Choosing where to go to college is not easy. Everyone told me that I would know it when I found the college I was meant for. However, when visiting the esteemed universities that my family attended, that I grew up cheering for in football, and that my friends were planning to attend, I did not feel as though those were the places I was meant to be.
It was after those visits that I heard about the Coast Guard Academy. After I did a great deal of research on it, I knew that I wanted to come here. The rewarding career, the difference I would make in peoples’ lives, the countless new experiences, and the strong friendships I would make here fed my desire to be a Coast Guard cadet. Working in the fleet over the summers, getting to travel to new places and see how the Coast Guard works, were also big factors in my decision. I also wanted to come here because of the camaraderie among this tight knit community. Everyone is willing to help and support one another. One thing we learned over Swab Summer is that you cannot survive without one another. The Academy has given me the best friends imaginable.
Because many people had told me that the Academy isn’t for everyone, I needed to determine if it was for me. I made a few trips and participated in the overnight Academy Experience and an open house. The first question I asked the cadets I spoke with was, “are you happy here on a day to day basis?” I got many different answers from many different people, but I didn’t realize that I would be able to answer that question for myself before I even attended the Academy. Every time I left the Academy after a visit, I would be in the greatest mood. I could feel myself get more and more excited about the Academy as I told my parents everything I learned. I realized that when I was at the college I was meant to attend, I did know. I just had to travel a little bit farther than my friends back in Virginia.
More about Rachel.