Blogmas Day 22 | Nineteen Candles

LOFT dress, Kate Spade bag (similar here), Daniel Wellington watch

18 was a huge transitioning year in my life as I graduated from Kamehameha and left everything and everyone I loved to go to Baylor. Because I’ve had to grow up a lot this year, I thought I’d write about 19 lessons I’ve learned this past year.

  1. Step out of your comfort zone. Going to college 3,500 miles away from home without knowing anyone has been one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made, but I love Baylor and I’m so glad I chose to go there!
  2. Always ask for help. I’ve met some of my closest friends at school by asking for directions to class on the first day of school or for help on an English essay.
  3. First impressions aren’t always accurate. I’m taking a cue from Elle Woods on this one because I never thought that the people I would be able to call my best college friends weren’t the first ones I met at school.
  4. Pursue your passions even if they seem impossible. This year, I realized that my love for football is more than just a hobby and that my dream is to coach the sport on a collegiate level. Even though I haven’t played football and women coaches are nonexistent, I believe that one day I’ll be able to coach successfully.
  5. Keep in touch. Leaving my best friends for school was absolutely heartbreaking and I feared that the distance would be too much for us to handle. Fortunately, we’ve all Facetimed/Skyped/called/texted almost every day while we’ve been in school. Staying in touch is a choice and we chose to remain friends despite the thousands of miles between us and the time zones we had to cross.
  6. It’s okay to be homesick. I experienced a lot of sadness and loneliness throughout my first semester in school because I really missed my home, family and friends. Sometimes it seemed like I was overreacting or being a baby about the situation but I quickly learned that everyone experiences bouts of homesickness and it’s perfectly normal.
  7. Stay rooted in your culture. I never truly appreciated my Hawaiian culture until I left home. Going to Kamehameha, having to oli before class everyday, and speaking in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i often felt like a chore, but when “my people” were gone and I was in a foreign land, I began to love being Hawaiian even more.
  8. Continue playing music every day. I was totally against joining band in college but my dad forced me to join because he knew how much I would benefit from it. All of my friends throughout my life have been in band and I made my closest college friends in band as well. Music is one of my passions and playing almost every day has continued to be therapeutic for me.
  9. Call mom every day. Call mom, call dad, call Megan, call everyone. It’s not hard to pick up the phone and ask your family how they’re doing. Face timing and talking to my family every day helped me to get over my homesickness and know that I would see them soon.
  10. Study hard, but have fun. Education is one of the most important parts of life, but it also behooves you to go out and have fun sometimes. Going to the football games and basketball games with my friends has been lots of fun and it makes it easier to go back to my room to study.
  11. Invest as much time in your college friendships as you do with your high school ones. When I got to school, I was looking for the Baylor versions of Kai‘olu, Mikayla, Brandon, Parker, and Mamba, but they don’t exist. You’re not going to find your childhood friends in college and that’s okay! Making new friends is hard, but you have to invest time and love into the friends you make in college just like you would with your high school ones.
  12. Blog even when you don’t have the time for it. Blogging quickly became like a chore as my school work piled up, but I pushed through and made sure to get a post up almost every day. This blog has been like a virtual time capsule of all of my favorite memories and photos and I want my college times to be documented as well.
  13. Say sorry. Sometimes you’ll mess up whether it be on a homework assignment or in a friendship and you have to crush your ego and apologize.
  14. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have. Baylor is one of the best schools in the nation and it’s full of sports events, concerts, recitals, and plays. I’ve tried to make sure to spend some time out of my room and attend the fun events that are on campus.
  15. Write in your journal to capture the memories you would otherwise forget. My life/football journal is one of my most prized possessions because I’ve slowly filled it with special documents, letters, notes, and mementos over the years. I’ve tried to continue writing in college and keep it filled to the brim with fun memories.
  16. Everyone deserves a second chance. Sometimes people make the wrong impression or they screw up. If a friendship is important to you, give the person another chance.
  17. Take care of your mind, body, and soul. I listen to Indie music to soothe my mind, eat fruits and vegetables to care for my body, and study football for my soul. Utilizing my dreams and passions helps me to stay healthy emotionally and physically.
  18. Don’t ever lose your compassion for others. I’ll always have a heart for the homeless and displaced persons in the world and advocating for them has become a big part of who I am. Even though refugees are a controversial topic and I usually have the unpopular opinion, I’ll continue advocating for their safety and wellbeing. My heart for the less fortunate and those trying to have better lives will never go away just because others don’t agree with me.
  19. Appreciate and love your home. I’ve always loved living in Hawai‘i but living in Waco for the past four months has helped me to appreciate my home even more.