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Four Memorable Moments

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Miller Photo In honor of March Madness, we’ve been asked to write a little bit about our four most memorable Academy-related experiences. So, in no particular order, here they are!

 

Swab Summer— Definitely one of the most memorable; it’s impossible to forget because it is what most people talk about 4/c year. It also took up a pretty sizeable chunk of summer, lasting seven weeks. But it’s also memorable because it does change you and forces you to realize that you are really part of the military. Even though it is not the most enjoyable way to spend the summer, it is worth it, in the end.

 

Crew/“Spreak”—This was the first year I rowed, and I really enjoyed it. It was a good team sport that allowed me to meet a lot of good people and also forced me to stay in shape. For Spring Break—or “spreak”—the crew team went to Deland, Florida. While I couldn’t participate in a lot of the rowing activities because of an injury, it was a lot of fun going to Florida with the team.

 

Hurricane Sandy—Hurricane Sandy led to two of the best days of first semester. For starters, my class received running suits. Running suits can be worn to dinner instead of a uniform, which meant that after sports practices I no longer had to change into a uniform and instead could throw on my running suit pants. I also got to bond with a few of my classmates and just goof off a little and relax.

 

Passing Boards—After I passed Boards, I received the ability to write on my whiteboard and play music out loud. These were both great things, but the best part was no longer having to worry about taking Boards and also knowing that carry-on for my class was a little closer.

 

There’s still a few more of my classmates that need to take and pass Boards before we get carry-on, but once we do that will definitely be a memorable experience!

 

As always, if you have any questions for me I can be reached at Caroline.Miller1@uscga.edu!

 



More about Caroline.

 

Welcome Back.

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo After a wonderful week of leave, it is time to come back to the daily grind that of Academy life. Just one day after arriving back from home, I had a Chemistry test and an English presentation. It was like being pushed into a freezing cold pool with your eyes shut – unexpected and not particularly fun. That’s not to say that I’m unhappy to be back. I actually missed a lot of my friends despite only being gone for one week. Of course, I didn’t really miss waking up early and doing all the silly 4/c things, but the Class of 2016 is so close to carry on! That’s one of the things that keeps me going through all of the tedious things I have to do like clocks, taking out trash, squaring, and everything else. We are all so close to normal living!

 

Aside from that, there are plenty of other things we have to look forward to for inspiration. For one, our 4/c Formal is this Saturday (23MAR). At this formal our class crest is shown to us and we get to have a fun time with just the wonderful class of 2016. Also, pretty soon we should all be getting our summer assignments, which is another “light at the end of the tunnel” for us 4/c. And me personally, I have a few Glee Club trips to look forward to. The remaining time left in this semester is really going to fly by and before I know it, I will be out in the fleet for the summer. I am so ready to get out there and actually experience the Coast Guard in the role of a junior enlisted.

 

As always, if any of you have any questions just send me an email and I will help you out as best as I can! Good luck to all those applying to AIM or are just accepting their appointments to the Class of 2017.

 



More about Allie.

 

Paying It Forward

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Wright Photo It’s not often that we, as cadets, get to take a bigger look at what we are doing. Sure we have lectures on what it is like in the fleet and what makes a good leader but it all seems so distant. But, today, on my way home for spring break me and my friend, who is a classmate of mine at the Academy, got the chance to talk to an officer who gave us a unique look into our possibilities of our future.

 

We were sitting in Providence airport and decided to get something to eat while we were waiting the several hours for our flight home for a much needed spring break. Once we were done eating we asked the waitress for the check and she had told us that the gentleman sitting in a table near us had picked up our tab. A little surprised, we decided that we should go thank the gentleman for his kind gesture. When we went to thank him he told us that he was a Coastie as well and was actually going to soon take command of CGC Dauntless stationed in Galveston, Texas, about an hour away from my home. We were amazed that a high ranking officer even thought twice when looking at two freshmen at the Academy. We ended up talking to him for about 30 minutes and he said it was hard to believe that he was in our position 24 years ago. Upon his graduation, he explained to us, he had two goals. Make O-5, check, and take command of a cutter, which is what he plans to do in the next few months. I asked him about what he has found to be good leadership and various questions about his many tours. At the end of our conversation he told us to keep doing what we are doing as long as it makes us happy and everywhere we go we should make it our goal to make a positive difference.

 

It’s not often that we get the chance to slow down and look at why we go through the daily tasks at the Academy. But every once and a while it is refreshing to take a step back and remember why we are doing what we are doing, and for me, it is to become as impactful as a leader as the officer we had the privilege of talking to today and one day pay it forward.

 



More about Jessica.

 

Get Excited…In Two

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo So if you have any inkling by now of who I am (from reading my blogs, of course!), then you know that crew is a major part of my life. At times, it feels like I’m married to the sport—or at least the cox’s seat! In Part II of my amazing experiences here at the Academy, crew stands out above all the rest.

 

In my Leadership and Organizational Behavior (think Leadership Psychology) class, we discussed identity. Needless to say, I strongly identify with the crew “cult.” My best friends row; the team does everything as a team; we all eat, sleep, and dream crew, especially over break. For me, two things stand out in my crew experiences: racing and spring break.

