I remember the first time I visited the Academy, I felt like an outsider wearing civilian clothes. I hoped to one day wear the uniform and looked forward to the pride I would feel the first time I put it on. We started wearing the full uniform sometime during Swab Summer, so honestly, I didn’t really feel much pride, but today, I feel it when I am out on the weekends and am thanked for my service or when I am home with my family.
Seeing my family, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles over Thanksgiving leave really reminded me to take pride in being at the Academy. Watching their expressions as I told stories about what my daily life is like made me feel invincible. It’s hard to be proud every day at the Academy because you feel like you’re always failing at something. You try your hardest, but it’s impossible to be perfect at everything. Taking time to relax and think though, it is incredible how much there is to take pride in. When I step back, I realize I am proud of myself, proud of my uniform, proud of my Class of 2017, proud of the Coast Guard Academy, proud of the United States Coast Guard, and proud of the United States. Realizing and remembering these prides is what makes the whole experience worth the small challenges we face every day.
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