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How We Survive

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2013) Permanent link   All Posts
 Jessica Ward People who tour the campus often take photos of 4/c, and ask us how we do it. While visiting with a few “Cadets for a Day” participants, many asked “how do you survive it all?” The daily activities such as squaring, greeting, knowing three meals in advance, taking out everyone’s trash, busing, etc. seem extraordinary for outsiders looking in. And it can seem really intimidating. Because it kind of is. There’s a lot to do as a 4/c that can really stress you out. But as I was talking to a young man who feared he couldn’t keep up with everything that goes on here, especially as a 4/c, I thought about how I could reassure him that it is possible. And here’s what I came up with:

First, thousands of people have done it and will continue with all of it, so it is clearly possible.

Second, you adjust. People often don’t give themselves enough credit about how the human body can adjust to stay sane. There’s a survival mode you go into while you learn the ins and outs of everything here. You may never get used to everything, but eventually the newness and intimidation of it all wears off and everyday becomes another day.

Third, a sense of humor develops within it all. I saw some of the YouTube videos of the Academy before I came here. Needless to say, I never understood the humor until after I came here and showed them to friends at home. They didn’t get it. So, while the world looks on questioning your sanity, you find ways to laugh it all off.

Ultimately, it’s your attitude towards it all that makes it hard or easy to deal with everything as a 4/c. People can take as many photos as they want, but they’ll never understand it, and while they take photos life here continues.

More about Jessica.