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cadet blogs

The Last Christmas Break as a Cadet

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Mason Photo Well, it’s back to the grind here at the Academy. We all just arrived back from Christmas break and thanks to a snowstorm a lot of people haven’t quite made it back on time. There are some people who won’t arrive for another four days. I almost think they are the lucky ones! I don’t feel ready to get back into the swing of things. I had such a relaxing and wonderful Christmas break, and I think I could have used a couple extra weeks. I was reunited with my group of friends from high school, which was so wonderful, especially since we haven’t all been home together at the same time in about four years. I hadn’t seen my best friend Julie in two years, so we were pretty much attached at the hip from the moment she got home until the moment I had to leave. I forgot how easy it was to be her friend. We never had to try. I definitely have missed that over the years. I also got to hang out with her two-year-old niece who is one of the most adorable children you could ever see. It’s amazing how easily I can play with little kids and be totally entertained for hours.


I worked on a lot of artistic projects over my break. I painted wooden letters for Nicko’s younger sisters, matching their favorite things (an A with Disney characters on it for Alysia, and a G with a mermaid on it for Gabby). I sent them to their house as a Christmas present and they loved them! I also drew a portrait of Nicko’s entire family. Boy, was that a job… The most involved portrait I’d ever done before this only had two people in it. Drawing six was quite the challenge. It took me about three days to finally finish it and each day consisted of at least four hours of drawing. I wanted it to be perfect! It turned out pretty close to the photo I used. The other project I worked on was with my dad. I saw a great video online about how to turn wine bottles into cups, so we tried it. It worked pretty well, except my glasscutter was pretty dull, so the glass kept cracking at the end. So we bought a new glasscutter, but unfortunately I did not have time to continue the project before I had to leave. This has now become my task to finish next time I’m home.


I also had some sad times over the break. I found out that my grandfather on my biological mother’s side passed away. A couple years ago I went to Puerto Rico for spring break, which is where my mother’s side of the family is from. I hadn’t seen my grandpa since I was a very little girl, and he had a picture of me in his wallet for almost 20 years! It was amazing to see that photo when we were finally reunited. So when I found out he passed away, I was so sad because I knew that I could never visit him again. But a part of me was so happy that I got to see him that one last time.


January marks the start of my last semester as a cadet. I’m excited to see what it holds for me, and I will be sure to let all of you know.


More about Allyson.


Second Semester: A New Beginning

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo Yesterday was my first day of school for the second semester. I and the rest of the Corps of Cadets have been back from winter leave for just over a week now. Over leave, we had about two-and-a-half weeks to go home and spend time with our families. It was a much needed break after a long first semester of college, and it was great to get to sleep in my own bed for a few days. I spent the last week of leave on my training trip with the swim team in Sarasota, Florida. It was a wonderful experience, and though the training was tough, it helped me significantly to prepare for the PFE that I had to take when I got back to the Academy. Last week was MAP week, which is a week that gives us a chance to make schedule changes, meet with advisors, attend presentations, and readjust to Academy life.


With the start of second semester comes a lot of changes here at the Academy. Everyone begins new classes and switches rooms and roommates. Regimental Staff and Company Staff, 1/c cadets who lead the corps, change as well, and 4/c have to memorize all the new names. As 4/c, we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have worked hard these past few months to get through Swab Summer, pass classes, and keep up with military obligations. Now, we are looking forward to getting carry-on sometime between February and March when we earn it through boards. Boards are one of the final tests for the 4/c, and passing them is a huge step militarily at the Academy. Boards consist of reciting the mission of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a uniform inspection, and answering 10 indoctrination questions. The 4/c has to earn eight points on the questions to pass the board, and then he or she begins to be rewarded with privileges.


This semester will again be full of studying and hard work, but I’m looking forward to reaching my goals in academics, military, and swimming.


More about Sarah.