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cadet blogs

Parting Words

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo So not to be too sad or morbid, but this may be my last Academy blog post. I guess we really should stifle the sniffles and see it for the jubilant occasion that it is: I AM GRADUATING. After 4.5 years of blood, sweat, tears, and hard work, countless friends, marching, and emails, I have to say that I am finally coming to the golden butter bar light at the end of this brick tunnel. I am sad to leave but entirely satisfied with the time and more importantly the relationships and accomplishments I will be packing up and taking with me. One of the first things to go will be the laptop that I am currently typing this blog on: the thing has a 50/50 chance of not deleting whatever document I am procrastinating my way through. But in addition to the struggling electronic systems, parade dress uniform items, and tattered bedding, I will be leaving behind the days of communal bathrooms, classroom naps, team sports, and wardroom food. I have become my own person through this crazy process and I have to say that I am still a work in progress but a lot sturdier than I was when I came in as a freshman, fragile and shiny and breakable emotionally (and physically?) but I have learned how to be mentally tough, and learned how to handle stress and even to lift a little in the gym. This experience was one in a million.

 

I guess I will leave some advice, sort of like what I left for the fourth class when I made it to the esteemed title of third class, but this is more for the second class, or the seniors looking into the kaleidoscope of their upcoming last semester. They all experience a beautiful tunnel vision that keeps all of reality from resembling anything more than brightly colored patterns in the eyes of anxious excited first class. I’ll start with a thank you: to all of my lacrosse teammates, Delta Company, and my Marine and Environmental Sciences people. I will never forget the kindness, motivation, and fun I found in spending the last four.5 years of my life with you in some capacity. I think that it is important to stay well rounded and I felt supported from every angle.

 

Okay, time for some advice:

 

  1. Smile. Don’t ever forget: no matter how rough school, drama, military, family, or friends seem, you can always take a breath, smile, and remember that life is all about perspective. You will have time, and the stuff will get done. Smiling is contagious and it actually will make you and other people feel better :)
  2. Go for it. Take every opportunity. Don’t sit on the sidelines of life. The things that we regret are those that we did not do. Be adventurous and go outside. Appreciate your ability to be in the wild, to be with friends, and with the world. Offer to help people, be adventurous – you never know what you will find.
  3. Connections are key – to next jobs, to finding fun things to do, to meeting new people and learning new things. It is important to network and to have a story about yourself that will capture all who are lucky enough to bump into you. Be unforgettable and don’t forget the people you meet. (As a side note, people really appreciate thank you cards.)
  4. Stay open minded. Remember that you are never going to have full control. Be able to stay on your toes and be adaptable. Change will happen and if you let it ruin your day it will, or it could make you stronger and better at what you do.

 

There is probably more to say but I write too much as it is. Being in the Coast Guard is cool and it teaches you a lot more than how to drive a boat.

 

More about Lucy.

 

Staycation

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Pavan Photo From what I hear, the summers here at the Coast Guard Academy are a blast! You get to go out in the fleet, experience the Coast Guard and apply some of the salty knowledge you learned throughout fourth class year, and go some pretty rad places… Well, so I’ve heard!

 

Unfortunately, in the spring of my fourth class year I had to undergo knee surgery to reconstruct a torn ACL, leaving me not fit for full duty for the entire 11 weeks. This summer, my classmates had the opportunity to do half of their summer aboard our training ship USCGC Eagle and spend the other half either somewhere else in the country experiencing the operational Coast Guard or attending summer school to fulfill academic requirements. This year, my classmates got to take the Eagle to Europe, which is an amazing opportunity, and if you’d like to read more about that feel free to dig around for their blog posts on it.

 

I spent the first five weeks focusing on getting strength back in my leg enough to be able to ditch my bulky brace and the second half I joined my classmates and attended summer school for six weeks while I was still doing a physical therapy program. Although I wasn’t about to share any crazy nautical experiences with my classmates, I was able to enjoy looking at my food and finally finding my way around Chase Hall! I was bummed at first, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and I could not be more thankful to have such a great on-base clinic with a physical therapy staff that is so flexible and knowledgeable! I’ll be back on the rugby pitch soon enough.

 

This winter, I am taking the opportunity to do something called “Winter Fleet,” where I will spent part of my winter leave doing similar training as my classmates did this summer (*completely optional*) just so I can experience the fleet and get a sense of what awesome things I have to look forward to. Since I live in Fort Lauderdale, the officers over in Cadet Training have helped me a ton in planning out a perfect schedule so I can work in the nearby station, go underway on some fast response cutters out of Miami, and still be with my family on the holidays so I am extremely excited for what is to come! I am stoked to be able to apply the knowledge I learned from fourth class year, as well as the things I am learning this semester and apply it in the fleet. Can’t get too carried away though, it’s not even winter yet!