 

First, racing. If you’ve read my blogs before, you’ve probably read about my races. They give me such an adrenaline rush. I always get nauseated before getting hands-on to carry the boat down to the racecourse, but once we get on the water…BAM! I’m in the zone! Nothing can stop me, once I sit in the cox’s seat, I change (like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) from a nice, mild-mannered, pleasant person into a demanding, aggressive animal. Like any other normal person, I love winning. There are times when I wonder what could possibly come between my boat and winning. (Of course, obvious safety concerns like a sinking boat or a collision will cause me to stop. However, not much else will…) In the past year, it has been amazing to see the change I’ve undergone. My teammates and others have noticed my increased self-confidence and assertiveness, both on and off the water. People like 3/c Alex Kloo, 3/c Sean Murphy, and 3/c Luke Carani (all cadet bloggers, by the way) picked up on calling me “Sassquatch,” which I don’t think does me justice. Just because I say something decisively does not make it sassy, guys! But that is a fight for me to win with my boat…tomorrow, at practice.

 

Even better than racing is SPRING BREAK! Last week, we all traveled to Deland, Florida for a week of two-a-day practices—and fun. We rowed on (well, okay, I was rowed around) Lake Beresford, where the warm sunshine and flat water helped us iron out the technical kinks we had, so we can row the fastest boat possible. We practiced early in the morning, rowing into the sunrise, then returned to the hotel to shower, eat, and nap before repeating it again in the afternoon. During practice one day, I saw two alligators and a manatee! After dinner, most of us would hang out on the pool deck or the balcony, reading, talking, and joking with our best friends. I wish that I could do more than just write about it: my words don’t do it justice! The best part of the week for me was our scrimmage on Friday afternoon against Temple University and Jacksonville University, two D-I schools. In our second race against them, we held with both boats and at one point had “seats” (we were ahead by a certain number of seats) until about the 1300-meter mark. It was great to see just how competitive we were—it’s a great sign for the spring season. Be sure to check out some of the photos that link to my blog. I’m going to try to put some of the best photos from Spring Break up.

 

I’m hoping to compete with the Varsity Eight this spring; however, to get there, it’ll be super competitive. In addition to that, I am also juggling an academic overload, planning for the 3/c formal, and a million other things. As always, I’d love to hear questions or concerns, because I get distracted easily. Email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu if you want to talk about America’s best school!

 



More about Peter.

 

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.

 

Taking Sikorsky's Helicopter Designs to the Assembly Line

(Academics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo While field trips in college are rare to come by, the few that happen grandly exceed expectations. My first academic field trip happened this month with the Engineering Department: although the trip was geared toward first class mechanical and electrical engineering cadets, a spot opened and I was able to join as a fourth class. The all day trip was to the Sikorsky site in Stratford, Connecticut, about an hour away from the Academy. Sikorsky, one of the primary helicopter manufacturer's for the U.S. military, is a company under the direction of United Technologies – a conglomerate that includes Pratt and Whitney, Otis, and many other industries.

 

As a large group we learned how to design a helicopter in less than an hour, how the industry works with the military and civilian agencies to develop real technologies, and how great the potential we have as upcoming engineers is for innovation. After a lunch break we were divided into smaller sections and toured the plant, seeing the assembly processes of thousands of pieces into BlackHawks, SeaHawks, JayHawks, and many other products. The assembly line was impressively clean and had many safety measures in place, such as the eye protection we were provided on the tour. Additionally, the current designs led to conversation about future technologies, such as the X2 development project, which will increase speed, maneuverability, and environmental conditions for use. The company mentioned the potentials the new technology has for the Coast Guard: consider a craft able to drop a rescue swimmer closer to the water's surface with less disturbance, more maneuverability, and almost half the travel time from emergency to medical care – our mission would be revolutionized.

 

Obviously the trip was very intellectually engaging, but more than that, it reminded me why I chose an engineering major. Many cadets complain about their chosen major and the engineering majors are constantly epitomized by a lack of sleep and an overload of work. Even as a freshmen the dividing line between the engineers and the "other majors" is drawn and whenever there is complaint that work is too hard, others will joke that life for engineers will only become harder. True, the course load is going to become progressively more intensive, but the end goal is worth the labor.

 

If you have any questions about engineering at the Academy or cadet life at all, please feel free to contact me as always, Sarah.A.Kukich@Uscga.edu.

 



More about Sarah.

 

The Ides of March

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo Just another day at the CGA. Well, I would say that, had we not all just come back from spring break. The Coast Guard Idlers and Fairwinds traveled down to Florida for our weeklong break. We performed in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Pompano Beach, Key Biscayne, Naples, Sarasota, and at Disney World! The performances all went great, and the only con out of the whole trip was that I got really badly sunburned on Wednesday. I still haven’t gotten over it, and now it’s Monday of the next week! But aside from that, the trip was a blast, with beach trips to Chipotle runs and everything in between.

 

Lacrosse is going exceptionally well at the moment. We are ranked Number 8 in the nation, and are 3-0 heading into our conference play. We have a huge game against the University of Rhode Island on Wednesday that could really set us up for a bid at the national tournament. We’re all excited to get to that game to prove we deserve to go to Greenville in May! The team looks really fluid, and is doing the best in its history, which makes it really exciting to be a part of this team.

 

As for our summers, well, it’s tough to say what is going on. I got my cadre choice, Waterfront 1, so I’m pumped for that. However, due to the sequester with our great pals in D.C. a lot of our summer is looking like it might get cut, resulting in unpaid leave. While leave is great, at the expense of CATP and CSTP, two great 2/c summer programs, it appears to be much more of a downer than you’d imagine. We’re all hoping that these problems get fixed quickly down in Washington!

