The sun is shining, short-sleeved tropical blue uniforms and operational dress uniforms with sleeves rolled up are breaking out, flowers are blooming, and all due to one simple fact…the class of 2016 finally received carry on! Okay, so spring might have had something to do with most of that, but that’s beside the point. The Academy has never seemed like a brighter place before April 15, 2013 at approximately 12:20 in the afternoon. That is when it was announced at lunch: the fourth class finally can talk to their friends in the passageways, walk normally to class, eat like human beings, and most importantly – use social media networking legally again.
I stress the word legally because while this week was definitely a huge milestone to our class, we also had a huge setback as well. This setback is all due to the popular social networking application, Instagram, which allows users to post photos and to comment on and like their friend’s photos. The setback occurred on the Friday preceding carry on when a guidon, the 2/c in charge of training the 4/c, found a member of my class’s Instagram account. Of course, she was not the only one who had one; I would say at least one-third of our class did. As soon as everyone found out she had gotten caught, we all quickly deleted ours hoping to avoid any further consequences. However, later that weekend, everyone was asked to admit if they posted to Instagram, so everyone who had one, whether they deleted it or not, admitted it. As our consequence, every fourth class who had the popular social networking application received a Class II offense which included 15 demerits, 1 marching tour, and 2 working hours. Needless to say, the sixty of us at Restricted Cadet Formation, held at 1930 and 2200 on weekdays and 1300, 1600, 1930, and 2200 on weekends, looked kind of silly.
The punishment we received was very fair, considering our Fourth Class Expectation Packet had clearly indicated we were not to use any social networking sites. However, it was definitely a downer on my weekend considering it was my birthday on Saturday. Nonetheless, my mom still came to visit me and brought me cake in the shape of a Juicy Couture purse, and she brought me food from the real world since I couldn’t leave the Academy. Not to mention, my friends decorated my room with pink balloons and a birthday banner. I suppose I had the best birthday a restricted cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy could have.
With all of this said, I must stress to follow all of the rules given to you at the Academy. They are here for a reason – to help you. If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me! Samantha.E.Corcoran@uscga.edu
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