Appreciating What We Have Before It’s Gone


Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha Students walk to their classes, a simple action that should be cherished more.

“I’ll have a grande iced caramel macchiato with almond milk and an extra shot of espresso, please.” Those are the words that leave my lips nearly every morning before I head to school.At first, I kept it to only two $7 drinks a week, but as I continued to entertain my coffeeconsuming habits, I began to lose understanding of the true value of $7. I’ve practically finishedthe first half of my senior year and the value of $10 is like air to me. As we become acclimatedto situations and lifestyles, it’s easy to get too comfortable and forget how to properly value theaspects of our lives that go underappreciated, and as the end of senior year creeps around thecorner, I’ve realized I need to start valuing my time left here at KS.I’ve never really realized how horrible my spending habits were until this week. Aftergetting into Cornell, the surge of raw happiness was soon replaced with unease as I tried to figureout how I was going to pay $60,000. Sure, there’s scholarships, but that’s assuming I getselected. I thought about all the coffees I’ve bought, and if I had just decided to invest in aKeurig and make my own coffee, the hundreds of dollars worth of macchiatos could have easilygone to my tuition. In the grand scheme of things, those $7 add up—they hold value.This same negligence I experience with my day to day spending is comparable to myfailure to realize my days are numbered here, and my acceptance into Cornell made thatrealization all the more real. Our perception of the value of money makes us think we’re betterthan, less than, and everything in between, merely because of a number. We as a society havebeen desensitized to the true value of money amongst other things, all because we get too
comfortable and assume that this is the way life will stay—but more often than not, that’s not thecase—so we need to learn to start appreciating our last year at school while we still have thetime.As the senior class gets ready to depart the hill within the next 6 months, it’s imperativethat we figure out how to not only save money for college by cherishing the value of money, butlearn how to properly cherish these last moments on the hill with one another. In the same waythat we become desensitized to the value of money, we become desensitized to being surroundedby each other everyday. Kealaula Cabilao, a hopeful University of Washington admit, says, “Ispend every day in the speech room, and after this talk, it’s really hitting me that there’s only somany days left of… well, everything.” Another senior, Justin VanHooser says, “I kind of just dothe same thing here everyday and I’ve never noticed it till now, but it’s crazy to think that in lessthan a year I won’t be doing this (as in school) anymore.”So what can we do about this? We start small: Recognize the privilege you have to flingout, say $7 for a coffee every morning, and maybe instead decide to make a caffeinated tea athome for virtually nothing. Day after day, dollar saved after dollar saved, treat yourself with thatmacchiato you’ve missed so much, and wow, would you look at that! You actually cherish thedrink more! In the same respects, if we can start valuing the day to day conversations andinteractions we have with each even more than we do now, it will make our last days here farmore abundant. While it seems like a small effort to truly listen and pay attention to the worldaround you at school, the feat is much harder than it appears. The day that a $7 coffee will startimpressing me and begin to feel refreshing once more is the day that I’ll know I’m ready to valuethe important qualities of life and truly start cherishing senior year before it’s too late.