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cadet blogs

Those Nice Winter Days…

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Miller Photo A few weeks ago, my classmate and former roommate 3/c Sarah Kukich posted about the best ways to survive winter at the Academy. Since the first day of spring was a few days ago, I think it’s only appropriate that I give ten reasons why winter at the Academy is actually pretty good (would it make more sense to write why spring is good at the Academy? Maybe, but winter is underappreciated).


10. Temperatures inside Chase Hall actually become bearable.
My room in Chase is ridiculously hot and even when it’s snowing, the window is open. The colder it is outside, the closer to room temperature my room comes.


9. Drinking hot beverages such as tea and coffee is more normal.
I drink a lot of tea and coffee, but it’s more acceptable to do it when it’s about 25 degrees outside than when it’s 85.


8. Watching movies is more acceptable.
If it’s nice out in New London, it’s kind of an obligation to not stay in your room. But when the sky is grey and the temperature is cold, watching movies is the thing to do. I’ve watched more movies this semester than I normally do in a year, and sadly that’s not an exaggeration.


7. It isn’t hot outside.
New London in the summer is the worst—it’s hot and humid.


6. You can think about how nice the summer is.
As opposed to actually having summer and hating almost every second of it.


5. Bridge coats and parkas are actually sort of necessary.
Here at the Academy, when we’re told to wear bridge coats (giant sleeping bags pretending to be coats) and parkas, we have to wear them. The colder it is, the more useful they are.


4. Snow.
It’s fantastic.


3. Sledding in the snow.
I remember doing this as the 4/c and it was probably one of the highlights of that year.


2. Snowball fights.
4/c bonding, especially when it was 4/c vs. the upper-class.


1. Snow days.
In the battle between spring and winter, winter wins because no matter how spring-like it is outside during spring, you don’t get a day off.



More about Caroline.


Rants on Rants on Rants

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Zwenger Photo So, sorry I missed the month of January but I became pretty busy last months and decided to do some self-reflecting while I was at it. Anyway, I guess I’ll start off by talking about school. Just like last semester I am taking mainly civil engineering classes, which is a blessing because I pulled out my best GPA last semester. This semester I am taking Environmental Engineering II, Steel Design, Soil Mechanics, Criminal Justice, and Nautical Science III. I have come to absolutely love the civil engineering department and all of the teachers that teach them. Doc Z and Doc Maz have been pretty inspirational especially whenever they give insight into the work that they did in the field. If I graduate, I plan to attempt to get into graduate school and get my masters; part of my drive to do this can be attributed to the phenomenal teachers we have here. Having said that, if you have any desire to become a civil engineer I would highly highly suggest coming to this fine institution. Alright, so enough school talk, I’m around that all the time anyway, BUT if you have questions about civil engineering or school in general email me.


Some of the self-reflecting that I had was on my past and how fortunate I am to have the parents that I have today. Instead of taking the yearly vacation to go to the beach, camping, or skiing, we would go on vacations to different countries. Which I think is one of the best parenting decisions they made for my sister and me. We went to many places as a family such as Japan and China multiple times. Additionally they let us go places with a group such as People to People (do they still exist?) to Australia and New Zealand or my soccer team to play against the Brazilians. Anyway, this definitely instilled a huge desire to travel to different places on the globe and see as much as I can in my entire lifetime. In the past couple of years, I had become pretty complacent about obtaining that goal which upsets me a little bit so I am trying to plan something this summer. “But how can you travel all over the place when you are so young with such little money?” you may be asking. Well, I plan to live out of one backpack and only stay in hostels or do some couch surfing (not familiar? Look it up!) while I am over in Europe. Additionally, buses are super cheap ways of getting from country to country over there so I will definitely be utilizing that. Currently I am looking for a travel buddy here at the Academy so I will see how that turns out in the next couple of months. Worst case scenario, I will travel solo, which is safe for those of you concerned already. Although it scares the life out of me being a pretty large introvert, from all the blogs that I have read it is extremely life changing for the good. Also, I think a huge way to grow is to put yourself in uncomfortable situations and having to make the best of it. It bores and even scares me to think about doing the same thing every day for the rest of my life; for that reason, I hope to never have a typical nine to five job. It is way too redundant and leaves you no room to grow, I would much rather have adventure in my job and off time that have what has been called a “stable nine to five job.” Sorry now I am just ranting. Anyways if you want to talk about anything else I just wrote about or if you just need someone to talk to, shoot me an email. 


Seriously, it helps me get my mind away from this place anyway. Hope to hear from you.


More about Spencer.


Light Amongst the Darkness

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Corbett Photo There is currently a grudge match at the Academy. The dark and cold of winter versus the exasperated cadets who just want to make it to that spring break location. This time of the year is commonly referred to as the “Dark Ages.” The upper-classmen have warned the 4/c of this depressing time at the Academy all year. Now being a part of it, I can’t help but think, why give this time the satisfaction of depressing us all? I began to think of happiness and what it means. What does it take for someone to be happy, here or anywhere? What I came up with is that the pursuit of happiness is a lie. Now hold on, I am not going off the deep end here, I am a very cheery person I love my happiness and optimism.


Here is what struck me though, in my many daydreams. Why does someone always pursue happiness? If you are on a pursuit of happiness doesn’t that mean you are currently not happy, and your goal in life is to become happy? If you follow the pursuit of happiness psychology you are treating a human emotion as an end product of your life plan. I have a quote as the background on my phone so I am always reminded of my recently discovered ideology. This quote reads, “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling” ~ Margaret Runbeck. Think about that for a second. Instead of being on a road to happiness, why not be on a journey of happiness. That probably sounds like something a cheesy children’s author would write, and maybe that is another problem. We all think we are just too grown up and mature for the silliness and games that truly make us happy. Even in the military, it is wake up and smell the coffee, this is real life. Well, I want real life to be fun! I enjoy being a goofy, tall, lanky kid because I am at least enjoying my journey here. I have had, and am being offered, opportunities of a lifetime that a very small group of Americans can say they share, or shared. Why should I be bogged down by a little winter weather? It is a small portion of the year and then it is back to sunny days. Then you and I will have even more reasons to be happy. Keep on trucking through the winter and whatever it is that occupies your time. And of course remember, always look on the bright side of things, and continue on a road of joy not a journey to it.


Have a question or comment on my post? Shoot me an email at



More about Shane.