Travis Antonacci

Creative Media
Kaua'i CC Student

5,053 miles from home

Travis Antonacci Creative Media Student

When I left New York City to attend Kaua‘i CC, one thought kept recurring in my mind; how can I make this work? I was just eighteen years old and moving to the other side of the world. My original mindset was to only focus on my schoolwork, because that would reap the most tangible rewards. But I soon realized that this way of thinking was not sustainable. Instead of submitting to an existential fear, I quickly rediscovered what truly brought me to Kaua‘i in the
first place... the people.

I found myself experiencing moments that at the surface level seemed somewhat mundane. In reflection, though, they hold a great significance in my mind. In my Hawaiian Studies class we were discussing the meaning of- I ka ‘ōlelo nō ke ola, i ka ‘ōlelo nō ka make. The translation is “In language there is life, in language there is death.” Something as simple as hello or thank you does not hold much weight back in the City.

The college experience is different for every individual. To get the most out of it you must take risks and embrace new ways of thinking. The relationships you gain will not only help guide you through, but will also help your dreams materialize. Many astonishing changes have happened in the past year and a half, and I attribute this to the friends I have made, the tough lessons I have learned, and the people I have met. When I first left New York and said goodbye to many friends and family there, I never imagined the truly massive effect Kaua`i would have on me.

To those fearful of enrolling or returning to college- “you got this!” (forget about it). To all of my friends, peers, and my professors... Thank you.