 

Well, that’s about it for now. With no more real breaks aside from Easter Weekend, the push is on to finish the semester! Any questions, as always, I’m right here. Hope you’re getting ready 2017!

 



More about Sam.

 

USMA Exchange Program

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kloo Photo One of the highlights of many students’ college careers is the ability to study abroad for a semester. While that opportunity doesn’t exist in the traditional sense here at CGA, there is the Service Academy Exchange Program or SAEP. Each fall semester roughly ten cadets are allowed to go to one of the other military academies to experience life as a student there, take their classes and to learn about military sciences and leadership from their perspective. I have the opportunity to go to West Point next semester. Because West Point is so much larger, they offer many more classes than we do here, which allows me to take more unique or specialized major classes that we do not have the resources to offer here. In addition to that, I will get to experience the military training aspect of another service academy. The different leadership approach taught at West Point is something that I will hopefully be able to bring back to CGA and use as a cadet and as an officer.

 

Another aspect I am excited about is the fact that I will still be able to row. West Point has a crew team, and we competed against them in the Head of the Charles this year. There is a little tradition running as well, with someone from the CGA crew team being sent to USMA to row there, and I am glad to keep that tradition going for the 5th year in a row. With any luck, I should be able to transition to their crew team without missing a beat, and bring a new perspective back to CGA. I am looking forward to a change of scenery for next semester.

 



More about Alex.

 

A Spring Break to Remember

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo I recently returned from spring break, and I had an awesome time this past week. I spent my spring break in Florida with my old roommate, Nathan Belanger. We left after our last military obligation on Friday, March 8th. We left in the midst of a snowstorm, but luckily we got to Florida without a problem. I stayed at Nate’s house from Friday night to Tuesday, and I had a great time meeting his local friends, visiting his school, fishing, and experiencing the local culture. On Tuesday morning, we woke up early to head down to Orlando. We had gotten passes from the Academy’s morale and wellness center for three free day passes to Universal studios and Island of Adventure, so we rented a hotel room near the parks and went to have a good time.

 

On Tuesday evening, we decided to relax after a long day of travel, so we went down to the pool and the sauna to relax before heading out on the town for some dinner. We met up with some fellow fourth class girls from the Academy, and we had a fun dinner at a smokehouse in Orlando. Wednesday and Thursday Nate, two of his friends from Jacksonville, the fourth class girls from the Academy, and I all went to Universal and Island of Adventure. We rode tons of rides and honestly felt like a kid again. Overall, it was an awesome few days.

 

After returning from Orlando, I was lucky enough to run physical fitness training for three JROTC units at Nate’s old high school. It was a very interesting experience with leadership and motivating the kids to succeed. Afterwards, I finally got to go to the beach to relax, soak up the sun, and read. The following day, I had a great time paint balling. I got a ton of welts by the end of the day, but it was well worth it. Unfortunately, I had to leave early Sunday morning, so I said my good byes to the sunshine state and packed up my stuff. After a long day of traveling, I finally got back to the Academy and began to knock out the massive amounts of work I didn’t do over break.

 

I am sad that spring break is over, but I’m ready to get back to work. There are only seven weeks to go until the school year is over. With the end in sight, I have the motivation to do well. I know it’s going to be a challenge, but I am ready for it, and I’m excited to finish up fourth class year and get out into the fleet this summer.

 

If you want to know more about the end of fourth class year, or the specifics about leave periods for cadets, feel free to email me at Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu.

 



More about Hunter.

 

March Madness…The Final Four

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Coracoran Photo While not being at the Coast Guard Academy for very long, I have experienced a plethora of unforgettable experiences that, if considered college basketball teams, would make it to the top four of my list.

 

In fourth place, I would put Swab Summer. While many cadets would not even consider putting Swab Summer on their list, I found our summer training program one which came with great reward when finished. Many imperative things were learned over the summer, some of which were essential to the Coast Guard, while others were lessons important to me. In the Coast Guard aspect, plenty of indoctrination was learned over the summer which will become essential to our careers in the fleet as junior officers. Additionally, we were taught how to wear a uniform properly, military etiquette, and of course, we enhanced our physical abilities. On the other hand, I discovered a lot about myself over the summer as well. For the first time, I learned what it was like to be away from Slatington, Pennsylvania being completely on my own, thus teaching me independence from my parents. I realized that I am not always going to be the best at everything I do, but that does not mean I should give up. Instead, it means that I have to try twice as hard as I ever did to succeed.

 

In third place would be getting to spend a week on USCG Tall Ship Eagle over the summer. Throughout Swab Summer, I did not really consider myself a part of the U.S. Coast Guard. I simply felt like…a swab. However, it finally hit me on our visit upon Eagle that I was indeed a member of the Coast Guard. People looked at me differently when I was in my tropical blue uniform; they seemed to hold more of a respect for me, which was very new for me. Some asked us to take pictures with their children, as if we were famous or heroes of some sort. It was very interesting, despite having a couple people ask me if there was a height requirement for the Coast Guard since I’m pretty short, and some asking me if there was a minimum age to enlist because they thought I was in the 15-16 year old range. :( Nevertheless, it was definitely a great experience overall.

