As a fourth-class, coming back from winter break may seem like some kind of forced return to a work camp. We all just spent three weeks looking at our food, choosing what clothes to wear every day, and keeping our minds as far from the Academy as possible. For me, coming back was a little surreal, but as soon as I was surrounded by my company and shipmates I felt right at “home” again.
Don’t get me wrong, the leave was amazing. I spent a lot of time catching up with family and friends and basically doing nothing. I’m from Arizona, so most days I wore shorts and enjoyed the mountains both skiing and hiking with my dad. It was also great to have access to a kitchen every day, and I took full advantage of it experimenting and mostly making a mess.
It didn’t take long to get back in the rhythm of the Academy; the first week back was full of trainings and getting to know a whole new cadet command structure. This semester differs from the last in that all the fourth-class are directed to focus on passing boards above all. There are many things we can still get in trouble for, but we all have our eyes on the prize: carry-on. It’s coming quick and we can’t wait! By this point over half of us have passed our boards, all that’s left is to help those who haven’t passed with study sessions and support and we’ll be on our way to walking the halls like everyone else.
For me, crew practice starts in just a few days. It’s a huge commitment with 10 practices a week but I’m confident staying so busy will only help me manage my time better. I’ll start savoring my free time on Sundays more and (most importantly) eating as much as I want to keep up with the hard work!
That’s about it for now, for all you finishing up your applications and hoping for the best, keep your head up! Don’t be discouraged by waivers or setbacks, it’s all worth it in the end.
More about Laura.