Moving From Paradise After Graduation


Jason Perez

After four years at Chaminade, I will have to leave a beautiful state behind.

By Jason Perez, Staff Writer

Hawaii is a paradise with beautiful beaches, ideal weather, a friendly and safe community. It is where most people want to vacation during the summer and some lucky enough to live here. Although when I graduate, hopefully in May 2018, I will be leaving the island immediately. Eventually I would like to start a family, but due to Hawaii being expensive I cannot achieve my dream here.

The cost of living here is intimidating. That’s why I have decided to move away from Hawaii after I have graduated. As of right now I cannot buy healthy food that I want such as fruits, vegetables and actual meat. I have to resort to fast food and instant ramen and this is still with help from my parents. After college I am on my own and how it is looking right now, there is no way I can manage to be healthy, roof over my head, transportation to and from work. This is why after college I will decide to go back home and find a job as well as an apartment in Los Angeles. Hawaii is too expensive for myself, as a upcoming college graduate.

Currently I am working in a part-time job as a barista where I get paid minimum wage. As a college student who will graduate soon, I am ineligible for a perfect job that pays $15 or more an hour. I have to accept the minimum first and work my way up, and minimum wage in Hawaii is $8.50, whereas it is $10 in Los Angeles. The minimum wage is set to increase to $15 for both states in 2020, which is close but not close enough for recent graduate students who want to make a living.

Coming from Los Angeles to Honolulu, I noticed a big difference between the two cities. In Honolulu, all food and necessities that are needed to live here is expensive. In Los Angeles, basic living costs were relatively cheaper, buying produce and having packages delivered to your doorstep, all for an affordable price. In Honolulu, groceries are expensive. Not just groceries, but sometimes fast food places, ones that are supposed to be cheap.

According to Cost of Living website, the prices in Honolulu are double than those in Los Angeles. Two pounds of tomatoes in Honolulu are roughly $6, whereas Los Angeles has them for $3. Put in perspective, it costs about $120 per week on food alone in Honolulu, the cost of food per week in Los Angeles is about $85.  

Back home in Los Angeles after studying in Hawaii. Despite not being a paradise, necessities become more obtainable.
Jason Perez
Back home in Los Angeles after studying in Hawaii. Despite not being a paradise, necessities become more obtainable.

That is only the start of costs, the next is a rough estimate of the cost of monthly rent in a comfortable and affordable accommodation. Hawaii is known for being very expensive and as a college student this is intimidating. Straight after college, there are no more dorms to call home anymore. Now is the time to find an apartment for yourself, unless you plan to go back home to your parents. According to The Cost of Living website, a comfortable accommodation would cost about $2,221 a month in Honolulu. Now that is a nice accommodation, unless you want to live with roaches and unpleasant company. In Los Angeles the same size accommodation is $1,875, that is $350 cheaper. That is money that could be used for food, for transportation, for the bills.

In my years here I sometimes have to resort to cheap fast food. Even though these are the college years, this is all I can afford for the time being and even after graduation that will probably remain the same. I want to make a living for myself, but Hawaii is too expensive for me. The amount of money I earn here is not enough to support myself, the rate of apartments and the most decent accommodations are expensive. As much as I want to remain in this beautiful state I would have to move out and find better opportunities in other states that are affordable for recent graduates.