 

101st Night/100th Day would be in a close second place for me. While 101st Night, which consisted of the fourth class acting like swabs getting asked indoctrination questions and having to do lots of physical activity, was very tiring, 100th Day was very rewarding. During 100th Day, the fourth class got to act like the second class for the day. This included being able to carry on, play music out loud, use our whiteboards, and even kind of tell the second class who were acting like fourth class what to do. It was nice to be able to continue conversations from outside into Chase Hall with our new found carry on. This day was an inspiration to all to study for boards so we can get carry on ASAP! Another thing I learned during this day was what it took to be a leader. I saw what it was like to try to get the “fourth class” to listen to what we were saying; some listened, while others did not. That’s one of the fundamental things to learn to be a great leader – how to get everyone, even the hard-headed ones, to listen to you and respect you.

 

Lastly, in first place I would place simply all of the friendships I have made since being here. To be honest, when I left home, I thought I would hate it here and never make friends like mine back home. And while I still talk to some from home, I mostly only talk to all of my new friends at the Academy. They truly understand everything I am going through because they are going through the exact same thing as me. We struggle together, we succeed together. We help each other out when things are rough. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve gotten mad at each other, but at the end of the day, we are always there for each other, for we are all here for one main reason – to serve the United States of America.

 

So there it is – my top four experiences at the Coast Guard Academy. While I don’t know much, if anything, about basketball, I do know that if it wasn’t for those experiences, the Academy would just not been as memorable for me.

 



More about Samantha.

 

Being So Tactical...

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Without a doubt, I would say that the best parts of the Coast Guard Academy experience are the summers, when we can go out to the operational Coast Guard and serve on the front-lines. While Swab Summer was fun (in its own way), I enjoyed being in warm, sunny Texas more. During my 3/c summer, I spent five weeks at Station Port O’Connor, Texas. While there, two great things happened: I participated in a high-interest vessel (HIV) boarding, and received my OC (oleo capsicum, aka pepper spray) certification. The HIV boarding allowed me to see more of what role the Coast Guard has in maritime law enforcement and counterterrorism, while my pepper-spraying experience taught me just how much it hurts to be sprayed.

 

Within a week after my arrival in Port O’Connor, my station received orders from our controllers at Sector Corpus Christi to board a tanker vessel before it entered port. The vessel’s name appeared on Coast Guard watch lists because it had recently left Venezuela. So, we boarded our 41 foot utility boat (UTB) and headed out past the barrier islands to the deep-water anchorage to inspect this vessel. The boarding team was fully suited and armed for this evolution—it is better to be “Semper Paratus” than not. I was nervous because I saw all the crew carrying pistols and an M-16. Additionally, it was my first time wearing body armor!

 

The closer we got to the ship, the more nervous I became: the tanker was huge compared to our tiny boat, and the crew was armed, like they were expecting a pitched gun battle. Needless to say, my experience was NOT that dramatic. Once we climbed aboard, one team swept the ship, while the boarding officer, another crewman, and myself interviewed the ship’s officers and men in their lounge. We checked passports and tried to ascertain more information about the ship by talking to them; however, we ran into minor difficulties because half the crew was Filipino, the other half was Chinese, and none of them could speak English well! Trying to communicate with these men gave me a taste for what a future law enforcement career could be like. The conversation we had—about the haircut schedule at sea—was one of the most awkward I have ever had. I think the body armor and weapons intimidated the poor captain of the tanker.

 

I enjoyed the twenty minutes that I had aboard the tanker, shadowing Coast Guardsmen while they secured our maritime domain. Don’t worry: the ship was safe, and was allowed to enter port. After we disembarked, the boarding crew on my boat decided to chase down a fishing boat for inspection. Of course, we pick the one whose crew also doesn’t speak English. We only managed to stop them after cutting across their bow with our blue lights flashing! Once again, no discrepancies found. While it seems exciting, law enforcement is a lot of boring routine.

 

Being So Tactical...(Continued) PDF Icon  

 



More about Peter.

 

13 Things

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Nolan Photo So as I sit here procrastinating yet more work that I should be doing (New Procrastination level unlocked: level Firstie), it occurs to me that I've been negligent in my duties of writing for the cadet blog program, which helps me stay tied in with the incoming class.

 

As you begin your journey, I just want to pass on some advice to you that I've picked up over the years, some things that have stuck out to me: Some I've learned the hardway, some I've picked up watching friends and some are just platitudes. In honor of the greatest class to ever grace the Academy, I give you 13 lessons I've learned as a member of '13.

 

1) Never alienate a friend, especially when you will live with them for four years.

 

2) Nothing funny ever happens during Swab Summer. Your stories are not hilarious. Your memories are fooling you and if you ever tell that story to someone who is not an Academy kid they will stare at you and tell you you're crazy.

 

3) There is always time later to do your work, but there isn't always time later to hang out with a friend. So prioritize, but do it right.

 

4) There is NEVER a good reason to lie. To anyone. For any reason.

 

5) Cleaning for a formal room and wing is always better when you and your roommate blast the music and start late and end early... in the morning.

 

6) 3/c Summer on Eagle is what you make of it. If you really don't like it that much, block it out and just remember the port calls.

 

7) Every person deserves a chance to redefine themselves after 4/c year. This place does weird things to you that first year, so let people start new 3/c summer. Forget those grudges you held fourth class year, some of those people you hated with a passion, just might end up being your best friends.

 

8) Merchant Marine Academy is the worst school in America. Forget what Forbes says.

 

9) You will never stop being protective of "your" swabs.

 

10) You will never stop respecting and admiring your cadre... even when you get to be on a first name basis with them.

 

11) Cadating isn't always as bad as they say.

 

12) The longer you refuse to admit this place is your home, the longer you will be unhappy. That place where you grew up is just that, the place where you grew up. Home is where the Coast Guard sends you.

