PBS Hawai‘i Town Hall: College on Island or Abroad?

Airing on Thursday, May 25, 2023, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” will discuss a big decision for high school seniors—where to attend college.


Mental health graphic with the silhouettes of kids holding up text boxes that say "work," "expectations," "college," etc.

Photo: Courtesy of PBS Hawai‘i


PBS Hawai‘i’s town hall series Kākou is tackling the inevitable conversation all families of high school seniors face: the decision to stay home or to study abroad. This episode was born out of the preconception that Hawai‘i consistently loses its brightest young people to a mainland college education.


There are many reasons why a student might take the leap: a desire for new scenery and experiences, military recruitment, higher-paying jobs and the rising cost of living in Hawai‘i are just a few. Believing their life goals are not attainable at home, some students choose to settle in their new surroundings, never to return.


Then there is the option of forgoing college altogether to join the workforce and earn money right away. Is it better to go to college in the hope that it will lead to a higher-paying job or dive straight into the workforce?


SEE ALSO: 2023 Hawai‘i College Guide


The decision to stay or go is a big one, and today’s youth are being asked to make it in the middle of an ongoing mental health crisis among their generation. The stress and anxiety they may already experience due to bullying, isolation, poverty and the pressures of social media are compounded by this life-changing decision—one local families need to explore and discuss together.


Kākou: Hawai‘i’s Town Hall – “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
Live from the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Multimedia Studio, Thursday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m.
Broadcast and streaming on the PBS Hawai‘i Facebook and YouTube



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