This past weekend was busy, hectic, exhilarating and fun all at the same time. This past week, I got done with all of my midterms and prepared for the weekend. Here, at the University of Oregon, I am a part of Hui O Hawaii which is basically “Hawaii Club” here at the university. Other schools have this club too, oftentimes it’s based on a big population of students coming from the islands of Hawaii themselves.
This past Friday was Aloha Friday, a local community event filled with island vibes and aloha. Our club had the chance to perform at a local restaurant as a sneak peek to our annual lu’au later this spring. Dancing next to some of my newest friends and learning their styles of dancing was a great experience for me, and I’m glad that I had the chance to dance again. I performed a solo and a couple of other numbers with my newfound hula sisters.
Dancing, as cliche as it sounds, has been my outlet for a big part of my life. I have the ability to dance on my own, but it’s not the same as going to practice and seeing familiar faces at least once a week. I joined Hui O Hawaii to get my “home away from home,” and that’s exactly what I received. I’ve made so many friends and built relationships that I hope, and pray, will last a long time.
On Saturday night, I had the chance to attend a J Boog concert! If you aren’t familiar with who he is, he’s a well-known reggae artist, known for his song Let’s Do It Again. I have seen almost every island reggae artist there is, but I have never had the chance to see J Boog. The island music brought the greatest vibes to the room and it felt like I was back home in sunny California. Also, some things worked out…and my dearest friend Jenee had an extra ticket for a short meet and greet with J Boog as well! He’s a very chill, humble artist who I would definitely see again, no hesitation.
Overall, this weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve had here in college so far. I did a lot of things that reminded me of home, with people who I can call my family away from home. This goes to say that without this club, I probably wouldn’t be as happy or having this much fun at school. I think it’s extremely important for some students to go out of their way and find what interests them. Through that, you’re able to meet new people, make friends, and create memories that will last a lifetime. If for whatever reason you may feel out of place, just know that there is a space for you somewhere. There is a group of people, a place, or an idea that you belong to and can share with others.
I’m glad I found mine.