 

13) The mundane routine will soon fade, so that when you look back, all you remember are the highlights. The highest highs and the lowest lows... so make them count. Have an experience worth remembering. Make your memories now, so that 50 years down the road you can look back with fondness.

 

As you all get ready to embark on your journey I look back to my last month of my senior year and I think of where I've come since then. It's amazing the changes that can come along in four short years. Here I sit on the cusp of graduation. 14 weeks left in a 200 week training program and I almost envy you.

 

Almost... because for all the great memories and friends, one Academy experience in a lifetime is more than enough for anyone. Enjoy it. Remember it. Make it count.

 



More about Steven.

 

Decisions

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo February was a month of making some pretty big decisions – ones that will determine the exact path of my Academy journey from this point forward. That’s what this time—that is, the second semester of third class year—is all about. We are almost halfway done with our Academy experience (in May we will “celebrate” our 100th week in the training program—but more on that later!), so it’s time to start thinking about our course as we navigate the last two years at the Academy before heading out of the “harbor” (the Academy) and into the “open ocean” (Coast Guard fleet). Ok, enough of the cheesy analogies.

 

February was actually capped by the two big decisions. The first decision came at the beginning of the month. We, the third class, are preparing for this upcoming summer when we will be cadre—trainers, leaders of the incoming class. Long story short, I had to decide between being a cadre here in Chase Hall (the main “drill sergeants” of Swab Summer) or go on Eagle, the Coast Guard’s training vessel. I’ve always wanted to be a Swab Summer cadre, ever since going through it myself. Why? Well, it seemed fun. It was in the spotlight. But (another long story short) the fall semester showed me that there is more to the Academy experience than being in the spotlight and doing what is fun. It’s about stretching oneself outside of our comfort zone. Yes, being a Chase Hall cadre would have been a challenge for me, but Eagle will be even that more out of my comfort zone (and I’m super excited for the opportunity!). I actually had a spreadsheet that I made comparing all the cadre positions—there were actually 11 to choose from. See, 2/c summer isn’t just about being a cadre. That’s only three weeks long. There are eight other weeks of training programs (and three weeks of leave/vacation). My spreadsheet basically assessed how my being in each cadre section would affect which programs (and other opportunities) I could participate in. While Chase Hall cadre was first choice, Eagle actually tied for first! When my company, Foxtrot Company, was looking for volunteers to go on Eagle, I offered to go. By doing so, I was able to confirm (for the most part) doing the programs and participating in the special opportunities that I wanted—I wasn’t certain that I would be selected to be Chase Hall cadre. I am very pleased with my decision, and I can’t wait until this summer. Eagle is going to be so much fun, and I can’t wait to interact with the swabs in that context. I’ve heard that being on Eagle as a cadre is much different than being a swab or being a 3/c. Some cadets are of the opinion that going to Eagle as a cadre is “taking the hit” for the company, but really, I’m taking the opportunity!

 

My second big decision—er, should I say “major” decision—came at the very end of the month. I finally decided on a major! Ever since the first semester of my 4/c year, I had a hard time deciding which major I was going to choose at the Academy. I applied to the Academy indicating that I wanted to major in marine and environmental science (MES). I was (and still am) very passionate about keeping the environment safe. I love going out and making a difference for the planet. I figured that I’d get to do that the most with the MES major. Yes, we get to do that a little, but not as much as I would have liked. Also, I really, really enjoyed my math classes. As one of my teachers told me, “I can really tell you love the material. You are always so happy in class.” I thought about that. I didn’t feel as excited for my MES classes as I did in my math classes (corresponding to the Operations Research and Computer Analysis [ORCA] major). I had toyed with the idea of double majoring, and I am on track to do that. The issue is that if I did double major, I would have little to no time to do anything else extracurricular. Not to mention no free time, no down-time, no me-time—whatever you want to call it. I like to parody songs and mess around on the piano and design t-shirts or posters from time to time. As one of my friends pointed out (actually, 3/c Luke Carani – he’s also a cadet blogger, so be sure to check out his posts. They’re great!), if I double majored, I would not even have time to do stuff like that. So that was how I decided to not double major. I had realized that the reason (or, one of the reasons) I was double majoring was because I couldn’t make a decision. Now I was faced with that decision. The more I learned about the MES major, the more I had a hard time finding the right “track” for me. In MES there are three tracks – biological environmental, chemical environmental, and physical oceanography – and we have to pick two. I want to go into physics, so I figured I would do the chemical track (they take theory-focused chemistry classes, as opposed to applied) because that was similar to physics. But I couldn’t decide my other track. Biological didn’t really help me with physics, and while doing the physical oceanography classes I would be studying fluid motion (useful in physics), I didn’t enjoy those classes (not to mention having a rough time in them last semester). I kept holding tightly to the MES major because I thought that science major would help me if I go into physics for graduate school. As the physics teachers told me, because I didn’t have a physics degree (undergraduate), I would still be limited. No matter what major I chose to do here, I would still have to go into applied physics for my graduate program. If I wanted pure physics, that would have to wait until my Ph.D. This information was actually a relief, surprisingly. It meant that I could do ORCA and still be as “well off” as if I had done MES. So, I decided to major in Operations Research and Computer Analysis. I’m excited for this major—there is a lot of new information that I will be learning. I can’t wait for my future classes! I’m confident that I made the right decision and will enjoy the rest of my academic experience here.

