Highlights of 2017 according to BYU-Hawaii students

Written by: 
Gosuke Kawano

Looking back on 2017, BYU-Hawaii students reflected on the highlights - both positive and negative - of the year, from U.S. President Donald Trump’s election to personal achievements in college and family life.


Katja Scheel, a junior from Guatemala studying hospitality and tourism management, said she learned important spiritual lessons in the process of getting ready for her final portfolio presentation for LDS Business College before transferring to BYUH.


She said, “I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but I was scared. I prayed a lot to Heavenly Father and he answered me by leading me to a book. This book is called ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. This book changed my life.


“What stood out to me from this book was the following quote, ‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ This quote helped me realize that God designed a universe where we are capable of achieving our dreams. It is going to help us in our journey in life if we lose our fears and believe in ourselves.”


Chyenne Howard, a senior from Virginia studying social work, said, “Trump became a president, and I hit my year mark for being home from my mission.” Also, she said she was grateful she started dating a “great guy” who is in one of her classes.


Erica Greer, a junior double majoring in exercise and sports science and special education from Washington, D.C., said, “Trump has become president, so I guess anything is possible. Club Penguin shut down, so has my childhood now. Fidget spinners became a crazy stupid craze, which yes I did participate in, but lovely Hawaii rusted it away so that’s just awesome.


“But I tried to look up positive things that have happened this year and I found out Zimbabwe put a ban on the beating of all children in its country. Canada has passed a bill that bans airlines from removing passengers from overbooked flights. So, go Canada and forget United.”


Rulon Olmstead, a senior from Utah studying mathematics, said as a voter for Trump he was happy that he became a president this year. “I like that he is a businessman and that he seems to do well when it comes to money, which is something that our government has been very bad [at] historically speaking.” He also graduated from BYUH in Dec. 2017 and turned 25 this year. He mentioned Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, who he had a chance to meet on his mission in Fiji, became a member of the Seventy.


Adolfo Arellano, a junior from Mexico studying political science, said he is grateful he was able to come back to BYUH after a three-week break from his Mexico Chihuahua Mission. He said he was surprised how fast things like technology have been developing around the world and how so many social and racial problems have been occurring, especially in the United States.


Taeyang Kin, a freshman marketing major from South Korea, said, “Something that stood out to me in 2017 was the Great Ideas Competition. I love to participate here, and I love all my teammates.”


Keigo Tateishi, a senior from Japan studying political science, said he is happy he got his first nephew.

Date Published: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Last Edited: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017