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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

The Support of Family and Friends

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
 Tress Salvatori Photo Hello again! It is almost unbelievable how fast time goes by here at the Academy. It is almost Columbus Day, which means that we are in the middle of the semester. Swab Summer was a challenging experience but the real challenge has just started. Being able to manage your time in order to accomplish academics, military training, sports and personal life in order to be successful is difficult.

 

The first months are rough because it is hard to manage your time efficiently to be productive. I tried to balance everything at the same time but things were getting a little bit messed up and I was not that productive. Then I made the decision to switch my plan. First, I balance my academics with the military obligations and from there figure out an efficient plan. After being comfortable with that, I start adding sports and personal life in to my previous plan. There are some days of the week that are pretty stressful but there is no better way to reduce stress than to just take a break, chill a little bit with my shipmates and then get back to business.

 

One the most important things to keep on going successfully at the Academy is family and friends’ support. For me being away from home is not a big deal, I have been away from home before, the big deal for me is being in a foreign country. There were some days when I couldn’t find someone to talk to about my feelings and thoughts. This may be caused by the language barrier. In those days what keeps me going is the communication with my mother and father. They are my great support and they provide me with a lot of energy. For Parents’ Weekend, they were here! That was so amazing. That was so far the best weekend of this semester. It was sad when they left but it was worth it. The following weeks my energy level and my enthusiasm have been all the way up. It is important to keep on producing at a maximum level and to keep up with the standards that are required here at the Coast Guard Academy.

 

Finally, the first pictures that you will find in my entry were my first contact with the Coast Guard. The Captain in the photograph (Captain Robert T. McCarthy with his wife and my mother) interviewed me before coming to the Academy and later on he visited my school for a very special ceremony. In the other photograph, you can see my mother and my father (the Admiral); they are my great role models. This was a very special moment in my life because I had my great support to encounter the beginning of a great journey.

 

More about Ruth.

 

I Was Meant to be Here

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Seaman Photo Choosing where to go to college is not easy. Everyone told me that I would know it when I found the college I was meant for. However, when visiting the esteemed universities that my family attended, that I grew up cheering for in football, and that my friends were planning to attend, I did not feel as though those were the places I was meant to be.

 

It was after those visits that I heard about the Coast Guard Academy. After I did a great deal of research on it, I knew that I wanted to come here. The rewarding career, the difference I would make in peoples’ lives, the countless new experiences, and the strong friendships I would make here fed my desire to be a Coast Guard cadet. Working in the fleet over the summers, getting to travel to new places and see how the Coast Guard works, were also big factors in my decision. I also wanted to come here because of the camaraderie among this tight knit community. Everyone is willing to help and support one another. One thing we learned over Swab Summer is that you cannot survive without one another. The Academy has given me the best friends imaginable.

 

Because many people had told me that the Academy isn’t for everyone, I needed to determine if it was for me. I made a few trips and participated in the overnight Academy Experience and an open house. The first question I asked the cadets I spoke with was, “are you happy here on a day to day basis?” I got many different answers from many different people, but I didn’t realize that I would be able to answer that question for myself before I even attended the Academy. Every time I left the Academy after a visit, I would be in the greatest mood. I could feel myself get more and more excited about the Academy as I told my parents everything I learned. I realized that when I was at the college I was meant to attend, I did know. I just had to travel a little bit farther than my friends back in Virginia.

 

More about Rachel.

 

Getting Involved

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sandri Photo We are about a month into the school year and I am enjoying being part of the corps! This semester I'm enrolled in honors English, rowing/coxing for the crew team and participating in Catholic FOCUS and other various activities, so it’s been a pretty busy few weeks. Getting involved in lots of extracurricular and academic activities is not only a great way to challenge yourself, but also allows for chances to experience events not available during the regular school day. Whether it’s taking a trip to see an author speak after practice, attending a lunch excusal, or traveling to Mystic for a regatta, getting outside of Chase Hall even for just a little bit helps me to take a step back and see things in perspective. It is also a great way to get to know people in other companies better outside of the classroom atmosphere – people who are now good friends I met through sports and activities.

 

On the other hand, it is a challenge to find time in the day to devote to unscheduled activities that come up, such as a meeting with a teacher who is also on a tight schedule, or fun liberty plans. Taking part in the many activities CGA has to offer is definitely something I would recommend, as long as you can retain some control over your schedule!

