It is the beginning of second semester, 4/c year, and I am actually glad to be back. I’m not excited for the schoolwork and military tasks in particular, but I do know that I will be taking SED (Statics and Engineering Design) and Macroeconomics which I personally find more interesting than some of last semester’s classes. What I am most excited for is being back with my friends, my Coast Guard family, a place with all the seasons, everyday easy access to a gym, and a whole new outlook and new plans that so far seem to be working out well. Sometimes it isn’t where you are, what you are doing, or even who you are with, but it is your attitude toward everything. You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you view it. We took the PFE this past week, and I hadn’t consistently worked out in months. I got a 177. For me, that isn’t anything near what I want. I want a 200 minimum, but I knew I did it to myself, and I also know that in a couple weeks or more I can easily bring my score back up; so instead of dreading the remedials I will be put on (morning and lunchtime workouts once a week to retake the PFE) I am looking forward to making improvements and knowing I will be much more in shape after starting water polo. I don’t mean to say that getting under 200 doesn’t matter, what I mean is that when the inevitable happens, there is no reason to stress over it. Also, if you take a less active sport credit your first year at the Academy, find a workout buddy, and make sure you workout multiple days a week, even when you are busy. If nothing more, just do push-ups and sit-ups a few times a day in your room. That way you can easily get a 200 instead of making the mistake I did.
Oh, and a quote we were given in a training recently was (paraphrased) “Would you rather party the next four years and work hard the rest of your life, or work hard the next four years and party the rest of your life?” This was comparing regular college to the Academy. It isn’t always true, there are plenty of really great colleges and universities out there, but the idea is that even though it is hard work here, and friends we have in regular colleges may be partying and having a blast, the hard work we do pays off. So wherever you go, whether the Academy, or some other university, take it seriously, have fun too, but the work you put into college will be the basis of your future career. The more work now, the less later.
Enjoy what you have, strive for what you want, love those who love and support you, avoid things that pull you down, and decide what you want to do and who you want to be. In the end, it is all up to you. Look to the future and base your current actions on where you want to be. You will get there, even if what you thought you wanted turns out to be something completely different. It just might happen that you thought you wanted to be someone who works with minimal interaction with people, and you end up somewhere where you know everyone so well that you love working with them and doing everything you do. Maybe you want to be in the Coast Guard to save lives, maybe you will end up being a doctor, saving lives in a different way. You may not get what you expect, but working hard for your desires where get you somewhere you love.
More about Rachel.