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cadet blogs

First Time Home

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2015) Permanent link   All Posts
 Sean Murphy Today is the day I was dreading all week: the day I have come back from leave. Coming back is actually not as bad as I thought it would be, knowing that I only have two and a half weeks left before I go back to sunny Sarasota, Florida. Thanksgiving leave was awesome. Returning home for the first time to my parents was a great feeling; I really felt how proud my family is of me. I saw tons of friends and family, threw down some old inside jokes, did work on some Thanksgiving turkey, played plenty of ultimate Frisbee, practiced with my old crew team, hung out at the beach, and went to church. The one thing everyone said to me when they first saw me was, “You are so pale!” I guess that’s what happens when you go from being outside in tank tops every single day to living in New London, Connecticut, where you wear long sleeves and stay inside because the sun goes down at 1630 during the winter.

I’ve heard from a lot of people that when I go back home, I will lose the connection that I had with my friends because they won’t understand what I go through everyday at the Academy. I personally found the opposite with my friends. I found a mutual respect between my friends and me for what we both have experienced. All the same old inside jokes were alive and well. I also learned that my view of a “real” college experience was not accurate. Before reuniting with my friends this past week, I viewed their lives as waking up at noon everyday, go to one class a day, and then party the rest of the time. In reality, I heard stories of my friends bogged down in homework, studies, and athletics, and only having time to enjoy the “real” experiences on the weekends. I didn’t feel alone and took solace in knowing I’m not the only one working my behind off every day.

I attended church with my family on Saturday, the day before I left for the Academy. I reluctantly agreed to wear my uniform to mass (I’m glad I did – my family was very happy). The homily was about waiting for the future. The priest explained how we are always waiting for something: for someone to come home, for a holiday, or for a return home. He explained how we feel helpless because we are obsessed with waiting for the future. His homily was very relevant for any military family. During my whole time at the Academy, my family and I have been playing the waiting game for me to go home. I was even playing the waiting game before I came to the Academy. I waited eagerly to leave home for R-Day. It is so easy to get caught up in waiting for the future that you don’t enjoy the moment that you are in. Then when you get to the moment you have been waiting for, you are dreading the ending of the moment! I’m learning to enjoy the moment that I am in and not get caught up in the anxiety of waiting for the future. It’s the experiences of the present that shape us for the future. I don’t know if it’s too early to make a New Year’s resolution, but I propose for myself to try to enjoy more of the present. I urge you to do the same. Before you know it, you’ll have an appointment, graduate from high school, report into USCGA, finish Swab Summer, and return home in uniform for Thanksgiving. The future will come a lot quicker than you think.

I have a week and a half until finals! I have a speech and rough draft due on Tuesday, calculus test on Tuesday, chemistry lab on Tuesday, macroeconomics test on Thursday, uniform inspection on Wednesday, chemistry test next Tuesday, paper due next week, community service on Saturday, Statics project due next week, and chemistry , calculus, statics, and macroeconomics exams right before I leave for winter break. Just wait one moment while I have a stress-induced hernia.

I know! It sounds like a lot, but if you stay in top of the work, it is definitely realistic. It is important to learn good study habits before coming here. In reality, if you pay attention in class, do all the homework, and ask plenty of questions in class, the tests are not extremely difficult. The key is making sure you understand the material everyday, and don’t leave any learning until the day before the test. Good luck to all of those waiting to hear back from Admissions. I will never forget how stressful that was. As my grandfather would say “Keep punchin’!”

Oh P.S. – Shout out to my sister Katherine – she’s about a waiting game now! Congrats KK!

More about Sean.