My ASAA Story

So… how did I end up in Hawaii you ask?

Trudging to class in unplowed snow 2 feet high is highly overrated.

I remember so many days at Penn State last year when I honestly thought to myself, “This is college?” and looked outside at the dismal grey sky and feet of snow. Besides singing in my a cappella group, None of the Above, I knew I was missing some kind of experience… some kind of meaning. At that point, I made a decision. I was going to have something to “tell my grandkids about.”

Luckily, I was (and still am) dating a rather adventurous guy named Josh who goes to school here at UH Manoa. When he showed me the website for ASAA, I was really excited.

Arguments used on my Dad to persuade him about ASAA:

  1. “It’s cheaper than a semester at Penn State. And I can actually go outside without unintentionally ice skating in the winter.”
  2. “Dating Josh from 5,000 miles away is pretty agonizing.”
  3. “ALL my friends are going abroad in the spring. Do you want me to be alone at school in the cold snow? (sad face here)
  4. “I talked to my guidance counselor, and she said I didn’t have any classes left to take in Europe. So can I go to Hawaii now?”
  5. “I just got 5 classes approved through Penn State. Here’s the proof.”
  6. “So I talked to grandma, and she said I can go. Can I go now?”
  7. “Have you made a decision yet?”
  8. “Dad… I have everything set up. Can I go now?”
  9. “OK so I can go right?”

After a while of that kind of badgering, my Dad finally agreed to let my adventures in Hawaii begin. Reactions were mixed… especially from my guidance counselor who memorably and sarcastically stated, “So let me get this straight… you want to spend a semester in HAWAII….? Um…”

So what does this mean to you, Mr. (or Ms.) blog reader?

If you’re reading this blog, you’re either considering applying for the program or already in it (or running it). If you’re that first person thinking about coming here, do it. You can even use some of my lines for parents mentioned above. Oh, and don’t worry about people that give you funny looks when you tell them you’re studying abroad in Hawaii. They’re just bitter that they won’t be able to shovel their car out of the snow while you lay on the beach.

If you’re that second person, hopefully I amused you with my anecdote enough that you’ll want to read more of my posts.

Either way, I’m enjoying Hawaiian life. Stay tuned ;)

Truly happy. Photo by Whitney Grathwohl (also in ASAA)



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