Hey guys! Sorry it’s been so long since I posted, but things have been really hectic in my life over the past year. I greatly underestimated how busy I would be 4/c year. I participated in three varsity sports last year, meaning that I never had an off season. In addition to sports, academics were also very difficult for me. First semester went by pretty easily, but second semester came and I was constantly busy. Beginning second semester, studying until 2 a.m. became common. I also began to struggle more than before. Chemistry II and Calculus II pushed me farther than I ever have been academically. I would spend hour upon hour studying for Chemistry only to get a 55 percent on a test. It was extremely frustrating to constantly fail. About halfway through the semester, after spring break, I changed my study habits and began to work more with my classmates. I remember in high school, I would avoid studying with other people over fear of distraction. However, group studying actually saved me toward the end of 4/c year. Anyway, I finished 4/c year and managed to get at least a C- in Chemistry and Calculus, thankfully avoiding academic probation.
Once 4/c year came to an end, my mind left academics and began thinking of qualification boards and boat crew sign-offs. I was first phase Eagle and I actually had a pretty good time. Eagle is a lot of work, but the ship will take you to some really cool places! Half my class and I went to Key West, Nassau, Norfolk, and Staten Island. After Eagle, I reported to Station Emerald Isle in North Carolina for the second half of my summer. At the station, the other cadets and I stood communications watch, which is basically monitoring the radios and answering the phones, I helped around the station, went underway on the small boats, and worked on boat crew sign-offs. After six weeks at the station, it was finally time for summer leave. Summer leave was fun, but after going home I started to notice more of a detachment from my high school friends than before. A lot of cadets talk about this happening, but I never believed it until this summer. Because of this, I mostly just spent time with my girlfriend and family.
I’ve been back as a 3/c now for almost a month, and already it’s very different. I was talking to a second class earlier this year and he told me the biggest difference between a 4/c and 3/c is as a 4/c you never realize just how nice everyone is here. When you’re a 4/c, everyone seems to always watch you, correct you, mentor you, and ensure that you are doing everything right. However, as a 3/c, people treat you differently. There’s still mentorship and people may step in to correct you but you are not as objectified and are treated more like an adult and friend.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
More about Ryan.