Finally out of the Dark Ages. For those who don’t know, the Dark Ages are considered the time from after finals and winter break to the beginning of spring break. During this time, the days are short, the mornings are cold and cadets have to force themselves back into gear after the holidays are over and classes begin again. However, do not let this shine a negative light on Academy life. Many people say that they don’t agree with or even think the Dark Ages exist.
Coming back from winter break means seeing all of your close friends at the Academy again and when you form such close bonds with everyone, especially during Swab Summer, your classmates become those fun cousins you can’t wait to see again. Also, classes do not start right away after coming back. I really like this about the Academy (although I’m not sure if other colleges do it, too). The week after coming back from winter break is called MAP week and is an orientation week where cadets get their books, take the PFE, talk with their advisors, among other things. This is not a very stressful week and allows you to prepare everything and catch up with your classmates. Finally, the beginning of second semester may be a pain but it is nice to know that it is the last kick before summer assignments!
I cannot decide whether or not I believe in the Dark Ages but they certainly were not as hard to get through as some people led me to believe. This was also partly because as a 4/c, Boards were coming up and when the entire class passes, it receives carry-on and some 3/c privileges. Knowing that this reward was just around the corner pushed me to study hard and suck up whatever negativity I had. We still have yet to all pass Boards but there is only a small percentage of our class that is still trying and most of them just got unlucky on the set of questions they were given the first time. The Dark Ages were also easily ignored because spring break planning was atop everyone’s mind since January. I went with three other 4/c cadets to one of their houses around Tampa, Florida. This was very exciting especially because I had never bought my own plane ticket or planned a vacation without my parents help. I must say, having your own constant income is extremely liberating. The vacation was a blast and I will try to upload a picture or two from it. The four of us went to the beach, Busch Gardens for free, out on one of the 4/c’s boats, and just had a relaxing time. In my opinion, the breaks are all the more worthwhile because of how much work and effort you put into school leading up to it. This effort makes the breaks feel deserved.
Well, that’s all I have for now. I also just wanted to thank those out there who emailed me with questions about the Academy among other things. Again, if anyone has anything they would like to know about this place or any questions, even silly ones, please feel free to shoot me an email. Also, I encourage anyone out there looking into attending the Academy to participate in our Cadet for a Day program. I just had a prospective cadet this weekend and it was a blast. All of us love having them here, not just because they give the 4/c carry-on, but also because we love talking to them and answering the same multitude of funny and serious questions we once had.
Thanks for reading!
4/c Melissa Keeley
More about Melissa.