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cadet blogs

The Home Stretch?

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Back from Spring Break!! I can’t believe that March is almost over! I have just about finished my first academic week back from leave and it has gone by very quickly. I went home to Maryland for Spring break, and although it was not a tropical vacation, I was still able to make the most of my time off through relaxing, sleeping and spending time with my family and my pet dog. I started the week off with the Maryland State Championship Girls Basketball Game that my high school team (of which I was the manager last year) won for the second year in a row! For the rest of the week, my sister and brother and parents had school and work, so I slept in, went running, and took my dog on a lot of walks. My parents and I went to Washington D.C on Wednesday and we went to a new restaurant and we went to the Newseum. It was a lot of fun. The week went by really fast and I spent the last two days at Elizabethtown College with my best friend from high school and realized that regular college life was not as glamorous as I had envisioned. I was very surprised to see that my room was significantly larger than hers, although it was a lot less purple. I really enjoyed going home and I am glad that I did because I am probably not going to be home until after summer school (I have to take Calculus 2 over the summer).

 

Speaking of summer, I am so excited!!! I am going on the first phase of training on Eagle, so I get to go to Aruba and Guantanamo Bay and end in St. Petersburg, Florida! I FINALLY passed boards, and although it was on my third try, I managed to get them over with before leaving for Spring break which was very nice. We just had our midterm this week, which means that we only have six weeks left of school!!! Also, the Fourth Class Formal is this weekend and my cousin is coming up to be my friend’s date and Foxtrot Company is getting very excited about the dance. I think that it is going to be so cool to see our crest be unveiled in Leamy during the dance as well. I also have a sailing regatta this weekend so I am going to be very busy. A little bit more than 50 people still have to pass boards in our class, and when they do, we will be able to have wardroom carry-on and all of that fun stuff (although do already have music out loud and white board privileges.)

 

To conclude this blog entry, I just have to say that this semester is both moving very quickly and the end will be here sooner than I can most likely imagine. My goal for the next few months are to keep my grades up and to hang in there while I wait for my CARRY-ON and red 3/c shields! Happy first day of Spring!! :)

 



More about Lucy.

 

YOLO Because This is the Game of Life

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo After reading other bloggers posts lately I regrettably have to be the rain cloud, the sour milk, the rotten egg and every other pessimist cliché, because the Academy is not all smiles, rainbows, and butterflies. In fact, every day I have at least one moment where I question what I am doing at the Academy, why I did not take that Navy ROTC scholarship to a civilian school, why I did not decide to take a year off and sail around the world. "YOLO", you only live once, is a catch phrase being thrown around in conversation today, and it was even suggested jokingly for our Class of 2016 motto. This mantra is often the caption of my old friend's photos skydiving or swimming with sharks, but at the Academy is a sarcastic reminder of our choice. When I talk to my high school friends it seems like there is a whole world that I am missing: getting locked out of the dorm, sleeping over in a friend's room for the night, or going out on Friday night are the experiences I most wish I could share. Instead I chose to spend the next four years of my life in a gated guarded bubble, carefully following the rules and regulations created by people I have never known, that will supposedly better my life in the big picture.

 

Cadets often lose sight of the big picture, of the entire "Game of Life" per say. The amateur board game starts with the simple decision I made senior year of high school, to go to college rather than delve into the work force. What the game cannot simulate however is the time, heart, and passion it takes to finish an upper level education. I have already experienced the sacrifices of an Academy education, a college education, and have to wonder if I chose right. I can picture myself in civilian attire in the library or at the boathouse at many other schools, and even took the time over Spring Break to visit friends and live like a college student for a day. But after trips to the University of Connecticut, Simmons College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, I left with the same hunger for opportunity that I went in feeling. I have yet to go to a college or university that gives me the same satisfaction at the end of the day, the feeling that I have done my best not only for my benefit but to fulfill the training Americans have offered to me. Everyday is about "living once" and taking full advantage of the opportunities at hand, but also prioritizing every given choice. Yes, I am still susceptible to the tunnel vision sadness exam week can bring, but in general, controlling my attitude and perspective have kept me afloat. The game of life, like the Academy, is a roll of the dice; the only difference is having almost guaranteed success in the end.

 



More about Sarah.

