The fact that I arrived to the University a couple days before New Student Orientation was because my parents went ahead and bought the cheapest plane tickets they could get. Coming all the way from Hawaii, especially near the end of summer, didn’t exactly guarantee good airline deals to the East Coast. I could only bring what I would be able to carry myself once I arrived in Philadelphia—two 50-pound suitcases and a carry-on bag. I didn’t have any family or friends anywhere in the state, so I had to somehow figure out my transportation arrangements at one of my layovers in Phoenix, Ariz. Although I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was going to do before I jumped alone on that plane at Kona Airport, I was sure everything would figure itself out.
Eventually, I was able to get to Arcadia University through a cab company. Thankfully, they didn’t charge over $50 for a trip from the Philadelphia Airport to the Glenside. I was able to arrive by midnight, later than I expected due to a flight delay. Hunger struck me as soon as I settled into my dorm. I hadn’t eaten since my flight to Phoenix. Unfortunately, jetlag and exhaustion wore me down, knocking me out for the night. Next thing I knew, I was up at 5 a.m., absolutely starving. I didn’t have the energy to leave the dorm building, so I explored my new residence for the first time.
There it was. In the shadows of the Heinz Hall lounge. Illuminated by the early morning glow coming in from the surrounding windows. A snack machine. I brought out a dollar and selected a snack I had never seen in my life: Pop Corners. Yes. I ignored the Pop Tarts and breakfast bars and selected a bag of popcorn chips for breakfast. My first meal since landing in Pennsylvania.