I am back from winter leave, two weeks when life almost seemed normal again. At home, I spent the majority of my time hanging out with friends, visiting with family, and sleeping. I forgot just how simple life was living with the familiar faces of my parents and brother, spending every night out late with friends, and having the ability to sleep in with no 6 a.m. reveille! During that time I thought a lot about the college experience I was getting, as compared to most of my high school classmates. It was extremely different in so many ways, but at the same time, similar. I did not find it hard to relate to these friends, as so many cadets claim. We talked about schedules, classes, new friends, old friends, and our versions of fun. Though the stories were not the same, the common sense of being a “freshman” again was still present.
Those two weeks re-energized me with a taste of the old days, a much needed reminder that I still have the friends from home, who mean the world to me; but a more prominent reminder that the life I knew now belongs to the Coast Guard. As hard as it is to accept while being at home with no worries, the minute I got back to the Academy I was reminded it was the right path. This does not mean that I don’t ever question why I got myself into this, because I do. It helps to scroll through old pictures, reminiscing and laughing about old memories, then switch gears and look ahead at my future in the real Coast Guard because those experiences will surely make it all worth it.
More about Gabrielle.