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cadet blogs

Where Dreams Come True

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2014) Permanent link   All Posts
 Carol Yin 734. Only the number of meals I have squared since June 28, 2010. No big deal.

Waking up this morning, I did not think that this would be the last day I would eat breakfast braced up with my eyes in the boat. Even this afternoon as I was waking to lunch with my 3/c, I said to him, “I really hope I get carry on.” Believe it or not, on 31MAR11, at approximately 1227, CAPT O’Connor granted the 4/c full wardroom carry on! This is one of the milestones that prove our efforts as a 4/c are paying off, and I cannot express how happy I am that I can finally look at my food and talk to my friends at meals! We’re one step closer to becoming a 3/c! Looking back nine months ago, it is hard to think that I was just a swab and one year ago I was a senior in high school deciding the next four years of my life.

Dragging my feet up the driveway after a long day of school and swim practice, I could not wait to get home. As I walked in the back door, a gleaming ray of light from the breakfast table seemed to beckon my attention. As I approached this mysterious light, I realized it was just the reflection onto a giant envelope from the United States Coast Guard Academy. Jumping up and down while attempting to open the envelope (not recommended), I pulled out the papers and read the first word: “Congratulations!” I literally could not stop cheesing that whole week. Albeit, this is a bit exaggerated, but I had never been more excited in my life! At the time, getting accepted was one of the easier steps in the process; the more difficult step was deciding whether or not I wanted to follow those that had gone before me and join the “Long Blue Line.”

In all honesty, choosing the Academy was one of the best and hardest decisions of my life. In the back of my mind, I wanted to take the normal route with my friends at a civilian college, but it was the higher calling of serving the country that I could not ignore. Leaving home in the middle of summer for R-day, giving up civilian clothing, driving privileges, Friday night sleepovers...the list of what I gave up to attend the Academy could go on and on. But that’s not the point. Fact is, I don’t feel like I’m giving up much for what I will get in return. In four years (it’s hard to believe!) I’m guaranteed a job, lifelong friends, the opportunity to travel all over the world, and ultimately a sense of doing something bigger than myself. After all, what could get any better than living within 50 feet of all your best friends, getting a top notch education and travelling to Europe and Hawaii this summer all in one place?

Forget Disney World. The Academy is where dreams come true.

More about Carol.