Emily Harrison: HPU Campus Tour Tag Along


One of of tour leaders, Mr. Yuhui Du., leading his first tour on his own.

I was waiting for the moment. The reuniting of my long-awaited love. After four years, I could taste that sweet guava taste once again.

But then, there was betrayal.

The cupcakes, the ones I had promised myself without any research or knowledge of any kind, they weren’t there. They weren’t meant to be.

Instead. There were popsicles.

Oh, the betrayal.  

Maybe you Should be Involved

Do you like being shown around so you can ask questions? Do you like informational guides as you explore new places?

Does your answer depend on the place at hand?

How about a campus tour? Would you ever go on one?

Or, more importantly, for my fellow students, would you ever lead a campus tour?

First Perspectives are Everything

When I was a senior in high school, I got the once-in-a-lifetime chance to fly over to Hawaii and tour the campus. I got the opportunity to be led by a student who knew the ins-and-outs of campus and Hawaiian life.

I was so excited to be part of that tour.

My best friend, and now Roommate, and I flew all the way from Indiana to be part of this opportunity.

I remember getting chunky leis and some Hawaii Pacific gear. Stickers pens and tee shirts. My 18-year-old mind thought that was so freaking cool.

I remember exploring the downtown campus and ATM. I saw all the beauty that surrounds ATM, and I was entranced.

I was able to talk to some students, part of CAS, about their experiences and the classes they were in. I got to ask about opportunities and placements for myself.

We didn’t get the opportunity to explore HPU Loa, which in my opinion would’ve have been another hooking point that they missed out on. The raw Hawaiian beauty of HPU Loa is very captivating. Unfortunately, it is too late to add this now, because of Loa being sold.

I did, however, find the most compelling part of that tour to be the free cupcakes I got at the end of it. They were unique and delicious, and I think about them to this day. They are just expensive and I’m willing to make the sacrifice of not having a cupcake.

With that thought being said, I did think it would be a wonderful idea to compare my experience with how tours are led now, four years later.

I wish that I had a fellow student, someone not in a professional CAS position, in the room with me to answer my questions. I think it’s always best to have an untrained opinion about the classes and teachers and opportunities HPU offers.

So, this past Thursday I did just that.

Tour a la me

Internet down. No visualizations. Anxious parents wanting the question answered immediately. It was a great way to start off the tour.

I thought the student workers were incredibly friendly. I had decided to join the campus tour as a guest and the entire team was so welcoming. Each student on the tour had the ability to talk one-on-one with the tour guide and ask the lovely ladies in the office any questions they had for them as well.

We with the covid bans (that were on my tour) being lifted, it was nice to see a more interacting team. Of course, the campus has changed in the past four years, so there were a couple places that I was not shown, such as sharks cove and a couple classrooms.

Sharky’s Cove, alive and well, chilling outside with potential new recruits.

Like my tour all those years ago, they started off with a briefing on the basics of college.

Majors, class sizes, campus buildings, financial aid, dorms on and off campus, application processes, athletics.

The briefing coordinator, Rachel Jones, HPU’s military director for undergraduates A-M.

Afterwards our tour guide led the younglings and their families around ATM, showing them the offices, student centers, and the dorm life at ATM.

Unlike my tour, the students were given guava or pineapple POPSICLES. I still think the cupcakes are better, even if they’re less refreshing.

I took this opportunity to introduce myself to the group and told them they were free to ask me any questions as well. Someone on the tour had asked some questions about the marine biology program and I thought, as that is my major, that I could be a good resource for her to hear from.

I also expressed how involved you can get in this school.

I do wish on my tour that someone explained to me about the different ways to get involved around the school.

Hearing that phrase is so intimidating sometimes. GET INVOLVED. Ugh, shudder. Scary.

I do think, however, that if someone explained to me that it can be fun, and a way to express yourself, that I wouldn’t have waited until my third year to really stretch my horizon.

After ATM we moved on to our hike to Waterfront Plaza.

Ayreauna Barre, the second tour guide on this tour, and I answered some questions along the way, directed towards the busses and shuttles on the island.

She was a sweetheart, and I definitely recommend have a tour with her.

The younglings were shown building Five and taken through building Six to be shown the structures of the classrooms, library, and tutoring centers.

Afterwards, like my tour, the families were free to explore either campus on their own and go on about their day.

This was actually pretty fun to be a part of. I made sure not to overstep the tour guide himself, but there are still opportunities for you to become part of this team.

Get a Job

Some tips this unprofessional has picked up along the way (my hour and half of experience) include smiling, speaking up, talking to the team as individuals. Some first-grade life lessons, you know?  

No but seriously, smiling really helps these parent become more at ease. Speaking up so the parents can hear you, and talking to them, and their kids, about any concerns or questions they may have, it really helps them feel better about this tropical place of unfamiliarity.

If that sounds interesting to you, and if you are good with scheduling and good with leading a small team, then maybe you should apply to be a campus tour guide. You’re a student after all, especially second years or more, you know our campus very well so this job should be a breeze!

Kelly Lucero is looking for students who would like to help with the touring job. The schedule is indeed flexible and it’s easy money!

We all could use a boost In the financial department, after all we’re college kids. Doesn’t it burn to fit in the stereotype?

Being able to show school pride, or simply being able to boss some high schoolers around may be great way to spend some of your free time in-between classes.

If you are interested in this contact Kelly at kalucero@hpu.edu to apply.

Some of us may have conflicting opinions about HPU, but when it’s all said and done, we’re here, and we all have been given some unique opportunities, those kids need to hear about that too.

Something small to us could be everything to someone else.

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