Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about school. I miss it. I’m actually thinking about grad school now (even if I have no idea what school, what program, what degree I want to go for). I think this is swimming it’s way up to the surface because I am itching to learn. I miss school.
Undergrad for me was fantastic. Let’s start from my senior year of high school. I applied and was accepted to three schools in Oregon: University of Oregon, Oregon State, and Portland State University. I wanted so badly to attend a college on the continental U.S. It became too expensive and my plan had not been thought completely through, which meant I needed to attend Hawai’i Community College. It was too late in the year to apply to University of Hawai’i at Hilo, so HawCC was my last and only choice.
Boy, was that the best decision ever. Staying home meant saving money (I had scholarships and grants to cover my entire 2 and a half years at HawCC). It also meant I had time to figure out my major. HawCC taught me a lot about life in higher education. I learned a lot about my community and a lot about Hawai’i, which only peaked my interest even more. My 2.5 years in community college led me into English.
I loved to read and write (more reading than anything), so how could I not just choose English? It was time to transfer to UH Hilo, but I still had no idea what I was doing, so English seemed like the most logical choice. I transferred in the middle of the year (spring semester) and took a couple of required courses for UH Hilo and my first English course. Intensive Writing Multicultural Literature. It was amazing and I knew from that first day, that English was gonna be my major.
I made so many amazing friends. Our department was small, small enough where all English majors (and minors) knew each other. It was easy to grow close, easy to study with each other, and easy to learn together. As long as we helped each other, it was doable and we all passed each class (yay us!). It took me 2 and a half more years to graduate with my B.A. in English. Along the way, I became interested in anthropology (specifically Pacific Island studies, I didn’t know there was a certificate for this! I would have took more classes to obtain that) and decided that it would be my minor to fulfill the 120 credits needed to graduate. In my senior year of undergrad, I also picked up another minor, Gender & Women’s Studies (GWS), because most the of courses I took for English and Anthropology could be counted towards GWS.
My most memorable year was senior year. I worked as a General Editor for Hohonu, UH Hilo’s student-run academic journal (my paper was also published in this). I learned so much during this year and I grew even fonder of my English major classmates. I also wrote and was published in our literary magazine as well, called Kanilehua, several times. I attended launch parties, dinners, Relay for Life, and made new friends within our Campus community. It was, by far, the most exciting year for me. I even went to Rome for the International Journal of Arts and Science (IJAS) to share and present a paper that my dear friends and I wrote. This paper was published internationally as well.
I found lifelong friends in college. I truly believe and have summed up that the friends you meet in college are the ones that will last forever. Not only do we all share a love for something we have in common (mostly literature), but as young adults, we had grown and matured together. I believe that people change, but I also believe that after a certain time, especially as adults, people cannot change completely. The friends I made in college have such hearts of gold and genuinely care for the community, our people, our future, and each other that I think we will be friends for the rest of our lives.
I am so grateful for all the memories and opportunities I was given to have went through my undergraduate career with such wonderful friends, teachers, and support along the way. I look forward to figuring out what my next step for higher education is. College is not for everyone, but it is definitely for me.
Happy Curl, Happy Girl
Curly Island Girl