One of the perks of living in Hawaii is always having a sunny day whereby any activity is possible, simultaneously motivating and perhaps distracting students from their studies. Living on a tropical island with nearly 271 days of sunshine a year, according to research from the National Climatic Data Center, it is easy to forget that a dreary rainy season does in fact exist.
While no official rainy season has been recognized, the Hawaii Travel Bureau says there is a slight increase in rain generally beginning around mid-November and extending into the end of March. During this time, Oahu’s beaches have less people lounging and tanning as students head in doors to avoid the pouring rain for a different kind of Hawaiian experience.
Student said the rainy season gives them motivation to study. Kelsi Cooper, a senior in university studies from Idaho, loves going to school in Hawaii because of her close access to the beach. “Going to the beach is my absolute favorite, but when the rainy season comes, I can’t go as often as I like,” Cooper bemoaned. “In a way though, the rain is such a bittersweet gift. Not having the distraction of the beach allows me to focus more on my studies.”
Saki Suyama, a sophomore in TESOL from Japan, also likes the lack of outside distractions the rainy season brings. “For the most part, I don’t really care about the rain because it is always starting and stopping,” Suyama said. “And there are always things to be done at school. Part of living in Hawaii with the sporadic rain is having an adaptable plan and understanding the strengths and limitations from certain kinds of weather.”
Liz Huffaker, a junior in TESOL from California, agreed with Suyama. “It’s definitely easier to focus on homework when you know there aren’t a lot of other alternatives due to of the rain.”
However, not all rainy-day activities end up being academically productive. Suyama said there are days when the rain can be a bit dreary and she feels like just staying home. Cooper echoed her concerns and said “sometimes the rain can get me a bit depressed and I just want to curl up on the couch and watch movies all day.”
Huffaker also said not all of her extracurricular rainy-day activities were school-focused. Huffaker prefers to play video games when the rain really starts to weigh on her moods. She stays inside to play her favorite game, “Dragon Age,” while taking a mini-mental break from school. Having the rainy season induce activities from both ends of the productivity spectrum shows the double-sided reality of a student’s BYUH experience in Winter Semester.