 

More about Eva.

 

Having the Time of My Life

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sakowicz Photo It’s almost the end of September and I can hardly believe it. I reported in three months ago, but it feels like R-Day was yesterday. CAP week provided a smooth transition from Swab Summer to the academic term. It’s like our cadre kept trying to tell us - you have to hit the ground running.

 

This semester I am taking Chemistry I, Calculus I, Composition and Speech, Leaders in U.S. History, Statics Engineering and Design, and Swimming. All my teachers are great and really help me out when I’m struggling. My time management has improved drastically over the past month alone.

 

My fellow fourth class and I have been having tons of fun running spirit missions and having an all-around great attitude. Being the smallest class in a very long time, our bonds are really strong and we can all depend on each other with anything, whether it be with homework, family issues, or just cleaning for Formal Room and Wing.

 

I cannot say enough how happy I am to be here. I decided to apply two years ago, accepted the opportunity to attend Marion Military Institute; a Coast Guard prep school, powered through Swab Summer, and now here I am having the time of my life even if I stay up a little too late studying for my tests.

 

'Til Next Time,
4/c Emily Rose Sakowicz

 

More about Emily.

 

Staying Afloat

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Roddy Photo During the chaos and rush of Swab Summer, I had come to view the academic year as a time of comparable rest and relaxation, but now that I’m in the thick of first semester I realize I could not have been more wrong!

 

Since the school year began, I’ve found my life is busier than I could ever imagine. The Academy is not meant to be easy, and as someone who was able to excel through the academics of high school without trying too hard, it has all been a bit of a shock. I often find myself up to my neck in homework, only to see more military obligations and sport commitments pile up on top of it. Like anything though, it’s always the first few weeks that are the hardest and I can already feel myself getting into a better routine. Things like ironing, shoe-shining and weekly evaluations that used to take me an eternity are now second-nature and I find myself able to set aside more and more time for academics.

 

No matter how hectic things get here, there’s never any doubt in my mind whether I made the right decision in choosing to attend the Academy. I’m surrounded by 200 other 4/c all taking the same classes, all with the same struggles, and I’ve found everyone is willing to reach out a hand and help a shipmate in need. The best motivator for me though is that this is military training, and at the end of it, no matter how bad it feels, I’ll be commissioned in ensign, and so as long as I keep my eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel, I can persevere through some hardships along the way!

 

More about John.

 

Finding My Motivation

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo I’ve just finished my third week of the school year. After a long seven weeks of Swab Summer, it was definitely a relief to start classes and not have to brace-up anymore except in Chase Hall and formations. (In academic and athletic buildings, 4/c cadets can now talk and walk normally). Swab Summer was full of tough challenges and high expectations. Though my dad went to an Academy, my household was by no means military. Because of this, I struggled at the beginning of the summer, but improved a lot as it went on. The cadre were hard on my shipmates and me because they wanted to make us the best followers we could be in order to later become the best leaders. We were reminded a few times this summer that once we’re all in the fleet, our class will be the one’s replacing our cadre’s class in stations, so they train us so they’re confident that we can maintain their work ethic, efforts, and leadership. All of the things we had to do this summer had a reason behind them. It was awful at the time, and there were plenty of times when I just wanted to give up, but remembering that there was a method to the madness helped me through.

 

After Swab Summer, there was CAP Week, a week of administrative meetings and planning. That week presented a new set of stressors for my fellow 4/c and me. Now, we faced challenges in getting organized and setting good foundations for the school year.

 

The actual school year was another shock to many of us. I am still adjusting to the workload and going to bed at midnight and waking up at 5:30. Again, I looked for a source of motivation. I found it on 9/11. I took some time to think about what it means to be at an Academy, and there’s no way to explain the pride I felt just thinking about it. Finding these motivations helps me keep a positive attitude each and every day.

 

More about Sarah.

 

Get the Enjoyment Out of Everything You Can

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Racz Photo It’s hard to believe that we’re already a quarter of a way through the semester. It seems like just yesterday I was stepping out of the car on R-Day, ready to start my cadet career. Life is fast paced at the Academy – nothing like high school. In high school, you could get away with taking it easy at times or even slacking off. Not the case at the Academy. They say the days are long and the weeks are short. Days full of back-to-back classes can be hectic at times and the homework just keeps coming and coming. In a way, however, it’s almost a good thing that we have so much to do. It keeps me busy and allows me to stay focused on the important things. I’ve quickly learned that I don’t have time for the childish things I used to find amusing. If I want to succeed here I need to be on top of my game.

