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cadet blogs

Rooms, Food, and Other Usual College Questions

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo High school teachers helping students through the college admissions process often tell students to take campus, food, living arrangements, and amenities into consideration before they apply. Now, this shouldn’t be the deciding factor for you if you are trying to decide to come to the CGA, but sure, it plays a part. Having done a year of college before coming to CGA, I can definitely give you a good comparison of the differences.


In terms of living arrangements, most cadet rooms are doubles. The rooms are relatively small, and must be kept in good order at all times. You can only room with the same gender and the same class (i.e., freshmen must room with freshmen). Also, you will be living “on campus” the whole time you are here. Things need to be stowed, folded, and clean just about at all time. We will have Formal Room and Wing inspections roughly once per month. You can only have two personal shelves with your effects on it, and one picture can be hung (24’x24’ max). When I did ROTC and lived in a dorm back in 2012, I could leave my room however I wanted—room inspections and constant order was not part of that military experience. We typically have a quick room inspection at least once daily.


The food here is actually much better compared to the colleges that I attended and visited long ago. At state college, most students will purchase a meal plan, which allows them to eat for a certain set number of meals per week. Food here at the CGA is made available in the cadet wardroom, or cafeteria. All cadets receive pay, and the expense for food is automatically deducted from cadet salary. Cadets are provided 21 meals per week, or what would typically exceed the largest meal plan at any other college. The food quality is actually very good for cafeteria food, and is much better than what I ate at state college, although sometimes it can be repetitive. Also, living here for four years on campus means that you cannot opt out of the meal plan.


Breakfast and lunch are typically family style, where every cadet (roughly 1,000) eats at the same time. Following formation in the morning and afternoon, all of the cadets head into the wardroom for the meal, sit down at the same time, and leave at the same time. Dinner is typically buffet style, which is what most college meals are like. The wardroom is open from 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and cadets can choose from roughly 3-4 different meal choices on any given evening.


More about William.


March Madness!

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo March madness! Regardless of basketball that is how I would describe my life right now. Everything is happening so quickly and the end of the year draws closer and closer. What a fun semester it has been so far. I just returned from spring break. This year a few of my close friends and I planned a trip to Barcelona, Spain. My travel buddy phrased it perfectly, “I’ve never been in a city with a heartbeat before.” It was phenomenal. We visited la Sagrada Familia, Montserrat, and saw the Barcelona versus PSG soccer game. La Sagrada Familia was one of the most impressive cathedrals I have ever seen, and it is still in the process of being built! By the time it is finished it will have been worked on for over 160 years. I could have stared at its intricacies for days and not seen it all. Montserrat is a monastery/convent up in the mountains right outside of Barcelona. You have to take a long winding road to get up to the top and from it you see the most beautiful views. We heard the boys’ school choir sing inside the cathedral. They are known around the world for their voices. The architecture, history, and beauty behind Montserrat took my breath away.


The Barcelona versus PSG soccer game is hard to put into words. Barcelona needed to beat PSG by five goals in order to advance within the league. No one thought they could pull it off. They scored the sixth goal in the last two minutes, and I have never in my life seen fans with such love of the sport and team. The whole city was on fire. Fans cheered the whole hour and a half walk back to the house we stayed at. Horns blared to a Barcelona chant throughout the streets. I knew at the end of that game that I had just witnessed a great moment in soccer history, and while amazed I felt unworthy of being able to be at that game when there are such huge, dedicated Barcelona fans out there. Still, what an awesome experience.


Anyway, back at the Coast Guard Academy the seniors have their billets for next year, the sophomores have their cadre sections, and now we are waiting on our summer assignments. I can’t wait to see where I’ll be headed next. School is busy but not too overwhelming right now, and I feel like I have finally got a manageable schedule. I cannot believe that I am almost into my senior year here. I still feel like a freshman occasionally, but I am ready to take on the leadership role next fall and really figure out what I want to do when I graduate and where I want to go.


More about Hannah.