Aloha Kākou! ʻO Mekaila koʻu inoa. Welcome! My name is Mekaila Pasco, but most of my friends just call me Kaila. I was born and raised here on the Big Island of Hawai‘i in the beautiful town of North Kohala. I am currently an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. I am also hoping to progress further in my field of interest to obtain a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology.
What’s your passion?
My greatest passion in life is learning how to understand people. I enjoy meeting new people and helping others when I have the opportunity. I often find myself coaching, tutoring, counseling, or just listening to others because knowing people fascinates me. I like knowing how people filter and channel their emotions, why people do certain things, and what motivates them to do wrong or right. My biggest goal in life is to become a school counselor with the intention of guiding and supporting students in every way possible.
How would you describe your personal journey in life?
If I could summarize my entire journey through life with one word, I would use the word “thriving” because that’s all I ever try to do. I enjoy trying new things, being a part of different communities, and networking with different people. All my life I have prospered during the best times, but during the hardest times is when I truly began to thrive. I learned how to open up to the world and how to take the good with the bad as you should with everything you encounter. Although I am proud and humbled by my past experiences, I also know that I still have an entire life ahead of me and I can’t wait to live it.
What does your future hold?
I truly believe that my future holds everything I’ve ever wanted. When I close my eyes and imagine where I will be 5 or 10 years from now, I still see the same enthusiastic, loving, and vibrant person that I see now. I imagine that I’m slowly working my way through Graduate school, pursuing all of my wildest dreams. I see myself stressing over exams and maturing to a higher level, but I also see my relationships getting stronger and my education increasing. The future is never secured, so I always remind myself to live in the moment.
What campus clubs or activities are you involved in?
I am currently an Event Planner on the Student Activities Council (SAC). I applied for this position last year because I did Student Council in high school and absolutely loved it. I often see myself as a leader, but I decided to not take on a leadership position because I wanted to focus more on my school work. Right now, SAC is mostly an extracurricular activity and creative outlet for me than it is a job. The work can be demanding, but you learn so many skills from this program and you get to meet so many wonderful students.
For future UH Hilo students, is there any wisdom you would like to pass on? What would you want them to know?
If I met someone who was debating whether or not they should attend UH Hilo, I would immediately jump up and tell them every single thing there is to love about this university. However, I would be honest when it comes to defining my experience as a college student in general. The piece of advice or wisdom that I would pass on is to never procrastinate and if you ever need assistance, to always ask for it because the staff and faculty will help you. I would want others to know that UH Hilo cultivates student learning in more ways than one. The staff and faculty at UH Hilo do everything they can to encourage their students in all aspects whether it’s cultural, social, recreational, or educational.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life or at UH Hilo?
There are many important lessons I’ve learned from UH Hilo, being a college student, being a first generation college student, and from life in general. The first being that college really does push you to mature and progress as an adult because your educational journey through college will solely depend on your love for learning and why you get out of bed every morning. The second lesson I learned very harshly is that you also have to learn how to take care of yourself, mentally and physically. I got so caught up in my courses and other responsibilities that sometimes I forgot to eat or take breaks, which isn’t how it should be. The biggest lesson I had to learn the hard way was to take care of myself and to learn that it’s ok to say no to extra work sometimes in order to give yourself a well-deserved break.
What would be your personal motto?
My motto for everything I do in life is “when you feel like giving up, remember why you started.” This quote is literally a life saver and comes in real handy when you are close to giving up. Sometimes it was school, family, friendships, work, or even sports that got in the way of me being happy. Managing all of these things could be the most difficult and stressful part of adolescence, but having a safe haven to turn to is always the best outcome. I also like to tell myself that “everything happens for a reason” because I truly believe that it does.
If you could be anywhere other than here, where would you be?
I always wanted to go to New Zealand because of how much fun things they have to offer. I was trying to Study Abroad at the beginning of this year, but after the pandemic hit I knew I couldn’t follow through with my plans. However, if given the chance I would definitely try to find a way to get there whether it be through Study Abroad or a family trip. I always wanted to try the Nevis bungy jump, the Waitomo glowworm caves, and the ZORB Rotorua hamster balls course. Not to mention the beautiful beaches and waterfalls that I know I would absolutely fall in love with.
What are you happiest doing?
I am happiest when I am around other people, whether it be strangers, family, friends, or even animals. I enjoy riding horses, playing volleyball, and adventuring with my friends. When I ride a horse, I feel free and as if the entire weight of the world is lifted off my shoulders. When I’m playing volleyball, I get lost in the moment and satisfy my competitive genes. I also love to adventure with my friends because we’re always finding new, cool places to lounge around or explore.