By Emily Burich

The 50th state of the United States, Hawaii is very special and different from other states.  Not only is Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but also Hawaii has lots of little islands surrounding it.  Some of these include Hawaii (otherwise known as “the Big Island”), Kauai, Honolulu, Maui, Oahu, Molokai, and Lanai.  This state has many personal memories and ties because so much of my family lives there.  Mainly on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Honolulu, my family and I visit my extended family every few years, and it’s always a very special trip.  There are so many things to enjoy on these beautiful islands such as snorkeling, hiking, eating shave ice, and spending way too much money on the cookies at the Honolulu Cookie Company store.  Seriously, you have to try these cookies…they’re heaven.  

Hawaii also has a very rich and important history.  In 1891, Queen Lilioukalani was the first woman ever to rule Hawaii.  She had a different way of running the state, and as a result she was eventually overthrown.  She was the last Hawaiian sovereign to govern the islands before Hawaii (not a state yet) was annexed by the United States.  In fact, Hawaii was the last state admitted to the United States in 1959.

There are thousands of beaches and hikes you can visit on your trip to this delightful state.  The most scenic beaches include Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Waimea Bay Beach Park in Oahu, Polihale State Park in Kauai, Kalapaki Beach in Kauai, Kaanapali Beach in Maui, and Hapuna Beach in Hawaii (Big Island).  I have personally enjoyed visiting some of the most famous hikes in Hawaii, like Lanikai Pillbox hike in Oahu and Diamond Head in Honolulu.  There’s another famous hike I would like to try next time I visit Maui.  It’s called Mount Haleakala.  At the top of the hike, you’re above the clouds ,which is super cool and provides a beautiful scenic view.  

Compared to other states, Hawaii is on the smaller side.  However, this amazing state has a few really cool colleges you could consider applying to. These include the University of Hawaii at Manoa (public, 4 year), Brigham Young University-Hawaii (private, 4 year), University of Hawaii at Hilo (public, 4 year), Hawaii Pacific University (private, 4 year), and Chaminade University of Honolulu (private, 4 year).  If you are interested in studying for a nursing degree,  University of Hawaii at Manoa and Hawaii Pacific University are great choices.  However, if you’re going for more of a marine biology major: University of Hawaii at Manoa, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Hawaii Pacific University are the best bet. All in all, there are many opportunities for you to attend these colleges and study what you want.  Want to go on a bike ride along the ocean before your next class? Most of these colleges are located right by the ocean and are walking distances from lots of viewpoints.  Not to mention the gorgeous scenery you will see while walking to your next class.

As you can see, Hawaii is definitely one of the most beautiful and important states.  With its amazing hikes, eats, beaches, and universities, Hawaii is somewhere you’ll definitely want to visit.