2736: the number of hours that have passed this semester. A good friend of mine keeps track of every number imaginable. Number of meals, number of classes, etc. Well, here I sit, one semester into this crazy world that lurks in the gates of the Academy. One birthday older, 200 family members stronger, another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas is right around the corner. As I sit here and think of where I have been, I reminisce through my memories to think of what to write. What glorious words of wisdom do I have to share after my first semester? Lucky for my followers I keep a journal labeled “Words of Wisdom.” It is a brown leather-bound journal with etchings on it. It was a gift for graduating high school along with a carved wooden pen from an aunt and uncle. As a graduating senior at the time this was not the ideal gift, however I have come to own its importance. I only write in the book with that special pen that joined it in the wrapping paper, and only special quotes or lines are allowed on its pages. When I am feeling down throughout school or life, I can look through the book and find a saying that has touched me before and read it again for some inspiration. So back to those 2736 hours.
Life is tough at the Academy. That is just the truth. I had the pleasure of being home for the holidays; I only live outside Philly. Being home I saw a lot of the other road, the road more travelled. I sat with my friends and contemplated on the paths that, just a year ago, were merely only street signs. I can say I am happy with my trail through the dark forest. You see out of those 2736 hours I may have slept 600 hours, or six hours, roughly, a night. I probably spent 1700 of those hours on school work, classes, or military obligations. You can see there is not a ton of that free time that is craved by our generation; time just kicking back with friends and relaxing. But that is ok! In my book is a conversation I had before Reporting -In day. A friend of mine asked me, how many hours did Bill Gates work to make his million? I had no clue so the friend said 68 hours a week. He then asked, now after he made his first million how many hours do you suppose he worked. I responded saying probably 20, who would want to keep working? My friend looks at me and says, “He worked 69 hours a week. “ My point is that all this time is so relative. I worked hard in high school, and now I am working harder here. You can enjoy your college days anywhere, its four years of, hopefully, a long life. After college, welcome to the real world. Here at the Academy you begin to think in terms of rewards, whether it is being granted permission to sleep in one day, or overnight weekends with a sports team. Eventually all these hours spent on school will add up. Eventually we will all meet our aspirations and be a commissioned officer. That is when the hours become worth it, when all of the hours add up to that final reward. That is when the true adventure begins.
I have come to realize that up until this point, I have given no way of communicating with me! If anyone ever has any questions about this place feel free to shoot me an email at Shane.P.Corbett@uscga.edu.
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