Finding Me Again and How Distance Helped me Grow 3
Things I Learned
Having a student that attends college in Hawaii has some specific things that are different than being on the mainland. It is not as simple as the time difference or distance. Some things never hit me until we were dealing with it.
All kids forgot things when they go to college. Usually, you tell them to go to the store and get it, or you send it.
The store is an option on Hawaii, but the prices are much higher on many things. There are some stores that you can walk to, but others like Walmart that you need to ride the bus or secure a ride. The Walmart on Oahu during move in times of the year is not able to keep up with their supply of goods. It is literally a zoo in there with massive people and limited choices.
You could use Amazon to send things. I do this quite often. I have Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime does not work to Hawaii. There are no 2 day options with Prime to there. It takes a week to 10 days but sometimes you are lucky and it is faster.
So you may opt to mail what your kid needs. There is a catch there. If you have a package you have some options, but the most consistent service we have found was to use USPS. I send things Priority mail. This is a “3 day” service from Chicago. It is not actually 3 days always. Sometimes you can get a surprise and that package will arrive in 2 days. That has happened. A lot of the time it is 3 or 4 days. Some cases are much different. I have had tracking and found her box in Guam, once it was on the way to Japan, sometimes it is caught up in California. Other times it is in the twilight zone and eventually shows up. The longest I have waited for a package I sent her was 15 days.
There are no mainland banks on the islands. This was a worry of mine when we sent her to school. At one of the workshops during the Week of Welcome, we were introduced to the banks and a credit union. I was personally more comfortable with the older gentleman in the Hawaiian shirt from the credit union than the bank people in the business suits. The University of Hawaii Federal Credit Union was the choice. The benefit of being able to use “share branches” which are other credit unions in their system in the Chicagoland to make deposits was better than trying to create an account at home for her.
I also gave her a Bluebird American Express card that I was able to load money on at Walmart. This was a good way to give her more money that would be with her immediately. The negative was, of course, American Express is not accepted everywhere.
With the time difference, I was able to be at the credit union before she was even waking for the day. As long as I put cash, it was there immediately. I loaded a family account on the Bluebird and just transferred money to her in Hawaii and to her sister here at home. It gives them spending power but limitations also. You can only spend what you have.
Some Insight into School Things
There are roughly 20, 000 students going to UH Manoa. The campus is very diverse and beautiful. It is no wonder she would want to attend there in the splendor of the Hawaiian Islands.
Know Your Mountain!
I truly believe in the concept that you need to know your mountain. I need to feel those people around me and acknowledge how they contribute to me being me. I, in turn, work hard to be there for others.
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