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What It Means to Go Home

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Steven Roth Admittedly, it has been a few months since my last journal entry, which should be indicative of the Government major paper-writing work load I have endured in the waning days of the semester. After polishing off my last major term paper, the train ride back to school from Thanksgiving leave has given me some time to reflect. I sat next to a 4/c cadet on the plane ride home and recalled my first Thanksgiving leave. I thought about how excited I was to reconnect with all my friends back home and how it was my first real chance to spend a large chunk of time at home. I dreaded going back to squaring my meals and taking out trash. That dread soon faded to a mild indifference 3/c year as I moved closer to my friends at the Academy and further away from my high school friends.

As I ride the train back from Annapolis today as a 2/c, the indifference has morphed into a small amount of excitement. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and decorating for Christmas. As you move on at the Academy, you start to realize, generally much to your own chagrin, that the Academy becomes somewhat of a second ‘home’. Believe me, no one looks forward to waking up on Mondays, inspections or finals, but you start to get so much closer with your friends and that’s what makes going back not so bad. It’s still great to go home, as in the place you grew up, but when your time at ‘home’ is over you find that the Academy isn’t so foreign anymore. You realize that, in fact, it has also taken on some of the qualities of what ‘home’ means to people. Sure, you’re not stuffing your face with home cooked meals and sleeping until noon, but the people you were introduced to you on R-day start to become more important to you as you move on in your career. Just like you care about your parents and friends at home and want to spend time with them, the Academy creates and environment where you start to care a lot more about your classmates and friends, and that’s what makes going back not nearly as bad as it used to be.

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