 

After a long deliberation with myself, I made the decision to join the crew team. Having never rowed before, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. To my surprise, I have come to love the sport of rowing. The guys on the team are awesome and the practices are actually kind of fun. Seriously, if you come to the Academy and you’re looking for something new to do, come down to the boat house. You won’t regret joining crew.

 

I guess my biggest word of advice that I’ve acquired during my time here so far is this: get the enjoyment out of everything you can. I’ve had some great laughs and some fun times during these past few weeks. It’s tough because 4th class year is almost designed to keep you down in a way, but there are definitely chances to have fun. Your time here will be so much more enjoyable if you just laugh when you have the opportunity.

 

More about Benjamin.

 

The Best Decision Ever

(Athletics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Pourmonir Photo So when you come to the Academy everyone warns you about the life of a fourth class cadet, or a freshman. You aren’t allowed to look at your food, you can’t look around when you walk, and you have to march to class in sections. While all of that is pretty good to know about, I wonder why I was never really warned about the people. This crazy place sounded a lot more like a prison than a college. No one told me how devoted the teachers are to their students. No one warned me of how the upperclassmen put so much work into helping you develop into a better cadet and someday a better officer. No one told me about how your class becomes unified as one.

 

This may not be the easiest decision but it is definitely the best one I have ever made. I have learned so much since I reported in. My faith in God grew stronger, my faith in my classmates grew deeper, and my faith in myself became impenetrable. Classes are in no way easy, but they are always manageable, which for me is the key to success. You have to prioritize and manage every aspect of your life very closely. I have a few free periods during the day, which I try to use to do my homework. Classes end at four o’clock, and then I have crew practice until six o’clock. Crew has become my time to relax. It isn’t always relaxing, but I try to make sure I take at least five minutes during crew to think about everything and calm down. After crew, I have dinner and homework.

 

To be honest I don’t finish all of my homework until around midnight or 1 a.m. The issue with this is that I have classmates in bed by ten. The difference you ask? I procrastinate, socialize, and eat. It takes up way more time than you might think. I’d like to say that it’s just that difficult and I’m doing my best, but that wouldn’t be true. I am getting better though! I am learning how to keep track of a million things at once and manage my time so they all get done. Hopefully next month I will figure out how to get to bed by ten, because I could seriously use the sleep! I’ll check back in soon and let you know if I figure it out.

 

More about Keemiya.

 

Everything I Expected and More

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo My first month as a fourth class at the Academy has been a whirlwind. It is everything I expected and more. After waiting two years to be here I can honestly say that I made the right decision. Swab Summer was one of the more challenging experiences of my life. It will help you to discover how much more resilient and strong willed you can be. Even as the school year begun, my heart still raced hearing reveille over the loud speaker. The school year starting was like a breath of fresh air.

 

There are so many clubs offered here I just couldn’t decide which to join first. I am currently a member of the International Ballroom Dance Club, Cadet Activities Club, and the Cadet Blog Club! Swab Summer definitely taught me how to manage my time if nothing else and it has been essential this first month. I am now settling into the routine of our classes and the homework schedule, giving me an opportunity to enjoy the extracurricular activities the Academy has to offer.

 

The corps had its real first bonding event at the Coast Guard Academy Bears vs. Merchant Marine Academy football. It was a very exciting game full of a lot of morale and it really brought the corps closer. I was also given a chance to travel with the Coast Guard Academy’s marching band to the Big E agricultural fair hosted here in New England. It was so nice to get out into the real world and I was even allowed to wear civilian clothing! Everything is going very well.

 

More about Sydney.

 

Things Are Moving Quickly

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ledzian Photo Although Swab Summer was seven weeks long it felt very short. It’s hard to believe that I am already a cadet; it feels as if I will wake up one morning and it will only be week two of Swab Summer. Since the academic year began everything has moved very quickly. I am moving through my courses very quickly and it is easy to fall behind. As for sports, I find it very helpful to be a part of a sports team and know upper-class cadets. I have already run two races on the XC team, one of which was my first 5-mile race. With sports and academics it is hard to find free time, even the weekends are jam packed with racing and homework.

