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Everything I Wish I’d Been Told

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
Mark Zanowicz Greetings once again! It’s nearing the end of March up here in New London, but you wouldn’t guess that by looking outside. Just earlier this week, I awoke to see the roof of the clinic outside my window dusted with a fluffy inch or two of snowfall. This comes right after the sub-30° temperatures which have been scourging our campus for the past week. I’m now starting to notice that there is a direct relationship between the chilliness of Connecticut temperatures and how far south I want to be on my first billet. Florida, for example, is sounding pretty good right about now.

While we’re all pretty cold up here, the change in climate is hitting me particularly hard. Two weeks ago I spent a week in sunny Fort Benning, Georgia, competing in the NRA Pistol National Championships. It was a fun time with the team and a great way to end the season. The week before that was spring break, where I traveled to Honduras with several of my classmates on a volunteer trip in conjunction with an organization called Students Helping Honduras. Though it was my first service trip, I’m hoping it won’t be the last. I speak for the whole group when I say we all had a truly memorable experience.

After so much traveling, it does feel a little good to get back to the Academy and jump back into the swing of things. This week our liaison with Admissions requested that we write a blog entry about what life was like in the months before we came to the Academy. I’d actually been reflecting a bit on this even before we were asked to write about it.

Every time I think of the spring before I reported to the Academy, I can’t help but think of author Tim O’Brien, who, after being drafted into Vietnam, claimed he passed the time before shipping out simply “playing golf and worrying.” When it comes to golf I usually find myself hitting patches of dirt farther than the ball itself; however, I did work at a country club in high school and spent a lot of time at a golf course, cleaning golf carts and picking up driving range balls in an enormous steel behemoth we simply called “The Picker.” Mostly, though, I just passed the time doing the same thing as Tim O’Brien: worrying.

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