One of the hardest years of our lives is almost finished. Any first year at a new school or work is going to be difficult, but more so for first year Academy cadets. Many of my shipmates have struggled academically, including myself. Some people have been proactive and worked hard to improve grades, while others just sit back and hope for the best. I personally have never been one to just sit back and watch things turn bad, knowing there is something I can do to make it better. I like to finish something, satisfied that I put forth more effort than I needed to. I feel that once finals are over, I will be satisfied that I had an overall successful 4/c year. Yes, I struggled a lot of the time when it came to academics, many people do 4/c year. But once you know you are struggling, it’s what you do afterward that matters the most. Many of my teachers have told me that they like that I come in for help, and they applaud me for taking the initiative to do that. If there is advice that I can give to incoming cadets it’s to get help. Set up study sessions with your friends, keep up on your homework, and stop by for assistance from your teachers. They notice that you are trying, and in the end will work in your favor.
Looking back on the past 10 months, this year has been quite the journey. At times I wish I could go back to Swab Summer, because at least I was getting a full 8 hours of sleep, was exercising all the time and didn’t have to do any math! In the grand scheme of things Swab Summer was not hard. Granted we did not think of that when we were going through it, but once you begin the academic year you may want to go back to Swab Summer.
As a class I feel that we have had an emotional and mental rollercoaster the past couple months. Our grades were not up to par, resulting in many of us having to attend after school study sessions to improve them. This caused us to miss out on sporting events and other activities we could have been doing. We had a little mishap with our indoctrination board, and as a result of that we were not granted carry-on. After having to square a full year, it was disheartening to hear that our hard work was for nothing. If you can make it through 4/c year at the Academy, you have the strength mentally and physically to accomplish anything.
I’m looking forward to the challenges of the summer as I tackle the experience of Coast Guard life at a small boat station in Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire, and academics during summer school.
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