 

Well, now we’re into March and moving rapidly forward. The firsties (1/c cadets) find out their first assignments on Thursday! Crazy how quickly the year is drawing to an end. Just one quarter left! It’s going fast, which means that spring will be coming soon, and with that warmth and renewal. Will write again soon!

 



More about Justin.

 

Things to Look Forward To

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo So I’ll admit, I should most likely be studying for an exam at the moment, but I cannot currently focus. As a result, I have chosen to explain why I am so distracted. Not only is Spring Break literally one day away, but tonight also marks one of the most anticipated nights in a cadet’s career. This evening is Billet Night for the class of 2013, and boy is there a ruckus here in the barracks! Billet Night is a time-honored tradition in which first class cadets gather in Leamy Auditorium in order to receive their initial billets as Coast Guard officers. There is a lot of emotion surrounding this evening, and it makes me giddy. As of now, the firsties have returned from Leamy and the halls are filled with cheers. Above me, well, I quite frankly am not sure what is going on, but I think they are jumping up and down, causing the ceiling in my room to shake. Although I cannot explain what it feels to be like in their shoes, I can say that I am overwhelmed with a sense of excitement. Not only for my upper-class shipmates, but for what the future has in store for us 3/c cadets as well. Until then, however, there are plenty of hurdles to jump and experiences to be had. To my firstie-friends, congratulations and may your billets bring you success!

 



More about Alexis.

 

Good News…Finally!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo February is probably one of the toughest months out of the whole academic year. Everything drags on and the workload can get overbearing at times. It was definitely a rough week at the Academy trying to balance school with military obligations and also keeping up with my physical fitness. I was getting very frustrated with school this week especially since I keep getting distracted with spring break, and for my classmates and I, cadre summer. It is also harder to focus on academics spring semester because of all the opportunities we have here at the Academy. For me, I have been juggling applications with cadre summer, command positions in the fall semester, and also the Service Academy Exchange Program. After getting all the memos routed and finally being able to settle down and try and focus on school, I received some news yesterday. It was completely unexpected and all I wanted was to lie on my rack and take a nap after a tough week, however I got two emails that changed everything.

 

The first email announced the cadets that will be going on exchange to different service academies this coming fall. I was very fortunate to get accepted into the program and I am thrilled to be going to the Air Force Academy next semester! It was the best way to end my week and the motivator for me to work hard for the rest of this semester. For anyone that is curious, the Service Academy Exchange Program is an opportunity for cadets to study at another service academy for a semester so a few Coast Guard cadets get to go to USMA at West Point, USAFA in Colorado, or USNA in Annapolis, Maryland every year. I have only heard good things from upperclassmen about the exchange program so I am most definitely looking forward to the opportunity and very grateful that the Coast Guard Academy is part of this program.

 

The second email was the one that the Class of 2015 has been waiting for. It was the email solidifying our summer assignments and what cadre we were going to be. I am very looking forward to being a Swab Summer Cadre and specifically and R-Day cadre, so for the Class of 2017, my classmates and I are looking forward to seeing you soon! It is exciting that the summer is starting to come together and now that we know what our summer schedule is like, it makes it easier to book flights and make plans accordingly.

 

The only thing standing in the way is getting through the rest of the semester! I am excited for the upcoming summer, being a 2/c, having civilian clothes again, seeing the Class of 2017, and going to the Air Force Academy!

 



More about Ellie.

 

What Lies Ahead

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo Wow how time flies! I can’t believe it’s already March! This month has so much in store: in a few days I will be leaving for Deland, Florida, then I get back to the Academy and will get to take part in the annual Ethics Forum! I am very excited for this month!

 

Each year, the crew team takes part in a spring break training trip, and this year we are returning to Deland, Florida to practice twice a day in a warmer climate in order to get prepared for the spring season! I had a blast on spring break last year, and this year promises to be just as fun! It’s a lot of hard work, and it can be grueling and painful, but going through it all and sharing that time with the crew team really brings us all closer together and helps us as we enter into the spring racing season.

 

When we get back from break, I have the Ethics Forum to look forward to! The Ethics Forum is something that the Academy has been hosting for over twenty years now, and it is a day where leaders from around the country come to the Academy and hold various sessions and discussions about ethical leadership. They always bring in extremely interesting and dynamic speakers and I am particularly excited for the lineup for this year!

 

Also, later in April, my girlfriend and my parents are planning to visit and attend a crew race, so I have a lot to look forward to and a lot to be thankful for the rest of the semester! Life is good and God is great!

 

If you are a student in high school reading this, I hope that your semester is going just as well as mine, and if you have any questions about anything at all, please, please, PLEASE to do not hesitate to email me at Luke.W.Carani@uscga.edu. Thanks!

 

And whenever you are reading this, if you need some encouragement, here is a little pick-me-up from the most encouraging and motivational piece of literature that I know: straight from the mouth of God!

 

Matthew 11: 28-30: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
–Jesus Christ
 

 



More about Luke.

 

Beginning of the End

(Athletics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Ward Photo The Academy consists of a lot of clichés and simple statements. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” “Adversity makes you grow closer.” “It’s the people who make the difference.” “This place changes you.” None of them are the full picture of my experience here, but they do give a silhouette of this institution. In a week I will know where I will be stationed for the next two years. It’s really exciting, and in many ways fulfilling to see the finish line after almost four years here. I am holding on to the moments I have left with all my friends and sports, but I am also ready to try new things.