 

Though I am always busy, I enjoy the challenge presented by my academic course load. One of my favorite courses is Fundamentals of Navigation. This course involves nautical charts and I really like its practical applications. I have been able to separate myself from my academics and have fun visiting my sponsor family, where I have completed 30 and 50 mile bike rides; going to XC meets, and having team dinners. The atmosphere here is really energetic and helps a lot when I am having a bad day.

 

More about Patrick.

 

You Might as Well Make It a Party

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Kuntz Photo During Swab Summer, our cadre always told us that they were preparing us for the stresses of the school year and the fleet. The entire time they’d be saying that, I’d think “pssh, school… how different can it be from high school?” Classes have always been pretty easy for me. I was a varsity athlete and captain all through high school on top of being president of multiple councils and involved with numerous extracurricular activities. I thought I was used to stress and time management, but let’s just say that I underestimated the school year a lot.

 

So far, in just these four weeks of classes, I’ve had three tests, a paper, numerous group projects, nightly homework on top of varsity sports practice, and military obligations (and I can’t forget my favorite thing, weekly indoc tests!). Things aren’t getting easier, but I’m getting more used to day-to-day life here at the Academy. Now that everything is in full swing, I’ve developed a routine that I think will definitely be my saving grace for the rest of the semester and the school year!

 

4/c year isn’t supposed to be the best time on the planet, mostly because we still have a lot of work and training to do in order to be successful cadets. Throughout all of the stresses of the week and all of the work that has to get done, I think people forget that we’re in “college.” Granted, we’re not out partying like most of our friends back home, but we are partying in our own “Academy” way. I make it my goal every day to be positive and focus on the fun that we are having. Everything here is so much easier if you can have fun with it! My roommate is awesome and is one of my best friends here. We make everything a “party” and always try to have fun and get our work done. Shoe shining parties, chemistry parties, and fruit parties are some of our favorites. It’s definitely the little things, but life here is what you make of it, so you might as well make it a party!

 

More about Savannah.

 

Powering Through the First Semester

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Krause Photo The start of October marks the end of my first month as a cadet at the Academy. This past month has just flown by! 4/c life has been such an adjustment from Swab Summer. Unlike Swab Summer where your day is constantly dictated, during the school year time management is all on you. As 4/c, we have to handle all of our military obligations, on top of our school work and sports. The overwhelming amount of work can sometimes seem impossible to get done with the limited time we have. Now that we are moving through our second month of school, I am getting better at just taking each task one at a time, which helps reduce some stress.

 

Though academics, military obligations, and sports take up most of our time, we still manage to sneak in some fun (even as 4/c). The constant support of my classmates has helped me handle the pressures of the school year and I look forward to growing even closer as a class. I also love being a member of the cross country team. The opportunity to have such great teammates and leave campus on meets and off base practices has made the start of the academic year so much better. It is also really cool to represent the Academy through athletics, which motivates me to try for my best performance each race. So far we have been able to travel to several big meets that have all been incredible. I would definitely suggest getting involved in a sport or club because it’s great to have a bit of a break from the work. I’m excited to see how the rest of the cross country season goes and I look forward to powering through the first semester. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me at Gretchen.M.Krause@uscga.edu.

 

More about Gretchen.

 

Loving Life

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Haley Photo Hey guys!

 

During the first week of classes, an upperclassman told me that the days here would be long but the weeks would go by fast and the months even faster. I’ll admit that at first I was skeptical. It was only the first day and I had so much work to do! Just making it to the end of the day seemed impossible—never mind making it through weeks and months. But as usual, this upperclassman was correct. Somehow, time has flown by and we’re already nearly half way through the semester!

 

This past month or so has been awesome! The schoolwork is definitely difficult and sometimes overwhelming, but as long as I just focus on the task at hand and not stress about the piles of work left to do, I keep myself sane. I’ve found that most cadets here really cherish sports period as a time to relax and recharge their batteries for a night of schoolwork. For me, cross country practices and meets have definitely been something to look forward to. The people on the team are awesome and getting to travel around to different schools around New England to run every weekend is pretty cool. And since I’m from the area, I’ve gotten to see a lot of my old teammates and running friends at meets, which is sweet. I’m also pretty lucky that since I live close I’ve been able to see my family and visit my friends at different colleges quite a bit. Aside from all that, it’s really the little things that happen at the Academy that make it so great. Whether it’s dying laughing with my roommate about the awkward things that happen as a braced up fourth class or coming back to the Academy covered in dirt and scratches from thorns after getting lost in the woods on a run (#fourthclassprobs), it’s the little, insignificant things that get me through the day.

