A Hawaiian escape: how going to Maui helped my mid-semester funk

Summer Kailani/Staff

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The ups and downs of academic life can get old quickly.  If you’re anything like me, the middle of the semester feels like being stuck in a continuous funk of obligations, exam stress and never-ending piles of uninteresting readings. Here was my experience of quite literally swimming out of that consuming schedule. 

Summer Kailani/Staff

Although not always realistic, heading to a beach near or far can help you feel relieved from the weekly grind without taking too much away from your daily life.  I chose the extreme route and hopped on a plane to Maui to accompany my aunt on a business trip. It was one of my less responsible trips, seeing as I had a midterm exam the next week — but sometimes spontaneity pays off. 

I’m not going to lie; it was difficult to relax at first knowing I would be missing three days of school. But after about two hours of laying on the sand doing my readings, I began to unwind.  I finally let go of the guilt of missing class and accepted that I should live in the moment and enjoy the stunning beaches of Maui. I spent the rest of my days on the beautiful island swimming in the salty ocean, getting sunburnt on the sand and taking poolside naps in between working on assignments. I stuffed my face with many pineapple and coconut flavored treats, and sipped on cold iced teas in the midst of Hawaii’s October heat. For the first time, I finished my study to-do list — and in the end, still got to enjoy the perks of island life.

Summer Kailani/Staff

I know for most people, the idea of taking off to Maui for the weekend is absurd and unrealistic, but there is something to be found in the sense of heading to a beach to calm down.  We are lucky to go to school in California, giving us nearby coastal access. Studies have proven that going to the beach has a multitude of stress-relieving qualities. The texture of the sand can be calming and relieve anxiety, the sounds of the ocean can sooth overwhelming thoughts, and the blueness of the water and sky helps people unwind and relax.  Sometimes taking a break from your confining obligations and relaxing near the ocean can make you happier and more productive in the long run. It can recharge you to finish the semester strong and not hand in burnt out and half-done assignments.

Summer Kailani/Staff

So next time you have a moment, try swimming out of your repetitive semester schedule.  Whether it’s to a nearby beach or a Hawaiian island, you’d be surprised by how much better you will feel. Aloha!

Contact Summer Kailani at [email protected].