Semper Paratus!
Bruna.M.Pavan@uscga.edu 

 

More about Bruna.

 

Why Did I Sign Up to Blog?

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Hepler Photo I signed up to be a cadet blogger for two main reasons. Number one: I love the Academy! It definitely kicks my butt at times but the challenges it brings has brought me close to some of the best people on the planet. The Academy is not an easy place but having the right people around you makes it a hundred times better. Number two: I love the Coast Guard! I have done some incredible things since I have been at the Academy that I would not have had the chance to do had I been somewhere else and the best part is many of these were surprises for me. I had no idea when I accepted my appointment what unexpected excitement was ahead. This past summer, my third class summer, was absolutely amazing. I spent five weeks working in the fleet on CGC Cypress and six weeks on CGC Eagle. While I had fun all eleven weeks, the best part was being able to see what the real Coast Guard is like. Now, knowing what I have to look forward to when I graduate (a humanitarian mission, truly wonderful people, traveling the world, boats) has me more excited than ever and more appreciative of the Academy, which allows me to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science and undergo training to be an officer simultaneously. At this point there’s not much more I can ask for!

 

More about Mikki.

 

The Night Everything Changed

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Harrison Photo On May 7th, 2015, the stadium went ballistic. People in the stands were on their feet, yelling and stomping as the night continued on. The cold night air did not suppress their screeches and cries for the players who were rounding the bases. Except, these minor league baseball fans weren’t exactly cheering for their team. In fact, the Trenton Thunder baseball team had been on a severe losing streak, only giving the fans another reason to be angry while waiting on their hot dog order. Yes, the fans’ were not making cheers of exclamation for their favorite hometown team, but rather yelling incoherently at the redheaded girl behind the food stand who keeps messing up their nacho order. My name is Kiera Harrison and I have no idea how I made it this far.

 

This night started off as usual for your favorite hot dog girl. I took order after order and spilled soda after soda until the register was full but somehow my tip jar was somehow emptier than when I clocked in. As the fireworks went off to signify the end of another tragic Trenton Thunder loss, I took off to my car with a leftover stale pretzel in hand for dinner. I unlocked my car and stared out at Highway 9, thinking that New Jersey wasn’t going to be my home for much longer. I was on my way to becoming a Pittsburgh Panther and leaving in only a few short months. I pulled out my phone to let my mom know I was on my way home and I noticed I had a bunch of new unread emails. Thinking I missed an assignment in physics, I quickly checked through. The first email read “Save at Petco!” and I was wondering how they got my address. Highly anti-climactic. The next email, however, said I had gotten off the waitlist and had officially gotten an appointment to the United States Coast Guard Academy. There I was, a small redheaded girl covered in nacho cheese who was now the future of our country’s military. It could only go up from there.

 

The next month and half was a blur. A weird combination of graduation parties, paperwork, high school “lasts,” pitiful attempts to get in better shape, and goodbyes to good friends. Needless to say, when R-Day rolled around, I was very unprepared. I knew an appointment to a military academy was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I had no idea what to expect. I went in completely blind, but it ended up working out for me. I know this is the case for many students who have no connections to the military. I want to be a blogger so these people can relate to someone who was in their shoes not long ago. My goal is to deliver relatable posts that will help prospective cadets get a glimpse into Academy life while having a few laughs along the way.

 

More about Kiera.

 

Connecting With Others

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Andrews Photo Throughout my life, I was always told by my parents to be a leader, not a follower. This stuck with me for the most part. I mean, it is hard to be a leader at five years old but that didn’t stop me from trying.

 

My dad coached my pee-wee basketball team and I wanted pink converse to wear as my basketball shoes. I remember wearing them at my very first game. By the second game, the entire team had pink converse. This made me realize the direct impact I had on others. If I was able to influence others with my bright pink sneakers at five years old, then who knew what else I was capable of doing?!

 

In high school, I was involved with mentoring elementary students. I loved being able to connect with the youth and set a good example for them. Giving advice and making others feel important is what I was strongest at.

 

Through cadet blogging, I want others to feel connected and have access to any information they need. I want to contribute to the Academy’s visibility to the public eye. This way, we can all be connected.

 

More about Cassidy.