 

There are definitely the ups and downs being here at the Academy, but, there’s always so much to look forward to…enjoying my favorite season—fall (a.k.a. eating everything pumpkin-flavored), Halloween, XC meets, seeing everyone at home for Thanksgiving…these next few weeks should be a lot of fun! So even though the Academy has proven to be pretty difficult, at the end of the day—even if the end of the day is at 0100 in the morning—I always climb into my rack thinking about how much I love my life.

 

#Lovinglife #Beingpositive #Bye

 

More about Jenn.

 

Life after Swab Summer

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo Swab Summer was definitely challenging and we all miss parts of it now that the academic year has started. I could go on forever about Swab Summer, but I would go way over my word count. It was the experience of a lifetime—challenging, fun, trying, and tiring.

 

The way of life here during the academic year is very different, and we’re all still adapting to the new routine. Having been to a traditional state university for a year, I can say firsthand that this education is entirely different—it’s very hands on, and professors really care about your success. Here, you’re not just a number. When you come here, you are “somebody” in Chase Hall, in the classroom, and on the sports field. If you want to be a part of a family who wants to see you succeed, this is the place for you. The academics are very demanding, and I’m not necessarily your top “math-guy” but that’s why I came here: to get the best education possible to develop as an officer in the finest seagoing service.

 

The culture here is very unique, and so is the way we have fun. The Merchant Marine Academy game last week was insane (for a variety of reasons), but it was a whole lot of fun. Spirit missions, or good natured pranks on the upper-class cadets ran rampant the week before, and the energy on campus was exhilarating. The energy here, whether it’s during Pass and Review (drill), sports events, or campus activities, is what keeps me going. Just about everyone here is on the same page, so we all know how to have a good time. That’s another thing—all nine hundred or so people here are all working toward a common goal. I think cohesion among cadets here can only be matched by a few other places on the planet.

 

More about William.

 

A Month of (Somewhat) Back to Normal Life…

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Fordham Photo …if you can consider being braced up and squaring ‘normal’. It is for me now!

 

After two strenuous months of Swab Summer, a hectic week of initiation trainings and then the start of school, my life has slowed slightly. Actually, it slowed exponentially after I was put on crutches for breaking my foot. (You never really think about how many hills are on this campus until you’re: a) running on them or, b) crutching up them.) Despite this, determination to be a good cadet drove me to learn how to crutch faster than some people walked normally. Of course, the stairs got me every time. But that’s beside the point.

 

Now: academics. Going into college, we all know, it’s going to be different. Speaking from my perspective, it’s really not that different apart from the sheer amount of homework. I’m proud to say that I’ve only stayed up past midnight twice to far... and both times were because I had to clean. Your shipmates will help you through a lot of your homework if you’re struggling, but if worse comes to worst you are entered into a mandatory CASP session (like me), which is actually awesome! (Kind of).

 

While the Coast Guard is still a huge change in my life, it’s slowly but surely becoming more natural to me. I can’t wait to see what else it will bring!

 

More about Savanna.

 

Hundreds of People Willing to Help

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo Hello to all who may read this,

 

It has been over a month since we graduated from Swab Summer, which turned out to be one of the toughest experiences of my life. It will change you in ways you don’t expect until you are free to do your own thing, and suddenly realize that you are thinking about doing something that was taught to you without thinking about it. Habits are definitely hard to break.

 

With the start of the academic year, the Class of 2017 faced a new set of challenges. The first and foremost among these was time management. We had all had our time managed for us during the summer, with specific time given for each activity, and if we went over, we were punished. Now we were given a bucket load of new responsibilities, and had to find ways to manage them.

 

So far, the academic year hasn’t proven too hard for me, but I know that it will escalate soon. The expectations of incoming forth class are very high, but there are hundreds of people within the Academy willing to help.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Drew.R.Daniels@uscga.edu.

 

Until next time!

 

More about Drew.

