Hale Aloha

A view of three of the freshmen dorms in 2021 can be seen from upper campus. 

It is that time of the year again when the student body begins its fall semester at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. 

For some, this is their first time living in the dorms, and the experience alone can be overwhelming. 

Rules and guidelines set by the housing staff during the application process may also add to the stress, so being organized is key.

“I think just making sure where everything is is really good,” said Angelika Catiggag, a UHM senior. “Double checking maps to make sure you know where your buildings are and making sure you give yourself enough time to walk there if you don’t have a moped or bike or something is definitely really useful ‘cause sometimes things are farther than you think it is.

“Just giving yourself that time so you are not rushing to get to anywhere I think is my number one thing,” added Catiggag, who is majoring in Music Education.

Communication is vital with the resident advisors, housing staff and especially the person they will be sharing their room with. 

Students have different schedules, depending on classes and job schedules, and it can be challenging to study, rest and do other on-campus activities. Often at times, this is the first time away from their families and home life. 

“It’s easy to be away from your parents; it’s easy to get used to the freedom of being here, but then it’s also easy on the other hand to start forgetting that you’re attending a university,” said Phillip Amona, a UHM senior. “So, I just recommend having fun but remember to finish all your duties for school.”

Guidelines

The first step toward a successful move in is to review Student Housing Services guidelines at https://manoa.hawaii.edu/housing/fall-2022-move-in. It serves as a checklist of what is allowed, prohibited and needed for a dorm resident. 

According to the Student Housing Services website, surge protectors are essential as students often require multiple sockets for their laptops, printers, small refrigerators, microwave, etc.

Olivia Baker, UHM sophomore, also recommends working with roommates and floormates when it comes to bathrooms.

“If you have a public restroom just try and work with everyone else that’s using that restroom because there are a lot of people, especially if you’re in the towers,” said Baker, who is majoring in Education. “There’s what, two restrooms per floor? So yeah, just making sure you work with everybody else, maybe even like making a schedule? Whatever works best for you guys. Just trying to fit everyone in there and be respectful of everyone else's time.”

Activities

Each dorm has its community activities as well as the campus. Seeing your RA for a list of events and the Mānoa Now app or future editions of Ka Leo to see what activities are on campus, including the Campus Center Courtyard.

“I don’t know if they’ve done it in the past few years, but at least in my freshman and sophomore year, they took us to the ice palace so that was really fun,” Catiggag said. “You’ll get a lot of things like that, like sometimes they take you to the zoo and just all kinds of places like that.”

For more information, visit the following website https://manoa.hawaii.edu/housing/fall-2022-move-in/#wowweek.

Transportation

If traveling off campus, shared riding such as Uber or Lyft is a good option, as well as the public bus transit. (We’ll mention the Mānoa One Card article here). 

Bus stops are around campus, with routes taking you where you want to go. Additionally, students can hop on bus route 13 right outside of the Gateway House and Frear Hall, providing quick access to Waikiki 

DaBus2 is a good app to download that gives you time schedules and a search feature to enter a bus route number/bus stop to assist you. 

The resident dorm experience is more than just a place to stay during your academic journey at UHM but also a community among peers. 

New friendships, activities and opportunities await students living on campus.

“Definitely get out there and meet people,” Baker said. “Even if that’s just knocking on people’s doors and being like, ‘Hey, I live two doors down,’ or whatever it is. Make sure you’re getting out there and meeting people, because that’s who you’re going to be living with for the next couple of years.”