For those of you who aren't familiar with Brigham Young University (BYU), we have a large collegiate symbol (I believe it's 380 feet high and 130 feet wide), a concrete 'Y' on the side of "Y Mountain" on the Wasatch mountain range. Creative, eh? The trail to the Y is one of most hiked trails in Utah Valley and there is a great view at the top. There are several traditions with the Y, such as lighting it during homecoming week, or 'kissing the Y' when you hike to the top of it. I've hiked the Y three times myself. Once was during Homecoming Week to light it, once with a friend and once by myself. The Y is kind of important to us.
Marie Clarke, a 19-year-old sophomore from Sandy, majoring in marketing has hiked the Y four times. She said it’s a family tradition and a fun activity her family has to spend time with each other.
“The trail isn’t that pretty, it’s hard work, but it’s so rewarding at the top,” Clarke said.
Clarke said that when she looks at the Y it’s not just school pride she feels, it’s an ownership of the Y and everyone and everything it stands for.
Sara Fisher, 21, a sophomore from Spokane, Wash., and a biology major cannot count the number of times she’s sat atop the Y. She said she loves hiking the Y and the feelings of solitude and peace she gets.
“It’s a good place to go to read the scriptures and marvel at God’s creations,” Fisher said.
She says it’s very self-satisfying, to sweat up the hill and to make it to the top knowing it would have been easier to simply turn back. To her, the Y means achieving goals and self-determination.
BYU freshman Cree Farnes, an 18-year-old from San Diego, Calif., majoring in civil engineering uses the Y trail as a good workout and says getting to the top feels great, like he can do anything in this life.
He says the Y represents BYU, but also a little more. “It’s like a beacon on the mountain, I always know where I am when I can see it, I can never get lost.”
After catching her breath and turning away from the breathtaking view one has at the Y’s summit, Newby stands up to head back down to the base. “You know what this Y means? It means only you can make yourself strong...the regular hikers they motivate you and they help you, but it’s on you.”