Meeting someone at college for the first time the question of, “where are you from?” often comes up. Most of the time the response to a out-of-state person is “Oh cool” or if they’re from far enough away, “How did you decide on this school?” While my set of questions starts off the same way it usually changes very quickly. The moment that question comes up I sigh because I know whats going to happen next. As I take a deep breadth and the words come out of my mouth I see their faces suddenly get excited and drop to an almost disgusted look. Question number one then comes out, “why’d you come here?” I then have to explain that yes Hawaii is great but I was ready for a change. “But why would you want anything different?!?!” Oh where to start… I feel like everyone has this wonderful picture in their heads of a beach with coconut trees, a hammock, and surf boards lined up because that’s what everyone spends their lives doing. Sitting on the beach while waiting for the next good swell. Who knows?! That could very well be a reality for some people. Heck! My dad used to spend his afternoons surfing after school. Sadly that is not my reality.. I live at least 45 minutes from the beach, I live in the mountains surrounded by green pastures, horses, cows, and chickens. When I was young I maybe went to the beach once a month. And no. I don’t surf. That’s always the second question and my response (much to their disappointment) “yes, I know how to surf but I’m not at all good.” Since Hawaii is such a big vacation destination I think people expect my life to be a never ending vacation. Trust me… I wish it was. But it’s just like life anywhere else. I have to work and go to school. “But you live in Hawaii!!!” Yes… I do realize that…. I know I’m lucky and I know it’s beautiful but there are also negative sides of it. For example.. you’re stuck on an Island!!!! I don’t have the freedom to just drive to another state! I don’t have the freedom to even go to another island without paying a couple hundred dollars! That’s another thing, Hawaii is expensive and you have to drive everywhere. “You live on an island can’t you walk?” Ha! That’s a funny joke. Definitely not on my Island. Just for you to get an idea..
Distance to School: About a 15 minute drive
Closest Starbucks: 30 minutes
Only Costco on the Island : 1 hr and 15 minutes
Movie theater (If you want to see it right when it comes out): 45 minutes or 1 hr and 20 minutes
Average gas price when I was in high school $4.30 a gallon
So yeah… It’s expensive.. This isn’t to say it’s all bad. I do love Hawaii and it will always be home. But I was very ready for a change when it was time to go to college. I wanted to experience all the seasons. I mean, we have seasons in Hawaii too… there’s two of them.. dry season and rainy season. I have experienced 2 straight months of rain. None stop. And I had to walk outside in between classes when I was in high school. So that was always fun. Needless to say, I understand that people think I’m crazy for coming to the cold country for school. But everyone needs a change, and I was definitely ready for mine.