I’m still working on it: She’s back on Maui!


The best present a college student could get for Christmas: Toilet Paper! It’s a very merry Christmas indeed!

By Amanda Lee, adjunct columnist ('12)

It’s been a while since I checked in with you guys. Sorry that I haven’t written in a while.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to write to you more often and consistently. Hopefully that pans out and satisfies your desire to know what’s going on in my life.

For all of you curious, wondering souls, I am back on Maui and am working at Subway! Feel free to come by to say hello, and if you’re feeling some holiday cheer, tip the wonderful sandwich artists of Subway. Or just me. Whichever.

I went to Founder’s Day as an alumni along with 67 of my graduated classmates. It was a very…humbling experience.

I don’t think Kamehameha students fully realize what Pauahi has given them until they leave. If it wasn’t for her will and her school I doubt that I would be the person I am today. I don’t think that I would have the same morals, values, or character if I hadn’t been influenced by her and all she employed to teach and nurture me. My philosophy of life would be completely different.

Most  people graduate from high school and see graduation as an achieved task. They believe that all high school gave them was an education. For four years, they sat in a classroom, took some notes, passed some tests, and maybe learned a thing or two.

High school gave me a family. The teachers I had were more than instructors, homework collectors, and disciplinarians.

They were mentors, friends, counselors, role models, and people I aspired to be.  They were my family.

Let me tell you something I learned in college. Family isn’t biological. The people you call your family don’t have to be the people you were born to. They don’t have to have the same blood type and genetics as you.

A family is a group of people you care about and who care about you. They fulfill your needs for affection, love, and nurturing.

Kamehameha Maui is my family. Pauahi is my family. I am so thankful to them for allowing me to not simply go through life, but to grow with life, for teaching me beyond the books and for opening the doors that allowed me to follow my dreams. I believe that I am truly indebted to her and all the people she put in my life.

Now that all that gratitude is out of my system, did I mention that I’m home?

This break came at the perfect time. I was longing for Maui’s warm weather and tan lines. Outside my dorm room the weather is 57 degrees, and it is cloudy and rainy. I’d much rather have the 80 degree weather with warm sunshine and cool trade wind breezes.

I didn’t realize how many things about home I took advantage of until I came back. Allow me to share some of the things that I am so happy to have back home that I didn’t have in college.

1. A never-ending supply of toilet paper! At college we have to pay for our own toilet paper. It sucks. Since we don’t want to waste all our money wiping our butts, we’ve limited ourselves to a set number of squares that can be used for each function. I won’t go into detail, but the max is 5 squares, and I think you can guess under what circumstances that would apply. Needless to say, I’ve been taking advantage of public restrooms and my own house.

2. Bathroom doors! This one might seem odd, but in my dorm bathroom there are no doors to the toilet or the shower. We have curtains. Curtains are not sound-proof. Therefore, I’ve realized that doors are the greatest invention known to mankind.

3. Driving! At college I have a bike and my own two feet. I know that in the beginning I hated driving with a passion. I shed tears over having to practice and swore that once I got my license I’d never drive again.  Remember that column?

Well, I was wrong. Driving is the best thing ever!! The sound of the engine purring, the smooth glide of taking turns, and singing in the car! I love singing in the car! You can’t really sing on a bike because for some reason you just look dumb. It might have something to do with a lack of windows.

4. Washers and dryers that DON’T cost money!! In college, washing and drying clothes costs me $2.25. That $2.25 adds up! In the course of a month, I could have bought myself a fancy dinner, a new t-shirt, or a new pair of rubber slippers. I try to stuff as many dirty clothes as I can into to one load and even re-wear things that I don’t think really got dirty in an effort to save money. If you see me in jeans, chances are I’ve worn them at least once before.

5.  MY FAMILY!! How could I possibly neglect the most important, most valuable, greatest thing in my life? It’s a wonder how I’ve managed to survive 3 months without my family. I’m so ecstatic to be back with them- it feels like I never left! But at the same time, I think about how quickly my last day here is approaching, and I want to cry. I feel like there’s no way I’ll be able to leave again!

The nice thing about my family though is that they’ve always encouraged me to leave, to go to another state for college. And, I’m okay with leaving and being kind of far away from them because I know that no matter what, no matter where I am, they’ll always be right here waiting for me. It’s true what they say: you can always find your way back home.

The first semester of college is officially over! The sleep talking continues. I doubt that it’ll ever stop. My roommates think it’s the best thing ever though. They have plans to film me as I fall asleep. If they ever do, I promise to post the video for your viewing.

Personally, I felt like college wasn’t that hard. I don’t think I ever had a moment where I was really freaking out and stressing like no other.

Ms. Haina’s journalism class was way more stressful than college if you ask me. So for all you journalists: don’t worry! If you can survive journalism, you can survive college. I got a 4.0 and I took 3+ hour naps every day.

Yeah… I guess that’s about it for now. I’m here until Jan. 2, so feel free to find me and have me autograph your favorite column or take a ridiculous picture with you. I guess I’m pretty famous here for my silly faces; that’s what I hear, anyway.

Also, if any of you have questions about college or life that you want me to share and write about, feel free to email them to me! My email is [email protected]. (If you write to me, it could become fodder for future columns, and this will save me some brainstorming work later, haha.)

Happy Holidays, Folks!