 

In many ways I wonder where the years went, how they flew by so fast, and then I look back and 4/c year seems a long time ago. High school? When was that? In a few years I can hear myself saying that about the Academy. Looking back, I can’t say that there aren’t regrets, but I’m so proud of all that has happened and so excited for the opportunity to use what I have learned in the fleet. As I finish my last season on the crew team, my last semester of college, my last time of living with so many friends, I hope I enjoy them as much as I can before they are gone.

 

Keep your fingers crossed as I find out where I’m stationed!

 



More about Jess.

 

One More Week

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Townsend Photo This past week has flown by and I feel like I have been actively doing something during every minute of the day. It is the one week until the Corps of Cadets is granted a week of leave for spring break, which is a highly celebrated part of the school year. This year I will be going on a cruise to the Caribbean with a few friends, and I am very excited to finally see some sun and get away from all of the snow in Connecticut. I have a lot of schoolwork to attend to though before taking off on my flight to paradise.

 

I started playing lacrosse this semester and so far it has been amazing. The team is extremely focused this year as we are working toward becoming a varsity sport at the Academy, which should happen in the near future. Everyone is anticipating our first game this weekend, possibly demonstrating how our season as a whole could turn out. I look forward to the rest of the season and hopefully we will be even better than last year.

 



More about Brianna.

 

Outstanding First Class Summer Experiences

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Kane Photo Hello, everyone, I’m sorry that I haven’t written anything for so long. Last semester I was a Company Commander and Women’s Cross Country Captain, so things were busy, to say the least, and I never got a chance to write about my incredible 1/c summer training. I spent twenty-five days in Alaska with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and six weeks in San Francisco with CGC Dorado and CGC Tern – both amazing experiences.

 

Four classmates and I were lucky enough to be selected for the joint Coast Guard and Naval Academy NOLS sea-kayaking program. We met up with six midshipmen from the Naval Academy and our three NOLS instructors in Palmer, Alaska, and travelled to Whittier to begin our expedition in the Prince William Sound. NOLS was the single most challenging and rewarding month of my life. We kayaked nearly every day, learned self and assisted-rescues in the frigid Alaskan water, practiced wilderness first aid, and gained real-world leadership and decision-making skills. Each day we switched our leader of the day (LOD), so everyone got at least one chance to be in charge. We paddled along pristine rocky coasts on days so calm the water looked like glass. We fought through 25 knot winds and three foot choppy seas in a dead sprint to reach shelter on a day that we were exposed in the open Gulf of Alaska. We dodged icebergs paddling up Nassau Fjord to see the Chenega Glacier up close and personal. We feel asleep to the thunderous sounds of ice caving into the sea. My tent group one day woke up to the frantic yells of our friends alerting us that there was a bear less than 25 feet away from us. (That was an exciting morning. Never before have I exited my sleeping bag so quickly.) Due to a mix up with the whole wheat flour, we ate more spice cake than any human should consume in a lifetime. But I digress.

 

There is no way that I can put into words the magnificent feeling that I had when we woke up to a warm sunny day with nothing to do but paddle and explore the Alaskan coastline or the proud sense of accomplishment that I had when we completed a difficult crossing in bad weather, working together as a team and encouraging each other. Our three instructors and the ten cadets and midshipmen in our group are some of the finest people I have ever known, and I learned so much from them. When you are safe, warm, well fed, and well rested, making decisions and leading is easy. When you and the people you’re leading are exposed, cold, hungry, and tired, it’s much more challenging. I learned so much about peer leadership and how I personally react to stressful situations. I came back from Alaska as more confident leader, a better listener, and a tougher and more positive person. As an added bonus, I also got to experience one of the most beautiful places on earth and made some great friends.

 

Straight from Alaska I went to San Francisco, where I spent several weeks with the CGC Dorado, an 87’ cutter. I had a great time and learned so much from the crew. The very first day that I got there we were called out on a search and rescue (SAR) case 180 nautical miles offshore for an overturned vessel. Although we found the radio beacon that a Coast Guard C-130 had dropped, we never found the overturned vessel, which we believe was probably debris from the tsunami in Japan the year before. While I was there we escorted many high interest vessels up the San Joaquin River, provided security for several barges lighting off 4th of July fireworks, provided support for a Coast Guard helicopter conducting hoist drills on a nearby island, tested out the ship’s Gumby suits, conducted numerous fire and man overboard drills, and much more. The crew was incredibly hard working and a lot of fun.

 

After spending a couple weeks with the Dorado, I moved down the pier to the CGC Tern. On the Tern, I participated in a damage control (DC) course with the crew where we got to practice patching pipes and plugging holes on a specially designed practice boat and ran numerous drills. I learned about law enforcement and observed several practice boardings, planned a burial at sea for a former member of the Coast Guard, learned basic initial responses for casualties, and earned my In-Port Officer of the Deck (OOD) qualification. Again, the crew of the Tern was terrific, taking the time to teach me and include me on a lot of cool opportunities. Overall, I had a fantastic summer. I gained leadership experience and Coast Guard knowledge that I’m confident will help me when I (knock on wood) become and Ensign in eighty-days (but who’s counting?)

 



More about Julie.

 

It’s That Time of Year

(Athletics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost Photo It is the most anticipated time of the year for the 4/c – BOARDS. We are currently preparing and taking our Boards indoctrination exams, one of the requirements as a 4/c. Once we all pass as a class, we can earn full carry-on. So, everyone is of course eager to pass. Boards requires a lot of hard work and studying to prepare for the exam, but once you pass I’ve heard it feels amazing to finally be done. I take it for my first time tomorrow night. Hopefully all goes well, and I pass.

