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Things Change

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link   All Posts
 Stephen Nolan I woke up in a panic this morning. Ten minutes to go was being sounded off right outside my room while my alarm clock screeched in my ear. I leapt out of bed thinking I was late ― for I’ve found that old habits die hard ― and rushed to put my O.D.U. trou on while simultaneously trying to yank on my socks and put my shields on the blouse that I had so carefully prepared the previous night. In the dark of the pre-dawn morning, I had a flashback and thought, for a moment, that my shields were green. It was but a momentary panic, one that quickly dissipated, but I think it clearly illustrates a major difference between fourth and third class years.

Last year, had I woken up to the sound of clocks going off, I would have panicked even worse than I had this morning, because I would legitimately have been late. Now however, I have a little bit more time to sleep in the morning, and after the days I’ve been through as of late, that is a very necessary thing. I think the most striking difference between fourth and third class year, is the emphasis on academics. During fourth class year, the emphasis is on all things military: shining your shoes every day, preparing your uniform, memorizing indoc, squaring corners, addressing upper class, doing clocks, taking out the trash, and cleaning. Third class year, however, the emphasis is on classes. Ask any member of the class of 2013 and they will tell you, without a doubt, that academics are the major focus. This is not to say that academics are unimportant during fourth class year, but they step it up a notch, so to speak, once you put on red shields.

It is already November and this is only the first journal entry that I’ve written since the summer. Last year, I used to regularly write journal entries in my spare time last year… and plan to do so this year, but the problem is that “spare time” has become almost non-existent. I have started working in my major classes, and I can honestly say that being a Marine Environmental Science major was definitely the right move for me. I love my Meteorology and Marine Biology classes, and I can’t wait to go more in-depth with them as time moves on. This year we have also moved into more advanced mathematics, and I’m currently taking Differential Equations, as well as Physics, Professional Rescuer, Ships and Maritime Systems as well as labs for my major classes. All and all, it’s a pretty hefty schedule along with sailing, military trainings, and trying to help out my own fourth class get through their first semester.

I’ll apologize right now if this journal seems a bit disjointed. It has been a very busy week, but I wanted to make sure I at least got one journal entry in before Thanksgiving leave. I’m afraid I must end this post now, because the backlog of things I have left to do is continually piling up and I must try to cut it down to size. However, I encourage you to email me if you have any questions! As always,
Semper P.
3/c Stephen T. Nolan

Stephen.T.Nolan@uscga.edu

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