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by Nikita Mendonca, student writer


As the new year and a new semester begins, Kalamalama asked several HPU students to describe the challenges they faced in 2007 and their resolutions for 2008.

“ While at HPU, one of the main challenges I faced dealt with maintaining my independence,” said Janalyn Ferreira, a 2005 Pre-Med graduate who has returned for a B.S. in nursing.

“ I was constantly trying to balance my school and social life, trying to make it through college, juggle my classes, and work to pay my rent and other expenses,” said Ferreira.

To manage school, work, and other responsibilities, it seems that every student must master a juggling act, explained Crystal Siruno, a junior majoring in public relations who balances a part-time job with being a full-time student on a scholarship.

“ It is quite an experience maintaining an above average GPA along with other responsibilities, such as home life, having a significant other, and dealing with things that take quite a toll on your energy.” Juggling all these things, she believes, signifies who she is as a person. “I am quite sure all students who face these types of challenges would agree,” Siruno said.

Ferreira indicated that students need to learn how to prioritize.

“ I needed to figure out what was more important; hanging out with my friends…or remaining at home in order to study for school,” said Ferreira.

Ferreira’s advice to current HPU students: “Study hard, but at the same time have fun while in school. You need to make your college years meaningful. Make it a point to take part in the school activities.”

According to 2007 HPU graduate Julius Vea, university activities are an excellent way to conquer social challenges.

“ The biggest challenge I faced while at HPU,” Vea said, “was a social one. It was hard to meet new people because our schedules were different, and we all came from different cultures.”
Vea explained that he is naturally introverted, and language and cultural barriers at HPU made it, “even harder to break through the ice.”

“ It was difficult to get help or communicate with the different students,” he explained.
While school activities are a good way to overcome these social challenges, Vea pointed out that some students are unable to attend such functions because of other obligations. In these cases, Vea recommended that students use the classroom as a means of breaking out of their shell.

“ Try new things,” Vea said. “Keep talking to people, and use the classroom as a medium to meet new people.”

Rhonelee Soria, a junior visual communication major, is trying to overcome challenges that involve finding internships, getting job connections, and smoothly transitioning into the work setting despite being shy.

“ To beat these challenges,” Soria said, “I try to break out of my shell, get over my fears, and start actively looking for job opportunities.” She added: “I’ve started calling places, searching for jobs online, sending out my resumé, filling out applications for different companies, and also visiting the Career Services Center.” She is “just taking the little steps to get my name out there, and make myself known to different businesses,” Soria said.

Soria suggests that students take their college experience seriously.
“ A lot of times, freshmen take easy classes in the beginning and tend to slack off. They need to be wise about the classes they take and the decisions they make from the start,” she said.

With the New Year firmly in place, both Soria and Siruno have resolved to make certain changes in their lives, while keeping the techniques that worked, in order to make the 2008 semester a great one.

“ My plans for 2008 are to stop procrastinating, work harder, and gain more experience,” said Soria. “I really want to get things done this year,” she added.

Despite all the challenges that students at HPU face, Siruno believes that all students can approach the new year with a constructive attitude.

“ These obstacles present an opportunity not only to build us as stronger people, but most of all to [make us] accomplished citizens,” she said.



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