Ask Aunty (Spring 2017, April 3rd)

Q. Any advice for a student who is contemplating dropping out of school? What things should I know to convince me to stay in school?

A: Ho, brah. That’s tough. Fair warning, my response to you is a little long. I decided to ask our editor-in-chief, Brian, for some tips on how to answer this question. I was surprised when he told me that, at one point, he thought about quitting school too. But just as soon as the thought popped into his head, he knew he’d never seriously consider it. “Why?” I asked him.

Based on what Brian’s experience was, he says there are a few questions you need to answer before you know if dropping out is a good idea or not:

  1. Do you have a plan? A real, feasible plan for how you intend to support yourself with a halfway decent job?
  2. What’s your living situation going to be like in the short term? If you can live with family, or get a super cheap room, great! If you’re moving far away, though, this might not be possible.
  3. At what point will you tell yourself to keep going, or give up and go in a different direction? In other words, you should give yourself a timeline to follow, and until you get a good job – or accomplish a similarly important goal – within that time (i.e., a semester, a year), you’ll go home, or back to school.

    Keep in mind: you might be in the same situation Brian found himself in a couple years ago. He told me that instead of dropping out altogether, he simply decided to take a year off school and worked in Los Angeles during that time. And even if he wanted to transfer to a school in California, Brian said he knew it would be a pain in the ass, so he had no problem with coming back to UH Hilo.

    From what I gather, perhaps taking a semester or two off from school will give you the flexibility to pursue your next adventure without closing the door on a college education. Who knows, maybe you’ll find that you don’t need to do a complete 180. Maybe all you need is just a little breather.

Q. If the bill passes to stop smoking on all UH campuses, who will enforce it, and will any fines be given to smokers?

A: Just to give our other readers some context, I assume the bill you’re referring to is Senate Bill 134. As reported by KHON, this was introduced by our own senator, Kai Kahele, at the request of the UH system. If passed and signed into law, this would be a prohibit “the use of any tobacco product,” including e-cigarettes.

As of now, it’s too soon to say if this bill will even become law, much less how it will be implemented. My hunch is that it won’t be strictly enforced as its supporters would hope. (So I wouldn’t worry about any fines just yet.) But hey, good luck proving me wrong, UH system!

Q. Why is the kinesiology program so underfunded when comparing it to other majors? -Super Senior Not By Choice

A: I feel for ya, Super Senior. I’ve known a number of students at UH Hilo who encountered this same difficulty. (Ke Kalahea’s last assistant editor-in-chief was among them.) I wish I knew the answer.

If anything, don’t be afraid to ask these and other tough questions to our campus administration, or to UH leadership. After all, they’re here to serve you. Hopefully they’ll give you a straight answer, and not try to dodge or ignore you.

Just remember: if you or your friends don’t feel like our school’s leaders are listening to you, let us know! Ke Kalahea would be happy to contact them on your behalf.