends- likely because the percentage of kids living in SLC under 22 years old is smaller. I admit to being mildly lonely while living in SLC; you might have a different experience.
Long story short; if you prefer to spend your time with more "intellectual" people your own age or older and want a more valued degree, your best bet is the UofU. You will just have to work harder to have a social life. If you want cheaper tuition with a decent education, can tune out the TBMness found in the 60%, don't mind having friends that spend all weekend partying, and want the typical college exposure to various drugs, USU is your school.
Edit: If you're going into Finance I'd go with Utah State-- the Huntsman business school is pretty good.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/2017 09:08PM by iwenttothewoods.