You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home

If you asked me what I missed about home I would be able to give you a really long list (see bottom of post), and if I talked about home for a long time I think I may cry. It’s been nearly four months I’ve been away and with only two weeks left to go, it’s rough. I’ve reached the point where most people are pretty comfortable around each other, and I can see who’s a true friend and who isn’t, some characteristics that may have been hidden in the “make nice, make friends” stage of first semester. I’m happy to say I’ve made some really great friends and will definitely miss them over the winter break but also have met people with different interests than me. But no one can quite compare to the friends I’ve performed many concerts with, attended muddy service projects at ungodly hours in the morning, overnighters of fun planning for our next conference or performance. Yet I miss home now that I’m away and I’m sure I will miss my friends here when I go home.

I wish I could just combine both of my worlds, my home and family in Hawaii with my home and friends here at Puget Sound. But that could not be, besides the point these locations are 2,657 miles away from each other. And when I’m in one place I’ll be thinking of the other, I’m so glad Puget Sound has become like home, comfortable, fun and full of so many memories from this first semester and I can’t wait for the spring to jump right into crew season of early mornings and regattas, new classes, Luau preparation and many more wonderful things! But right now, exactly two weeks away from feeling the warm Hawaiian sun and cool trade winds on my skin in a shirt & shorts, I am desperately dreaming and waiting to be home again.

Here’s a list of 5 Things I Miss About Hawaii, people and places that I can’t wait to see, spend as much time with and wish I could do.

1. I miss hanging out at school with my friends, doing nothing but silly crafts and games in the SA Room, playing music or cards in the Band Room, competitions of Jenga, Connect 4, Chess and some homework in Mrs. Nak’s Room with cheeseballs and pretzels. The lazy afternoons of fun before rehearsal, a meeting or just because. I miss my music geeks, SA girls and OBH sillies with their jokes, dancing, puns and inside jokes.

2. Going to the library and renting enough books that I need a reusable bag to carry and the help of my sister, to sit in the air conditioning and browse the numerous books I’ve already read, but to read them again just because. And when I check out have the librarians recognize me as they always did.

3. Doing nothing in my house, absolutely nothing in my room, watch my brother hog the TV for SportsCenter, prove I’m reading my books than my sister and mom, and tell my dad to be quiet because he’s snoring to loud.

4. THE ASIAN & LOCAL FOOD, to get jasmine tea and dim sum early in the morning at Empress, eat a full plate Rainbow’s after a long day in the water at Waikiki, eat honey toast at Shokudo, eat spicy ahi don at Kuru-Kuru, get a plate at Panda Express, eat lots of meat jun from Young’s Kal-Bee, veal provenciale from Palazzo, a whole enchilada from El Charro and so much more food places

5. I miss going to my brother’s numerous baseball games, at CORP, Han’s, MoHS, Aiea Rec, Pride Field, on the Windward side or anywhere. To be tanning (which I will be doing a lot of in Hawaii) and reading a book, and maybe paying some attention to the game. To be eating the delicious potluck but most of all being goofy and catching up with all the coaches, aunties, uncles, grandmas and the entire baseball family.

In two weeks I’ll be able to do everything on my list.

“You can learn to fly and you can chase your dreams
You can laugh and cry but everybody knows
You’ll always find your way back home”

Taking a Break

Although there have been many times that I had downtime, just browsing the internet, I haven’t had a real break from college or doing work since my mom came to visit a couple of weeks ago. The time passes by quickly, but at the same time moves viscously; it’s Monday and suddenly it’s the weekend but you have a paper due on Tuesday plus as exam. This cycle is constantly repeating itself and I can’t wait to finally see the end. Yet there is still a solid two weeks left of the semester to keep learning, growing and working hard for finals before I can take a serious break and go back to Hawaii. And going home is the driving motivation for me, and many students, to get through these last few weeks of my first semester of college.

I’m so grateful I could visit family in San Francisco over this short Thanksgiving Break because it’s definitely made me less homesick and tired for the semester to end already. Now is the time for me to finish strong, keep going until the very end. And I know now that there are many opportunities on campus to take little breaks such as  going to the student market, an acapella concert, visiting Zoo Lights or just going outside to appreciate our beautiful campus. There will never be anything as comforting as lounging on my couch in front of my TV at home, but I can still take a break from the busy college life.

On a different note however, visiting my family has made me realize what things I miss about home. I miss showering without slippers and taking my time in the bathroom, singing in the shower with no one listening. I miss those lazy Saturdays, falling asleep on my couch in front of the TV. I miss going to my brother’s baseball games and feasting on the delicious potluck, and talking to all the aunties and uncles. I miss TV, watching Say Yes To The Dress, Full House, Friends and all kinds of reruns on the big screen and not just computer. But most of all I miss the company of my family. And I want to make them proud and this separation and investment in my future worthwhile by finishing this semester strongly. And if I need to take a break I will, but I know that I’ll come back stronger and more focused than before.