A New Home [Away From Home]

October 17, 2012
Pacific magazine writing intern Karla Dubey '16 reflects on her first months at Pacific University.

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After much contemplation, a few arguments with my parents, and a lot of hard work and commitment, I finally accomplished what was my ultimate goal in high school: to attend college away from my home in Hawaii.

During my senior year of high school throughout my college search, I had continuously heard good things about Pacific University and never failed to get a positive response when I told people I was considering attendance here. Within a few months and without even paying a campus visit, I decided Pacific University was the school for me.

So far, it has been the best decision of my life. It’s amazing how much things can change in two months. I’m just beginning my college experience, yet I already feel like I’m not the same person I was before I came here.

Admittedly, the moment my plane landed in Oregon I began to have second thoughts about everything.

But these thoughts were gone almost instantaneously, as the first few days of my stay here were amazing. Whether I was on my way to the bathroom, walking down the hallways or crossing campus, a stranger would kindly say, “Hi,” and strike up a conversation.

The first week or so was an atomic bomb of new people and a jumble of forgotten names—and I loved every minute of it.

When the beginning of classes was just around the corner, I got a little nervous, wondering how in the world I would juggle studying, homework and a job. But somehow I’ve figured all that out along the way, without even realizing it.

In a town that made Oregon feel smaller than Hawaii, I was worried about getting bored and not having anything to do on my free time. But Pacific’s wide range of clubs and activities available for students to participate in has kept me satisfied. Whether it’s hiking, supporting our various sports teams, or just having little kickbacks in the residence halls with cool people, it’s hard to just sit around and have nothing to do, especially because classes here at Pacific have been nothing but challenging.

In these past two months I’ve already had various tests, quizzes and papers to do. The library has literally been a sanctuary, as I came to realize that friends are never more than two minutes away, threatening to distract and prevent any work from being completed. On those days, I am most definitely in the library.

The holidays are just around the corner, and it’s crazy to think that I’ll spend Halloween and Thanksgiving away from home, but I’m excited to make the most of things.

I’m nearing the end of my second month here, and I’m glad to say that everything has most definitely exceeded my expectations. I’ve met so many amazing people, learned so many things along the way and am excited for what the rest of this year, and the next three years, have in store for me.

I am more than willing to make Pacific truly my home away from home.