Since I certainly do not have the time to write a solid story, I am resorting to a simple list of random facts. Below you will find a mildly entertaining, useful collection of things about the Academy that you may not know about.
1. At the beginning of every semester, cadets move rooms and switch roommates within their respective companies. This is done to increase camaraderie and also offers cadets a glimpse of what fleet-life is like; when we graduate we will be constantly moving locations from tour to tour, meeting new people, adjusting to new climates, etc.
2. Chase Hall contains not only our barracks, but also: a bookstore, the mailroom, a barbershop, the wardroom, two ranges (in the basement), various offices, a gym, three laundry rooms, the tailor shop, a dry-cleaning service, and a uniform shop. I am probably forgetting something, but these are the essentials.
3. We are now allowed to purchase our books for each semester by any means necessary with cash from our own pockets. In the past, we had to order through the bookstore, which cost cadets a lot more than if we were to purchase them online. Since then, I have saved hundreds of dollars.
4. Speaking of money, your paycheck is split into two payments that occur twice a month, on the first and the fifteenth. Navy Federal Credit Union is our bank and cadets usually use USAA for property insurance. Also, you can still have other, previously owned bank accounts.
5. The older you get, the more privileges you earn. I know this is a given, but I like reminding people that the juice is totally worth the squeeze. Because of this, it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. For instance, I have an entire drawer filled with civilian clothes that I relish with the same passion and possessiveness of a dog and its bone.
6. Civil Engineers get free hard hats and the best faculty any major could offer.
7. You can’t wear your backpack on your back when in certain uniforms. You learn all about it during Swab Summer, but the frustration of this limitation never diminishes.
8. The wardroom serves quality food and there is always fruit available if you’re hungry for an afternoon snack. Some people may disagree, but I suffered through a year of prep-school food and hardly have a reason to complain. Plus, the wardroom ladies are always helpful and are the epitome of hard work.
9. As an addition to #2 above, Chase Hall also has a bike room. I bought a road bike early this semester and absolutely love it. If you have a bike, all you have to do is sign out and you can take it for a ride anywhere at any time (unless you’re restricted).
10. Your attitude is a major influence on how life at the Academy will go. That said, positive pessimism goes a long way.
More about Alexis.