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cadet blogs

Forgetting to Marvel

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link   All Posts
Sherman Photo“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
-Winston Churchill


Now a full month into classes, I can say that life here is going well for me. Classes are in full swing, as are club activities and sports. I did well on my first round of exams; I am getting into the interesting material of my classes and enjoying them; the Windjammers show is practically ready to go on the field next weekend at the football game; I’m spending more time on liberty and with friends (instead of holing up in my room all weekend like I did last year); drill season for the Corps has been successful; and I’m not braced up any more!


Still, I’ve struggled to find again the groove that I perfected last year, specifically last spring. Already this semester I have confronted many difficulties, but, like in Churchill’s quote, I take these obstacles and hurdles as an opportunity to improve myself or the world around me. I am thankful for these challenges that the Academy provides me; I realize the importance of such tests as this is the trial-and-error stage in my journey toward becoming a commissioned officer.


I could name several things that may be contributing to my “uneasiness,” or I could list dates that after which there will be more time (theoretically) in my schedule. I realized the other day, however, that while all these reasons may be contributing to my “discomfort,” they are not at the heart of my issue. What then is causing me to feel so exhausted, so drained? Why do I feel more frustration and disappointment this year than last?


My observations recently led me to the conclusion that I am responding at a more personal level to the feelings and attitudes of cadets around me. I am the type of individual that will go out of his way to cheer up others; doing so has been much harder this year (probably because I am now in the position as a third class cadet (3/c) where I can have a wider-spread influence on others). There have been a significant number of changes to cadet life (rules and regulations) this year, and many cadets are not happy with these changes, which is understandable. I can’t say that I completely agree with these changes, but at the same time I realize that there is little I can do to change these things, especially if all I do is complain, complain, complain. I’ve opted to keep a positive outlook on these changes and make the most out of my situation. One of my goals has been to help spread this optimist point of view (please don’t think that I’m not trying to toot my own horn here); upon reflection I determined that all these extra efforts to raise others’ spirits has definitely taken a toll on me physically and mentally. Nonetheless, I am NOT going to drop my positive outlook nor stop my efforts to spread it to those around me.


Forgetting to Marvel (Continued) PDF Icon  


More about Justin.