- Student Life
- HPU Website
- Sign Up for Email Updates
By Victoria Piccoli. September 25, 2014 - 11:39 am
New York native Jessica Bie is a sophomore at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) studying multimedia. Jessica began her college search looking for universities that offered her major and gave opportunities to compete for a scholarship, which led her all the way from the eastern seaboard of the United States to the North Pacific Ocean islands of Hawai‘i.
Jessica is very upbeat and has a unique passion for everything she enjoys, especially swimming. Until recently, HPU did not have a swimming club, but Jessica is going to change that during this semester.
It started with her choice to travel from New York to Hawai‘i, which left her home sick, “the atmosphere is really different here…it’s hard missing little holidays — I obviously can’t travel home for birthdays or anniversaries so I am basically on my own for those types of things,” Jessica said.
Being hundreds of miles away from home and family is something that many students at HPU deal with during the school year – making friends, having hobbies, and joining clubs can help one from feeling lonely, especially around the holiday season.
For Jessica, swimming was a way to calm down and remember home because she had been swimming since she was 10. “I started out on the non-competitive junior sharks and as I got older I matured into a shark, and continued with the sharks during high school even though I was also on the high school varsity swim team,” Jessica said.
Since the ocean and swimming pools are close to campus, Jessica has the luxury of swimming between classes or after school, “I swim at the YMCA by campus or I have a pool at my apartment complex,” Jessica added.
So when Jessica saw on a student run HPU Facebook page that there was interest in a swim team she quickly replied, “I saw it and got so excited, so I liked it and commented on it,” Jessica continued by saying, “I said that I would love to take up a leadership position and put a little bit about my swim background.”
Next step for Jessica was to contact Bahar Yaghoubi, Campus Recreation and Intramural Coordinator at HPU. “I emailed Bahar and told her that I would love to meet with her to talk about a swim club,” Jessica said. Bahar told Jessica that club carnival was coming up and that Jessica should make a flyer and hand it out to people. “So I went to club carnival and my flyer was being handed out, people were coming up to me asking me about the swim club,” Jessica said.
After club carnival and seeing the interest from others, Jessica is more excited than ever to start. “We probably won’t have that many formal meetings where we meet somewhere and talk,” Jessica said, “but since I swim on my own, I have made my own workouts in the past so I would be more than willing to make workouts for the club.”
Whether in the pool or in class, Jessica wants others to feel included and she loves to share her passion of swimming with anyone. The swimming club is open to all levels of swimmers and she is ready to help, mentor, and have fun with other students. Creating the swimming club would push student involvement at HPU while providing others with a healthy outlet for overcoming worries and stress from being so far from home.
Photos by Victoria Piccoli.