Edit ModuleShow Tags

2018 Hawai‘i College Guide

(Sponsored) Application to Acceptance: How to find the right college, the money to pay for it, and sushi rice on the Mainland. Plus, tips from local students on everything from campus visits to going Greek.


(page 5 of 17)

Surviving College

You’ve been accepted—now what?

By Ashley Mizuo


HPU college guide

Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i Pacific University


Surviving Dorm Life: Hawai‘i Edition

  • Bring your favorite Hawai‘i snacks—think li hing mui, kaki mochi, hurricane popcorn, furikake—that will be hard, if not impossible, to find on the Mainland.

  • Buy winter clothes on the Mainland. The sweaters and jackets sold here are usually expensive and not thick enough. The best time to buy winter clothes is during the spring—that’s when it all goes on sale—and take advantage of the college-student discounts at stores such as Madewell, J.Crew and Top Shop.

  • Buy your bedding when you arrive at your destination, or use Bed, Bath & Beyond’s Pack and Hold program: You pay for everything at your local store and pick it up at a Bed, Bath & Beyond near your school at no extra cost.

  • Buy your microwave and rent your refrigerator—chances are, after your first or second year, you’ll move off campus and use a regular-size fridge anyway.

  • Skip the large bottle of detergent and buy the bag of pods instead. You’ll thank yourself when you’re carrying your clothes to a laundry room. Also, if you don’t already do your laundry, make sure you learn how a washing machine works before you get to college. No one wants to be that kid in the laundry room.

  • Be sure to check what types of appliances are allowed in the dorms. If you can, bring a rice cooker—Costco on the Mainland still sells medium-grain rice for making musubi.


Going Greek?

The Good:

  • Joining a sorority or a fraternity is a quick way to make friends and find a sense of community at your school. Greek life offers many unique social opportunities, such as mixers and formal dances.

  • Upper classmen will often save their notes from old classes for the underclassmen to use, which means there will almost always be someone to help you study.

  • Networking is a big part of Greek life. It is common for members to recommend their fellow brothers or sisters for internships and jobs.

  • From fundraising to volunteering, there will be many unique opportunities to help in the community through a sorority or a fraternity.


The Bad:

  • Being in a sorority or fraternity carries a pretty big financial burden—especially if it requires you to live in a house. There are semester dues that can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the school.

  • Greek life is a big time commitment. There are weekly chapter meetings that can last hours, and other obligations such as team-building retreats that can last overnight.

  • Being in a sorority or a fraternity carries stigma. If you’re getting hazed, that’s not OK—drop out and report the organization to the school immediately.


College guide library

Photo: Bigstock


Making Money

  • To secure an on-campus job, most colleges will require you to qualify for federal work-study, so filling out the FAFSA is extremely important.

  • Most schools have an employment portal to find on-campus jobs—use it and apply early. Once school starts, most of the jobs will be taken.

  • Front-desk jobs at the library or dorm halls are helpful because managers will almost always let you study during your shift as long as you don’t let it interfere with your tasks. Study and make money? Score.


Mainland College Resources in Hawai‘i

  • Pacific University in Oregon has a Honolulu office—located at 677 Ala Moana Blvd.—catering specifically to Hawai‘i students and their families.

  • Oregon State University has an admissions adviser living full-time in Hawai‘i. He can be reached by email at matthew.ogawa@oregonstate.edu.

  • Mainland college recruiters will often come to Hawai‘i to talk to some high schools. If you are interested in a college and you’re unsure if representatives will be coming to your school, get in touch with the university over the summer to see when and if someone from the admissions office is coming to Hawai‘i. If they are, reach out and try to schedule a meeting.


Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags