There were “multiple reasons” new freshman Frances Aguilar chose to come to BYU-Hawaii, despite having been accepted to other universities with a scholarship. Raised in West Covina, California, she said she feels like putting a mission first above everything else in her life has led her to come to the Aloha State.
Aguilar is planning to go on a mission next year and said the fact that BYUH “makes it extremely easy” to make the transition from education to mission was a big factor in her decision to come here.
“The gospel means peace to me. I feel at peace knowing that I know my Heavenly Father loves me. I know that whenever something happens and I need comfort, even if no one understands me, I know Heavenly Father is there for me. It’s just comforting to know that he is always there for me. That’s why I would like to go on a mission – so that I can share that with other people so that they can feel the same comfort and love.”
She said she thought about going to other universities in California, but taking time off college to serve a mission for a year and a half was a stumbling block. Other than wanting to serve a mission, she said her “allergy to the cold” led her to BYUH.
Tia Chu, a close friend who went to high school with Aguilar, wrote in an email, “The move was definitely hard on her because all her loved ones are back here in California, but if anyone is going to follow her dreams it's going to be Frances.”
Chu described Aguilar as “dedicated, passionate, caring, and hardworking.” Although Chu said she misses her friend, she is happy knowing Aguilar made the decision to follow her dreams. “I'm excited to see her grow and develop as a person.”
Aguilar’s boyfriend, Daniel Solano, said in an email, “There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how amazing Frances truly is. Frances is the strongest person I know physically and mentally. If there was one thing I love about her, it is her heart. She's a person who is charismatic to everyone she meets. I would like to wish her a prosperous semester there at BYU-Hawaii.”
As a double major in marine biology and business management student, Aguilar is taking seven classes for her first semester. She is not working so she can see if she can handle her course load.
What initially piqued Aguilar’s interest in marine biology was when she learned about science her junior year of high school. She found herself “fascinated” by anything about marine life, which led to her decision to major in the field.
Aguilar shared that she picked marine biology because she will be “doing what I love [and] love my job forever” and feels she won’t ever get tired of it because there is “so much to discover every day.”
The weather in Hawaii and the close proximity to the temple are some of the things she appreciates, as well as the family oriented environment. “It’s super nice that I feel welcomed here,” she said.
As of now, she is trying to become familiar with campus and planning to join Marine Team. When asked what she misses, she said, “I miss my dog a lot. His name is Gizmo. He is like my baby.
“I am always here for anyone who needs someone to talk to. I am super friendly. I love animals, especially dogs. Church is true, I believe it.”