It was in Junior year that I decided I would attend the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, for college.

I knew that geographically I wanted to go somewhere that had mountains and a beach with no severe weather. Most west coast colleges were expensive, as any out of state college would require dorming. Many of the valuable merit scholarships offered were out of my reach so I never really considered leaving Hawaii.

I never worried about my application as UH is a “safe” option. I think that since it’s the only public university in the state, its standards are easier to meet than most out of state schools. Here at HBA, I’d assume that most if not all HBA students will get accepted if they apply to UH. But considering UH’s affordable tuition and my disregard for the “underachiever” stigma attached to the public university, UH seems like the best choice for me.

I am kind of excited as UH isn’t super competitive so I’ll have more free time to enjoy this island, as I have come to appreciate the landscapes and sunsets this island has to offer. In addition to having more free time, a somewhat relaxed atmosphere will allow for more sleep and social activities, which is probably good for my health.

However, I do have some apprehension about my choice given the school’s size. It’s a very large school with more than 20,000 students, and that will be a major shift for me as I will not get to know a lot of my peers, and I don’t want to feel detached from the student body the whole time.

…a somewhat relaxed atmosphere will allow for more sleep and social activities, which is probably good for my health.

Another concern stems from the administrative errors they’ve made in regard to my application. My acceptance letter from UH Manoa had me enrolled in the wrong major—Engineering instead of Political Science. After I emailed their admissions staff, I was sent a revised hard copy letter, but I still received open house information from the College of Engineering and nothing from the College of Social Sciences.

Currently I plan to major in political science as a precursor to law. I know that UH has a pre-law program but I think sticking with a major offers an alternative to law should I not get accepted into graduate school, or if decide against it later on. I’d imagine that if I do not attend grad school I would use my political science degree to teach government.

My goal during college is to do well but also use my time to have fun. I’ll be able to get my license this September so I plan to explore the island and shoot more pictures when I do. I’d also like to find time to exercise, expand on my carpentry hobby by purchasing some tools and investing more time into it, and I’d like to find a church to attend. Overall I’d say college will give me the opportunity to expand on my hobbies and find out more about myself. I’ll be able to develop skills that may or may not prove useful or practical in the future but will at least help me find things that I can continue to enjoy doing for the rest of my life. As for plans after college, I have no solid plans but I’d hope to live and work in Hawaii if it’s financially feasible.