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Letter to the Class of 2015

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2014) Permanent link   All Posts
 Jessica Nelson Dear Class of 2015,

I would like to dedicate this blog entry to YOU :). First of all, I cannot express how excited I am for you to arrive. Not only because it will mean that I am no longer a 4/c, but also because I am excited to welcome another group of individuals committed to something bigger than themselves to this fine school. Just in my one year here, I have learned and matured in so many ways, so I hope you are pumped for what this next year will bring.

Right now you are probably thinking about Swab Summer. Will it be hard? Yes, I am not going to lie to you, but from personal experience, it is so worth it. Swab Summer pushes you mentally, physically, and emotionally. But the best part is that after the summer, you are mentally, physically, and emotionally stronger, and you walk away with some of your fondest memories and deepest friendships. I do not remember every single work-out session, but I do remember most of the fun and rewarding experiences. Like the times we made a time interval or when we marched down the street to the cadence of Taylor Swift. Swab Summer can be fun if you let it. So here are my top 5 dos and don’ts of the summer:

1. Come with a good attitude – You will be yelled at. I can guarantee that. It will be stressful, but you do not need to become stressed. It is all a matter of perspective. I remember the first time I got personally dropped into the push up position and was individually punished. Sure, it was scary and stressful, but I was able to walk away from it with a positive attitude because I understood that all in all, the cadre just didn’t want me to redo what I had just done. So, I would say prepare now to look at things in a way that absorbs the constructive criticism and throws out the rest.

2. Take the summer seriously – You will get the most out of your summer experience and the least amount of negative attention if you take the summer seriously. Work hard to achieve goals, push yourself. Those people that laughed the summer off as a joke not only hurt their team who relied on them, but they also hurt themselves. They did not learn anything from the summer, and they certainly did the most amounts of pushups.

3. Hydrate and bring DEODORANT! – Even if you don’t think you smell, you do! I thought I smelled like a bowl of petunias the whole summer, but I smell some of the clothes from the summer, and let me just say that I stunk. As for hydrating, you will sweat more than you ever thought you could and then some. You can always drink more water.

4. Take advantage of coach time and Vespers – Any opportunity that you have to leave Chase Hall, take it. I wanted to be on the dinghy sailing team just so I could go down to the waterfront during sports time and sail for an hour. It was super important to have those getaways. And on Sundays, take advantage of the hour for religious services. It is important to have those precious moments to just breathe and relax.

5. Know your fellow swabs – Swab Summer is definitely a team effort. You will only be able to make it through with the help of the rest of those in your company. Get to know their names. It may sound silly, but you will need these friendships to not only get through Swab Summer but also first year here at the Academy.

I am sure that there are many more things I could share with you about the summer, and if you have any specific questions, feel free to shoot me an email. Once again, I want to congratulate you on your appointments; it takes a strong individual to get accepted here, so you should be proud of it. I look forward to meeting you all next semester, and have a great summer!

Very Respectfully,
4/c (soon to be 3/c) Nelson

More about Jessica.