The transitition from graduation to moving away to go to college can be difficult on teens, but Hooko LLC Co-Founders Rhesa Kaulia and Edwina Reyes have tips for families to survive the first year away from home.
“There is the standard mixture of both excitement and apprehension, looking forward to the next phase of life while curious about all that will entail” says Rhesa Kaulia. “Additionally, for young local adults from Hawaii, there is a cultural adjustment, particularly if they go away to the mainland for college. This may include a period, or intermittent periods of being homesick – namely missing the island lifestyle, the people, the sense of ohana. This is the biggest adjustment of all for local kids.”
Reyes adds, “They can expect to have a lot of freedom (more than they ever imagined), to have to navigate living with a roommate, making new friends from all over the world, being exposed to new ideas and broadening their minds., having much more responsibility, no one hovering over them telling them what to do or where to go, and many different choices to make, including whether to join clubs, rush for (or join) a sorority or fraternity, whether to party or study, etc.”
Their tips to adjust to and maximize their first year of college include time management, saying, “One of the most important things will be time management – finding that balance between study time and social/play time. Additionally, figuring out what the priorities early on, using a planner, connecting with other students in their classes and joining study groups, getting to know their professors, and the counseling staff, getting to know their environment so they can navigate to and from campus.”
They also recommend connecting with other local kids.
Join the Hawai’i Club on campus or start one if there isn’t one.
Have regular contact with family members back home.
Request care packages with familiar food and items they can’t get on the mainland.
If they feel homesick, it’s important
they talk to someone about it – a friend, family member, school counselor.
The worst thing to do is to isolate and ‘hole up’ indoors.
For those who go to places with extreme weather, get a light therapy lamp to combat seasonal affective disorder (being affected by the dreariness of the fall/winter season).
Stay active and connected with roommates, friends, and family. Seek professional counseling off-campus if needed.
Finally, talk to a therapist before leaving the islands.
Hooko Counseling Center offers guidance for young adults going away to college, or taking the next steps after high school.
If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact their office at 808-375-7712 or visit online at https://www.hookollc.com