 

Top 10 Moments of Swab Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Dahill-Baue Photo Mention the words “Swab Summer” to anyone here at the Academy, and you will usually hear groans. Swab Summer is the seven-week indoctrination training that all incoming freshman must go through before they can officially call themselves “cadets” at the Academy. It’s basically just like all freshman orientations… except you exercise all day, get yelled at, and don’t even have time to think! Even though cadets look back on their experience during Swab Summer like it was the worst part of their lives, we all will secretly admit that there are a few fun moments or times that we got to do some pretty awesome things. So without further ado, the top 10 moments of Swab Summer……

 

1. Inter-Company Sports: a few times a week, companies (all swabs are broken into eight companies) will compete against each other in softball, volleyball, basketball, or soccer. This is a great time to relax a bit, talk to your shipmates, and maybe spot a cadre acting like a normal person. My company, Hotel, was absolutely horrible at these games. Our first softball game, we lost 4 to 26. However, at one of the last volleyball games, we were able to win by just 2 points. We were so excited, we started screaming and jumping up and down and hugging each other like we had just won the Olympics.

 

2. Creative Room Wreckage: If a swab’s room is not “properly stowed” – meaning everything put in the exact place it is supposed to be, bed made perfectly, and all clothes crisply folded – then the cadre will go in and wreak havoc in their room. Sometimes, they have some fun and get creative with it. Once, they moved around the mattresses in a room to make a fort. Another time, they made a little “camp fire” out of our flashlights and coat hangars, a “tent” out of our green sea-bags, and sang camp songs with a guitar while “roasting” marshmallows on sticks. As we walked by, they chanted “Yay! Just another fun day at Camp Coast Guard! What a lovely summer!”

 

3. Sunrise: Every morning, we would wake up at 5:30 to go do a morning workout. The sun would still be below the horizon as we ran, did push-ups/sit-ups, or completed ab circuits. Although it was tiring, it was always worth it when, around 6 a.m., as we headed back from our workout, the sun would rise over the hill, and the beautiful orange light would hit the glassy water of the Thames. Any sort of negativity that I may have felt at the moment would always be washed away by this beautiful sight.

 

4. Shooting Range: Before Swab Summer, I had never shot a rifle before. One day, we got to go to the shooting range on campus and shoot an M16. It was really cool because there is definitely a lot of responsibility in handling a rifle, and responsibility is not something you usually get during Swab Summer, as everything is planned out for you and you are told exactly what to do every minute of the day.

 

5. Music: Since you almost never get to listen to music as a swab, the few times where you might get to hear a bit of music are some of the sweetest moments. On Sundays when we cleaned the barracks, the cadre would occasionally play music from their laptops in order to boost morale. My shipmates and I would have a lot of fun getting to dance a little bit to the music in our rooms as we cleaned, and briefly feel like normal people.

 

I know that that is only 5, but this blog entry is starting to get very long (I guess I have a lot to say about the fun moments of Swab Summer!), so I will include the next top 5 moments in my next blog entry! Stay tuned!

 

If you have any questions, shoot me an email at Clara.E.Dahill-Baue@uscga.edu.

 

More about Clara.

 

Rivalry Known? Check!

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Corbett Photo Hello Everyone!

 

For my first post I want to talk about the Secretaries Cup weekend. As most of you reading may know, there is a slight, sort of, I guess you could call it a rivalry, between the Coast Guard Academy and Merchant Marine. The week leading up to the game is spirit week. The 4/c or some like me at least, go crazy. We yell “Go Bears,” “Bear Mania,” or “Da Bears,” to every upper class we see as to greet them and spread the morale. There are different morale activities throughout the week to keep everyone involved and 4/c are encouraged to do spirit mission, which are like little pranks on upper class.

 

The week definitely gave a lot of buildup of what was to come. We heard the rumors of it being crazy at points during the football game. Wait, though, come on…we are military schools, how crazy could a tiny little rivalry be? When the busses pull up some glares started to be thrown. The upper class warned us, the 4/c, to not be too rowdy. I just moseyed on along to my water polo match unaware of the potential of this– sorry, I have been understating–this incredibly serious rivalry! This was my first water polo match and the stands were full of Coasties. Only a few MMA’ers showed up. Well, we ended up winning, which showed the potential of the CG water polo team this season. The MMA team did do very well for a team of 12 against our team of 33, but the outcome was inevitable.

