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