The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: A Freshman’s Guide to College

Keep the aloha spirit alive when heading to the Mainland for school.

Medically reviewed in December 2020

When Pearl Abuy graduated from Waipahu High School, she couldn’t wait to start college in Los Angeles. Being on her own gave her a new sense of independence. But after a few months, homesickness started to kick in. “I realized how much I need my parents,” says Abuy.

More than just missing her mom’s cooking and eating white rice, Abuy had to adjust to college life in a new place with new people. To ease the homesickness, she used FaceTime to talk to her family during their usual family dinners on Saturday. “Being away brought us even closer together,” she says.

Abuy has these tips for college freshmen living away from home:

  • Have a sense of adventure. Make the most of being in a new state. Explore and get to know your community.
  • Make friends. You’ll learn about each other’s unique cultures. Abuy taught her dorm friends how to speak pidgin.
  • Find a mentor. Have someone you can rely on for advice and guidance, such as a coach or counselor.

Are you a college student and missing home? Just remember that this is an opportunity to see new places, meet new people, and gain new experiences to last you a lifetime. And when you graduate, you can always come back home.

In the meantime, here are five ways to create an island home away from home: 

  1. It’s in the mail. Ask your family and friends to send you care packages. (See below)
  2. Stay tuned. Listen to Hawaiian music. Braddah Iz will have you thinking about white, sandy beaches and rainbows even on cold winter days.
  3. Join a Hawaiian club. Many colleges organize luaus and other Hawaii-themed activities.
  4. Flag it. Hang the Hawaiian flag in your dorm room as a reminder of home.
  5. Show face. Connect with family and friends back home with Facebook and FaceTime.

Sharing is caring
Here are some local favorites to fill a care package to send to college students on the Mainland:

  • Haupia mix
  • Local granola
  • Hawaii-made snacks like li hing mango or arare
  • Tropical tea
  • Instant miso soup

This content originally appeared on Island Scene.

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