 

After the water polo game, I headed back to the stands. To my surprise the spirit of the corps was impeccable, everyone standing and cheering for our football team. Some shenanigans were had. To say the least my cover was taken from me by an MMA freshman. They also tried taking our cadet flag. They were never successful on that front. We however were! As 4/c we are in charge of the morale and spirit basically, if we are happy everyone else is happy! Our shenanigans were all in response to actions taken by the other side. We protected our corps and our belongings and maintained posture while also responding, and well, causing a little havoc of our own. I was never a fan of going to sporting events before this. After seeing what went on that weekend, trust me, the aura around the events puts a smile on your face and you are guaranteed a fun time!

 

More about Shane.

 

It’s Worth Every Minute!

(Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Beck Photo Hey there! I’m Laura, (4/c Beck) and if you’re looking for maybe a different perspective on Academy life, I hope to give you that. Sorry if this post may not live up to that…but I promise it only gets better.

 

These first few weeks of the academic year are so overwhelming. Not only do we have a full course load but also tons of rules to acclimate to. This may seem discouraging, but knowing that the three classes above us all dealt with the same thing, and respecting how much knowledge, and professionalism they have, motivates us all to work hard every day.

 

Above all, the community here is really supportive. I attended civilian university for a while and the Academy is way closer to being a team (dare I say a family?) than the random grouping of people I experienced previously. The academic and moral support system makes us feel included and involved.

 

I started a sport here I’ve never tried: crew. As with my shipmates’ experiences on their teams, I’ve been overjoyed at the outstanding training and opportunities for anyone to do well if they work hard. The two hours a day set aside for athletics is my time to use a different part of my brain. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to crank out essays in just a couple hours. The physical work keeps me mentally focused when I need to be.

 

I feel like not much has happened yet but I’m sure there will be some good stories to share soon!

 

More about Laura.

 

With Great Power, Comes Endless Amounts of Homework

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Doctolero Photo Going into my third class year I was excited. I could swivel my head in the hallway, I could bring my food to my face in whatever angle I wanted, and I no longer yelled at an inanimate object for 10 minutes. The roles had switched and I was excited for the year to come. When classes started I realized this year wouldn’t be all fun and games. As an ORCA major my schedule was full of math classes. I have multivariable calculus right after my linear algebra class, talk about math overload. And physics in the morning is rough; the last thing I wanted to talk about in the morning was angular velocity and the conservation of momentum. On top of that, there were weekly physics tests and so much homework I couldn’t breathe. It was tough at first to get in the swing of things, but I worked hard, developed a schedule, and tried not to waste too much time.

 

It was also weird for me to have to be in charge of someone. Even though the division has a first and second class, it’s the third class’ responsibility to take the fourth class under their wing. I was constantly bombarded with questions and tried to answer to the best of my abilities. There was also deciding what kind of leader I should be. Should I be the overly nice third class, that seems like a friend or should I be the overly accountable third class that is strict and goes by the book. I eventually chose to be nice, because everyone deserves second chances, and my goal was not to be a tyrant, but a mentor. And I can’t mentor if my fourth class is scared to approach me.

 

Despite all the kinks and obstacles, I can honestly say I’m excited for the year to come. I look forward to watch my fourth class grow just as I did last year. I know I’m far from perfect and I also have some growing to do. But I’m ready to tackle any obstacle head on and make the best of this year.

 

More about Rheanastasia.

 

Our Service as Coast Guardsmen is About Servitude

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
 DePorto Photo It's a short week coming back from Labor Day weekend. As always, I am excited for the weekend. We have an away volleyball tournament and are leaving Friday at 1300 (1pm). I will get to sleep on the bus while my classmates are in school. Oh, the small perks of being on a varsity team.

 

My birthday is this month, and I am dreading turning 22. I remember being 17 and meeting someone that was 22. "You are so old," was all I could think. I am losing my youth. But I have to keep reminding myself that age is only a number. With every day that passes, I learn more and am able to take on more responsibilities.

 

I am the Regimental Workplace Climate Officer this semester. I get to deal with diversity affairs as well as sexual harassment and assault issues. The perks of taking on the extra responsibilities are that I get to keep my car in the upper parking lot, I live on the second floor, and I get to give the 4/c carry-on. I am working to make trainings better and be able to have more open discussions about where we all come from. I am a first generation college student, and much to my surprise so are many of my classmates. We all come from different backgrounds and have faced different challenges, so I believe that if we talk about them we can have a better appreciation for those around us as well as the wonderful lives we all live.

