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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

2016: The Year in Review

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo This year is one that has been filled with surprises, joys, concerns, and milestones. In January, we began work on preparing for the arrival of the Class of 2020. The spring semester flew by and before we knew it, there were 300 swabs at our doorstep. This summer was excellent, as we trained more swabs than ever with less cadre and resources. This summer I got to see Alaska and the great American west, which was an awesome experience. I went on search and rescue cases, swam with icebergs, and earned my in-port junior officer of the day qualification. This semester I was assigned to the community service logistics division again, and we are in the process of finishing a house for Habitat for Humanity in downtown New London. We are also hoping to sponsor a house in the coming months for the Class of 2018 and beyond to construct.

 

I became very involved in my local United Methodist Church this semester as well. I am taking a 40-week bible study with a group led by our pastor, and I am attending a conference in January for people interested in the ministry. I am also considering pursuing ministry after my commitment to the Coast Guard. One step at a time, however…

 

This semester I also honed my golf game. I spent many hours at the Stonington Country Club golf course, and I found myself a great new hobby to pursue when the weather is fair. Golf is a game where perfection is the standard and effort is the means, but nonetheless I am enjoying my time learning and improving my game.

 

Last month I was selected to serve as the spring Regimental Chief of Staff, which has obstacles of its own that lay ahead. I am looking forward to serving on Regimental Staff again, and graduation will be here before we know it!

 

More about William.

 

Hello, It’s Me

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
King Photo A few months ago, I got a letter in the mail from myself. I had written a letter to my future self two years ago at a summer camp and it was time to open it again. I had nearly forgotten about it, and eagerly ripped it open, excited to hear the wisdom of high school me.

 

The first thing I noticed was the terrible handwriting. It was large and uneven. It was funny – it started in cursive, than quickly switched to print. I guess I figured that I shouldn’t have been too fancy in my own letter. The very first question besides “How are you?” was “Did you get into the Coast Guard Academy?” I’m sure high school me would be happy to hear that I made it in.

 

Reading it, I realized that I couldn’t write letters that well back then. I also realized that I’ve grown so much in those two years since writing the letter. I am much more focused and calm. I have gone on so many adventures like sailing across the Atlantic and lived through Swab Summer. I also went through two years of trials, such as Calculus and 4/c year. Both have helped me learn more about the world and myself.

 

That being said, high school me did have some good pointers. In the letter, I told myself to be persistent and have a sense of humor. Looking back, I wish I could tell my high school self to be more adaptable and careful, but hindsight is always 20/20.

 

A new year and new semester are coming up and, pretty soon, I will be transitioning to be a leader. While I’m proud of how much I’ve learned in the last two years, I know there is much to improve on. I am excited to find out what the next two years and beyond will bring.

 

More about Deborah.

 

Family is What You Make It

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Opas Photo When I first joined the Coast Guard, I considered myself to have an incredibly small family. Biologically speaking, it was just my parents, my two siblings, and me. Throughout high school, I’d expanded to include a handful of incredibly close friends, but even then, I had a small support network. Moreover, I’d subscribed to the school of thought that defined family as the people you chose to surround yourself with. But my time here at the Academy has taught me that family is something you don’t choose, rather it is thrust upon you. Even in the beginning of the semester and after Swab Summer, I didn’t realize how much my family had grown.

 

Sure, I had my company mates ‒ my fellow fourth class ‒ who I’d toughed out Swab Summer with. Yet even among such a group, there were those of us who didn’t click. I was truly lucky to have roomed in fourth deck Charlie fall semester, on a p-way of only fourth class. Somewhat sequestered from the rest of the wing area, we formed a tight-knit bond as our own little unit. Leaning on each other for anything from late-night Statics and Engineering Design homework help to ironing a buddy’s shirt before a formal room and wing because he had a rugby game, we had our own little microcosm. And it ran like a well-oiled machine. Yes, we had our little spats. Two or three of us would be grumpy the whole week prior to an exam, but then we’d all pile into someone’s room and shoot the breeze on a Saturday night instead of going out on liberty, just to decompress as a fam. We had our one practical joker, our resident bookworm, our cynic, our cheerleader, the list went on. Everyone was a piece of the puzzle and that suited each of us just fine. But there was another of my company mates who lived on third deck, far away from the fourth deck biosphere. She has become a sister and a mother to me, through all the first semester’s trials and tribulations.