 

To make matters even more exciting, sailing season started two weeks ago, and spring break is just around the corner. The past two weekends I have traveled down to Florida to race, and this Friday I head off to Charleston for another regatta. It’s definitely nice to escape the cold once in a while. Tomorrow we are scheduled to have our first practice of the spring season. I am excited to wear a dry suit for the first time ever!

 

As I mentioned, spring break is just over a week away! The energy and morale of the corps is growing as everyone is ready for a break. I am particularly lucky this year because the sailing team is training in St. Petersburg, Florida, and I get to go home!

 

I can’t believe the “dark ages” of winter are almost over; the past two months have flown by! We have been quite busy though. 101st night and 100th day was a great experience. We, as 4/c, get to earn the shoulder boards of a 2/c and watch them be 4/c for a day, while we carry-on. I also experienced my first ever blizzard, Nemo. The entire 4/c had a massive snowball fight after watching a movie in Leamy Hall in the middle of the storm. All in all verything has been going great!

 

As always, never hesitate to email me at Christina.M.Frost@uscga.edu with any questions.

 



More about Christi.

 

Amethyst Month

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Bilodeau Photo I cannot believe it is almost midterms of second semester third class year. February was honestly a blur; I am still enjoying my mathematics courses and I am improving my racquetball skills. We had a snow day during “Nemo,” which was wonderful. A few of my friends and I trekked down to the waterfront and watched the sunset and played in the snow. Unfortunately, that weekend we did not get an opportunity to leave on liberty since the weather was snowy and dangerous, but it made for a few days of movie watching and catching up on homework of course.

 

We found out our 2/c summer assignments, which is unreal since I bean-sprouted (shadowed a cadet for a day) exactly two Februaries ago in 2011. It is amazing to think we are almost halfway through our cadet careers. Only 4.5 semesters to go!

 

I have been working out a lot on my own to stay in shape. I have specifically been working on cardio because I can let my mind wander, reflect on the positives from the day, and mentally prepare myself for any upcoming academic challenges.

 

February is my favorite month because it has the birthstone of amethyst, which is one of my favorite colors, and is also my birthstone. Spring break is right around the corner and that means I can finally visit my sister in Tampa!

 



More about Christina.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo There isn’t much that I have to say about this last month of my first semester as a 3/c cadet. All I know is that it feels as if there is way too much work to accomplish, but no time to do it. Looking up at my bookshelf, I now notice that it is lined with more books than ever, ranging from mechanical engineering textbooks, to applied naval architecture books, to books on the fundamentals of multivariable calculus, to Dutton’s infamous novel on nautical navigation. And I must admit, squeezed in between these dense publications is a Calculus for Dummies manual that I refer to from time to time. At the end of the line is a smaller text, a book of snarky and inspirational quotes, titled Keep Calm and Carry On.

 

Reading the title reminds me of two things: hipsters (of course) and an important life lesson. No matter what you get yourself into, no matter the goals that you have yet to achieve, no matter the never-ending list of things to do, just step back, take a breath and relax. Looking at the bigger picture here, I have a lot to be thankful for, so there is no reason to over-stress about my workload and upcoming final exams. If I’ve made it this far, then there is no reason I can’t make it through these last few weeks.

 



More about Alexis.

 

Wrapped Up

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Hirst Photo It’s been a while since the last blog. I got wrapped up in things and forgot to take a second to write! Anyway, second semester is so much better than the first! I just reread my January blog, and it’s hard to believe how long ago that was—time has gone by so quickly. Throughout first semester, I was counting down the days until Thanksgiving and Christmas because I wanted to get out so badly. Now, I still want to be home, but there’s not a sense of urgency. I’m heading home in one week, and the summer training starts in the beginning of May! It’s come on me by surprise since I haven’t really been focusing on what’s to come. Privileges for the fourth class are right around the corner, which is hard to believe, yet very encouraging! This place continues to get better. For those finding out about their applications, enjoy your senior year! If things do not go as planned, never give up. And have a great spring break!

 



More about Townshend.

 

Rejoicing in My Work

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo This is the time of the year at the Academy known as the “dark ages,” but for me, everything looks bright and exciting! I am loving my schedule and my classes, and I’m back into the swing of things here: life is good! The first round of tests went really well and we have midterms coming up soon but I am feeling confident about those as well! That reminds me a verse in the Bible.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:22a “There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot.” 

 

Hmm, how fitting! Good thing I am rejoicing in my work, I’m loving school right now! :)

 

President’s weekend (Feb. 15th-18th) was a lot of fun, as I went with the crew team to Boston to compete in the C.R.A.S.B.’s Rowing Indoor Championships! It takes place at Boston University in their hockey stadium, and the top rowers and athletes from around the country of all ages come to compete. It was a great venue for this experience. It is arguably one of the hardest competitions to take part in, because as if 2Ks aren’t hard enough to compete in (ask any rower…they’re pretty rough), you have to deal with the stress and pressure of competing on such a big stage, but it was a lot of fun! The guys on the crew team are awesome and the coaching staff is outstanding; it’s going to be a great spring season! I can’t wait!

 

Unfortunately I don’t have much else to say…this time of the year is pretty low key, but as usual email with any questions you may have about the Academy.

 

Here is another verse to leave you with; one of my favorites!

 

Nahum 1:7: “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.”  

 



More about Luke.