Here are a few points each of our panelists discussed:
Immediately after graduating high school, Lance approached UHM with wide eyes for the freedom college would bring. This freedom can be a positive part of college life, but requires self control. As the valedictorian of his graduating class, Lance and his family were surprised when the transcripts from freshman year showed unsatisfactory grades. One contributing factor to Lance’s struggle with school was taking on a full-time off-campus job. In order to get back on track, Lance quit his full-time job and pursued on-campus work opportunities and organizations. On-campus jobs know the commitment required to be a student and work with students to prioritize academics while still maintaining a job. As a member of Gear Up HUI and Kappa Sigma Fraternity, as well as, working on campus as a Resident Assistant, Lance has been able to seize the many opportunities within his reach while sustaining his academic path.
Alyssa academic journey began with a scholarship to Creighton University, however, staying close to family was ultimately more important. Similar to Lance, Alyssa was excited at the possibilities of college and chose to live on campus throughout her academic career. Alyssa is also part of the the Gear Up HUI program and transitioned to the Program Coordinator in 2016. As a way to branch out, Alyssa joined the Phi Mu sorority. This presented many social opportunities that Alyssa believe contributed to her overall happiness at UHM. Though college can be a place of freedom, ask yourself, “what are you really here for?” Remember that academics come first and attending class is the key to being successful in college. In addition to punctuality, Alyssa, takes time to introduce herself to her professors. Professors can help students along their academic path and present opportunities for the professional sector.
For Tate, the college journey began in the UH community college system. Because he had always been considered a ‘good student’ in high school, Tate felt he did not need to put in effort to his courses and used his free time to befriend the wrong crowd. When Tate made the transition to UHM, he began to realize how crucial time spent in University can be. These are the years when students can discover their passions and making the most of your time and connections can help students develop the best version of themselves. At UHM, Tate joined a couple RIOs at Shidler College of Business. He found a foundation to catalyze his efforts to achieve greater in the Delta Sigma Pi fraternity and continues to be an active member for Business Executive Society of Tomorrow. Tate encourages students to believe in their abilities to achieve higher.
At the start of his college career, Chad, would commute from Makaha to UHM daily and found himself exhausted. He decided that taking a year off from school to work and save money would be the best option for him. Chad was driven by his aim to uplift his community and set an example for his younger siblings by being the first in his family to graduate college. By setting aside time to become financially stable enough to live closer to campus, Chad set himself up for success to pursue his degree more comfortably. By sharing his story, Chad feels that he can help other students realize that college may not always be a cookie cutter, four-year path. He encourages students to learn from others and begin networking with peers, mentors, and professors so that the transition into the professional sector is more successful.