 

It was roughly 10 a.m. the Saturday of Parents’ Weekend, the two of us standing in the grass before Hamilton Hall with the hordes of parents and loved ones, all related in some fashion or other to different members of the Corps of Cadets. My parents were unable to make it up to Connecticut for the weekend, so I didn’t have anyone to look forward to seeing. To top it off, I was recovering from an injury ‒ just like my shipmate ‒ so we both couldn’t drill. But from the moment she and I waved her parents over to join us in watching the pomp and circumstance of the special drill ceremony, that bond of sisterhood solidified. Her unconditional acceptance of me into her family is one of the things that has grounded me during my time in New London, in an environment where it’s really easy to lose yourself in the stress.

 

Your family here is that which makes you smile and laugh every day in spite of all the class assignments, sports obligations, and military trainings. It’s what makes you get up in the morning instead of rolling over after reveille to sleep in, like any other college kid. It makes getting through the workday an exercise in trying not to laugh at each other’s blunders rather than a string of failures and insurmountable challenges. The idea of family is that which makes the Coast Guard the Coast Guard, and it’s what makes this academy just that little bit better than its sister academies.

 

More about Leah.

 

Life on the Greens

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo This semester, I found a great way to spend my free time—through the Academy Golf Club. Relatively new to the game, I had only played a few times my 3/c year, but this year I really got into it. One of the best kept secrets of 1/c year is the PE class: Advanced Golf. During 3/c year, all cadets take a basic golf class, and during 1/c year you can elect to take Advanced Golf. For this course, you are responsible for playing 10 rounds of 9 holes. Cadets who take this course are free to leave whenever there is no class or military obligation, which was a great opportunity to get away for a few hours each week and enjoy the New England autumn. After playing for the class, I began to play during my own free time and golfed beyond the required amount for the PE class. I discovered that the Academy has many avid golfers, and that there is a special deal at a local country club for cadets.

 

I spent many hours at the country club this semester, and really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the game with officers, chiefs, and fellow cadets. I have played many courses in the area over the semester. On Veterans’ Day, a few of my friends and I played a local country club for free! Golf has become my outlet for stress this semester, and I am glad that I stumbled upon it! Over this coming winter leave, I will be spending my time with family at a resort in the Dominican Republic, and I can’t wait to check out the courses down there.

 

More about William.

 

From a Nervous High-Schooler to a Blogger

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Hill Photo I want to be a blogger because I want to be there for the kids who are undecided and really nervous about the possibility of coming to the amazing Coast Guard Academy. I was one of those high-schoolers who was anxious at not knowing what to actually expect. Further, I want to provide an accurate and positive (because it’s true!) representation of the Academy. I love being here and I want to help others.

 

I made it through Swab Summer and have completed my first few weeks of school. By the way, my one week aboard the USCGC Eagle was super fun! I enjoyed getting to know enlisted members of the Coast Guard, learning more about ships, what it REALLY means to be a shipmate (teammate), and about navigation. I also, weirdly enough, enjoyed cleaning the ship. I have developed a knack for cleaning places I never knew existed thanks to the tutelage and guidance of my Swab Summer cadre. So, yes, sometimes things get a little overwhelming during Swab Summer and at the Academy, but if you just keep a calm mind and develop a practical approach to each task, nothing is "hard." I realize that all of the intense situations that I do experience are meant to prepare me for life as an officer in the fleet. I am never truly afraid because I know I have my friends (shipmates), and all of the Academy staff and Coast Guard men and women supporting me and I am there to support them as well.

 

I have had so many positive experiences here already, a lot of inside jokes and just funny moments with my classmates—whom I have gotten to know super well (it just happens during Swab Summer; trust me).

 

Okay, so this thing about “Oh 4/c cadets don’t get enough sleep” is not completely true. I make time for sleep. End of story. I do my homework when it is assigned in an area where I can concentrate and then I have time to go to bed by 2200. I have my whiteboard and giant desk calendar to organize myself so that it makes it easier to budget my time. However, I am a really light sleeper, so it is kind of difficult when my roommate decides to stay up later to do her homework and then comes into the room (I still love my roommate though—she gets me). For this, I have invested in some ear plugs, an OBJEE the Bear PillowPet, and a sleeping mask. I am definitely nervous for upcoming assignments, but it is nothing that with organization and effort, I can’t handle. I AM excited, though, for Spirit Week coming up—it’s my debut as a cheerleader during the pep rally so I hope I don’t mess up, but I will just have fun with it. The girls on the cheer team are actually really sweet and nice and many of them had never cheered prior to coming to the Academy either. I decided that doing a varsity sport like softball would take up too much of my time, plus I am kind of tired of playing the same sport since I was five years old.

Smile and stay goofy y’all!

 

More about Kelly.