 

Again, my sister and I are the first in our family to attend college. I knew I would go to college since the 7th grade when my parents told me that I could get paid to go to school if I worked hard. Little did I know that I would eventually not only get paid to go to school, but straight out of college I will have no debt and the coolest job I can think of for a 22-year-old. I am living the American dream.

 

That is all I have for my first entry, but I want to leave this with the speech I addressed to the Corps on our first day of school. The weekend before got out of hand and too many people forgot how lucky they are to attend the Academy. It is a stressful place and we are young adults, but we cannot forget what a great opportunity we have been given by coming here.

 

Our Service as Coast Guardsmen is About Servitude (Continued) PDF  

 

More about Kelsey.

 

A Memorable Columbus Day Weekend

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges) Permanent link
Mason Photo Oh boy…. What a load! This semester is by far the hardest semester I’ve had as a Civil Engineer. My weeks are flooded with group projects that consist of designing retaining walls, concrete beams and slabs, with plenty more to come. This is the year that we take all of the information that has been crammed into our brains over the past three years, and actually apply it to large-scale problems. I believe next week we are actually going to be pouring concrete to build concrete beams that we have designed, and then we will load them until they fail. Should be pretty fun!

 

I spent the long Columbus Day weekend in Rhode Island with my friend Melissa who was 39 weeks pregnant. We have been friends since middle school, and I just simply could not take the chance of missing the birth of her child. Come Sunday night, she had not yet had the baby, but was still three days early. I started to become discouraged, thinking that there was absolutely no way that she was going to give birth before I had to go back to the Academy. Well, God answered my prayers and her water broke Sunday evening, and she went into labor by 1:30 in the morning on Monday. We (her mother, husband, mother-in-law, and I) arrived at the hospital around 0230, and she delivered her baby by 0530. It all happened so fast, and before I knew it I was holding a beautiful, tiny, perfect baby boy in my arms. His name is Mason Anthony Souza, and I really mean it when I say he is perfect. Even his CRY is beautiful. I still don’t think I have wrapped my brain around the idea that this woman, the little girl I used to sneak down the hallway with and into her fridge to steal ice cream in the middle of the night, is now a mother. And that tiny little bundle that I held in my arms is a person, who will someday grow up to be a man. It absolutely amazes me! And I feel so blessed to be named his “Auntie,” even though we are not truly related.

 

As beautiful and exciting as my weekend was, it all made Monday night a difficult one. I had only really slept for about an hour in the previous 24 hours, and had to work on a project that was due the next day. I didn’t go to bed until about 0300, and got 3 hours of sleep. My full morning of classes on Tuesday was probably the most difficult I’ve had all year. Staying awake was SO HARD!!! The exhaustion was worth it overall, but I’m definitely feeling it carry out into the rest of my week. Two more days and I will hopefully be able to get some much-needed rest.

 

Until next time,
Ally

 

More about Allyson.

 

A Successful Transition

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Schroeder Photo Hello all! Here I am, already a month into school and I cannot believe how fast it is flying by! It’s strange to think that already over a year has passed since I first arrived at this place, and that I have already made it through my fourth class year and third class summer.

 

This summer I got to see some amazing places; I was in Miami, Florida for five weeks working on a brand new fast response cutter, and then I went on Barque Eagle for six weeks where we got to travel to places such as Bermuda, France, and Canada. I had some unforgettable experiences that easily made for the best summer I’ve ever had. At first it was definitely tough to get back into school mode, but I’ve ended up making a great transition.

 

I am a Marine and Environmental Sciences major and I am taking some really cool classes! Meteorology and Marine Biology are among my favorites. As a fourth class I just took general classes, now it’s awesome to study subjects I am actually interested in! I’ve already got to learn and see some pretty neat things, for example in Marine Biology lab the other day we got to go to the beach and catch small critters like crabs and jellyfish.

 

School isn’t the only thing keeping me busy this year though. I joined the women’s rugby team a month ago and I love it! I’m playing loose-head prop for the A-side team, and we just had our first game last weekend and we won! I play hockey so I’m used to contact sports but rugby is definitely exciting and new. Hockey pre-season stuff has also been starting, and as team secretary I have a lot of new responsibilities that I did not have last year, and a lot of paperwork to get done!

 

School, sports, and military obligations have definitely been keeping me busy, but so far I’ve had a great time in this first month of school and can’t wait for autumn.

 

More about Jade.