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cadet blogs

Summing Up Fourth Class Year

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Hello. It’s Lucy. I just got back from Grease, the musical! Tonight was opening night and the play went so well. It was really funny and I had no idea how many talented singers went to the Academy! The musical was a nice way to end the week. I will be honest and say that in the past two weeks, everything has been piling on top of itself; between tests, and trainings, and BOARDS, I have been quite busy. I took my first Board on Thursday. Sadly, I failed with a six out of ten, and to pass you need an eight. I wasn’t too upset about it though because I have two more attempts before spring break. Boards are a big deal for fourth class cadets because they are in a way the climax of being a fourth class. You learn what it means to be in the military all year long, starting in Swab Summer when you learn how to dress and march, and finishing the year with damage control and cadet van trainings, as we get ready to go into the fleet for the first time as cadets (aside from the one week on Eagle during Swab Summer). Taking boards is a way to sum up everything we did all year, as well as make sure that we know everything (or most) of what we will need to know about the Coast Guard for when we are out at a station or afloat this summer. Also, when we pass boards individually, we get privileges like listening to music out loud, or being able to write on the white boards outside of our rooms. If we all pass as a class though, WE GET FULL CARRY ON. And other awesome things like rec gear (a polo and khakis) that we can wear instead of wearing a full uniform out on liberty. I really hope that I pass before spring break!!!


I finished my indoor track season this month, and I have a few weeks to go until the offshore sailing season starts. It is nice to have a bit of a break from the sports, although I really look forward to getting back on the water especially when it finally gets warmer around here. It has been pretty cold in the recent months and although the snow day we had was a lot of fun, I think I am ready to be warm again. Time has been flying and I honestly don’t think that the notorious “Dark Ages” have been too dreary, just busy and snowy.


In the past month and a half, we had 101st night, which is when a fourth class and a second class switch places after a week of morale and playing pranks on each other (my second class switched all of my furniture so that I couldn’t get to the contents of my drawers or desk), and I have gone on an Officers’ Christian Fellowship retreat. It is crazy to think that in two months, it will be the end of the school year! Wish me luck on boards :)



(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Keeley Photo Clearly I have not written in a while. It is not that I am lazy, although I may procrastinate a little. I kept meaning to write an entry but found myself without enough time. That is a key thing you learn to do when you come here: managing your time. However, this does not simply mean make sure you do your homework before going to hang out with friends. This means being able to pick and choose what is most important and to let other things go. For example, I set aside a small homework assignment to study for a large exam last night. Luckily, that homework assignment was never collected. My point is that, in order to excel at a busy place like this, you need to get your priorities straight. It becomes necessary to accept the fact that you have to give up a real social life in order to accomplish all that is expected of you.


However, I do not want anyone to think that coming to the Academy is undoable. It is very manageable even during the dark ages (the period between winter and spring break). What needs to be remembered is the reason you decided to come here. Every cadet has earned their position to be here and should never feel sorry for him or herself when their load gets big and times get tough. We are being trained to deal with stressful situations in an environment where you can make mistakes. However, the mistakes you make should never be repeated if possible.


I came here not knowing why other than the great opportunity, job security, and financial stability. However, I am beginning to enjoy this crazy process for what it’s worth. This semester, I am taking two history courses whereas last semester, I was not enrolled in any. I am learning more about the history and relevance of the Coast Guard than I have ever known before. Today, our class took a walk around the Academy and discussed the importance of the artifacts and buildings on campus. If others before me, some my age, can sacrifice their lives for the greater good, then I can survive a heavy workload and a little loss of sleep.


As a fourth class, we are almost done with our first tedious year here and are about to take the Boards exam. For those who don’t know, Boards is an oral test of ten questions pertaining to a fifty page packet of information on the Coast Guard such as history, rates, ranks, etc. Once the entire class passes this exam, we all will be granted privileges beyond our wildest dreams including another more comfortable uniform known as rec gear, the freedom to play music out loud in our rooms, the freedom to look at our food and the freedom to walk on the sides of the hallways among others. The first examinations will be held tonight which means that tomorrow there will be a percentage of fourth class who will already be done with this stressful exam and acting as DJs for their respective hallways. I am taking mine later this week and striving not to fail.


I promise to write more regularly than I have been and am happy to answer any questions. I will write again soon.


4/c Keeley


More about Melissa.