A fish kisser—that’s what people call me. I know more about fish anatomy than I do about human anatomy, and I’m sure most marine science majors would say the same.
I first heard about the Academy from a high school friend who was interested in marine biology. It wasn’t until November of my senior year, when I discovered the Coast Guard’s website, that I considered applying to the Academy. I found myself looking at photos of sea turtle rescues and oil spill cleanups on the Coast Guard’s marine and environmental protection page. Before that moment I was dead set on going to Purdue, just as my mom, dad, and older brother had, but now I was beginning to question my decision. “Do I really want to wait another four years before doing something with my life?”
It has been almost three years since I began my application process with the Academy, and I can’t say I have saved a sea turtle or cleaned up an oil spill, but I have sailed on the mighty Barque Eagle, I have made lifelong friends, and I have grown more in the past two years than I ever thought possible. If there is one thing the Academy has confirmed it is what’s important in life: it’s not about the stars or the ribbons on your uniform, it’s not about grades or the threat of demerits, it is about the friends you make here. I would not have made it this far if it weren’t for their help and support.