 

Spontaneous Christmas Fun

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Zwenger Photo So Christmas leave is wrapping up and I must say that this was the best break that I have had, hands down. Typically I’ll come home and sit there, veggin’ out, being a non-productive member of society. Although I can’t say I did anything really productive this month I did get around to see a lot of people and do a lot of different things. I got home on the 12th of December and by that next weekend I had a spontaneous decision to go see my friend Katie, who also goes to the Academy, up in Chicago. This decision probably happened in about 15 minutes, and considering Chicago is about five and a half hours away from Louisville it was a spur of the moment decision. Anyway, I went up there to go see Steve Aoki, another EDM artist, and it was probably the best show I’ve ever been too. I was only in Chicago for the weekend, then I came back home. So nothing really happened until a few days after Christmas and I went to Basslights. Another two-day music festival in Hampton, Virginia. It was an eleven-hour drive and didn’t seem any shorter than that. I went to see Pretty Light, Bassnectar, Big Gigantic, Griz, Gramatic, and A-Trak. If you don’t know who any of these people are you should probably get on it because it’s good stuff. I actually ended up going with my best friend’s friends as he couldn’t go because he wrecked his car, so it was kind of nice to mesh with a whole new group of people.

 

Two days before I left I got to go to a University of Louisville basketball game and sit one row behind the floor seats. If you have any idea about college basketball we’re always really good so getting to sit there is quite a treat. If you are a UK fan, well, I’m not really sorry you all are having a terrible year, better luck next year. That’s about it, I got to see my family and whatnot but I’ve probably talked about them a thousand times so I won’t bore you. If you have questions, email me at Spencer.M.Zwenger@uscga.edu.

 



More about Spencer.

 

Breaking Out… For a Week

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Rossi Photo Spring break is the most anticipated time of the secondsemester here at the Academy for reasons beyond just getting to escape the frigid New England weather. Held on the Thursday before spring break is Billet Night, which is when all the 1/c find out where they will be spending their first two years in the fleet. The selection process is based on class ranking, so those who are at the top of the class with get their top choices. This year it seemed that everyone got something that they were happy with. For us underclass, in particular the third class, it is nice to see your cadre get their assignments. The Class of 2013 was responsible for training us and ensuring we were ready to be part of the corps. Seeing the cadets who made this possible get something they wanted was awesome because you want to see the people that helped you succeed be rewarded.

 

As far as spring break goes, I spent my time split between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and New Jersey. The first half spent in Florida was great for me to get out in the sun and enjoy some summer weather. When I headed back north I spent my time at my uncle’s and visited my house, which is still in the process of being rebuilt. The time I spent with my family allowed me to relax and recharge to get ready to finish the second of the semester strong.

 



More about Michael.

 

Coasties and Girl Scout Cookies

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Kukich Photo Before signing a Coast Guard contract I signed a slightly less complicated document to become a lifetime member of Girl Scouts. I registered without much thought, my leader suggested we use the last of the troop funds toward the fee and with all of the distractions of graduation and Swab Summer, I let scouting slip out of my mind.

 

During the fall at the Academy, however, I found that I missed the camping, outreach service projects, and selling cookies. As childish as it sounds, I missed being part of scouts; though I have friends from the troop my own age, they are too far away to catch up with at Tufts, St. Mary's in Maryland, among other places. So I contacted the local service unit and found a junior high aged group in my hometown, ironically with familial connections to the Academy. Since meeting the girls in the fall, I have been able to meet up with them for meetings, a trip to the ballet, and most recently for work on their Silver Award project. There is definitely satisfaction in returning to scouting because it reminds me of my own great experiences, whereas other community service opportunities arranged by the Academy may not have the same connections.

 

In addition to helping a troop on my own time, a few classmates and I have begun the process of reviving the Scouting Association. Originally created so cadets could pair up with Boy Scout packs in the area, we have modified the charter to promote collaboration with girls and boys of any age in the region. Our recent meetings have led to planning a weekend excusal for members of the club to organize projects with local scouts and potential mentorship of girls in the area working on their Gold Awards, the equivalent of Eagle in Boy Scouting.

 

I am thrilled that these recent developments have helped to close the distance between my civilian and military life and am confident scouting will continue to be part of my life at the Academy. If you have any questions about scouting or cadet life at all, please feel free to contact me as always, Sarah.A.Kukich@uscga.edu.

 



More about Sarah.