Tonight is my last night in Chase Hall, and my last blog as a cadet. In one day my life will experience a drastic change, and I will be a commissioned officer in the United States Coast Guard. Even now, I don’t think this has sunk in, and everything feels like it is happening so quickly. The past few weeks have been filled with trainings, celebrations, and ceremonies. I have seen my swabs put on their white shields as they prepare to become cadre…it’s been a giant storm…all of it leading to the Class of 2012’s final culminating experience; graduation.
Truth be told, it all feels rather abrupt. After graduation we are all going our separate ways, and I might not see some of my best friends for months or even years. One of my buds is going to flight school in Pensacola, Florida, another will be an intelligence officer in Boston, Massachusetts, yet another a deck watch officer in Astoria, Oregon. I myself am going to be a Student Engineer in Alameda, California aboard the CGC Bertholf. Funny though…I won’t be in Alameda for the first five months I report in. Our cutter is going on an Arctic support mission, and will be gone for a good period of time.
I packed up my room completely today, and it is amazing the flood of memories I have had as I have gone through all my things. The experiences I have had at the Academy are unforgettable, and I cannot believe how much the past four years have shaped me as a person. There is too much to say at this point, and how I feel right now is difficult to put into words. Such a strong mixture of excitement, sadness, and anxiety…There are so many different people I want to thank for getting me to this point, and I am disappointed I won’t have time to let everyone know exactly and how much they have impacted me.
To anyone reading this final cadet blog, especially potential cadets, I would highly recommend this place to anyone who wants to have an incredible college experience. When I was a senior in high school it was between the Coast Guard Academy and UC Santa Barbara, and I am glad I picked CGA. This place is not perfect by any means, but I don’t think it is meant to be. It is meant to be a challenge, and shape young men and women who can work under pressure and stress. Sometimes I was dumbfounded with some decisions made at the Academy, but looking at back, there might be some method to the madness.
What the Academy has given to me is hard to describe, because it hasn’t been a joy ride. But if I think about the most emotional moments in my life, almost all of them have been during my time in the Coast Guard Academy.
It has been quite a journey these last four years, and I am amazed how much I have grown. There is still more growing to do though…there always is. Thanks for reading, and if anyone has any questions for me I would gladly answer them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck to the rest of the Corp as they continue their Academy experience!
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