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A Great Place to Be in 2021

(Reflections) Permanent link
Elizabeth Meyer

Sometimes things don't always go as planned. For me, participating in AIM virtually was not what I had planned. However, while this may not have been the ideal way for me and my fellow AIMsters to spend the week learning about the Academy, it was very effective.

Throughout this AIM experience I learned so much more than I first expected. Not only did my cadres relay an extremely large amount of information but they also kept everyone engaged and excited to learn. Each day was jam packed with new and exciting things for each of us to take away from the program. They had something for everyone: sports, clubs, academics, academy history, and so much more.

Even though virtual AIM was not what I had planned for, it truly was a wonderful experience. I learned that even though we might not be able to meet face-to-face we still have the ability to come together in order to achieve a common goal. While we couldn’t come together at the Academy, I believe that my fellow AIMsters, cadre, and I were able to have fun and get to know each other which was extremely impactful.

This virtual experience definitely opened my eyes to all the possibilities this Academy has. They really do have something for everyone out there. This program showed me that challenging yourself is important for future successes. Virtual AIM made it even clearer to me that USCGA would be a great place to be in 2021.

MORE ABOUT ELIZABETH

Completely Changed My Mind

(Reflections) Permanent link
Madison Nualart

Overall, I had an amazing AIM experience. I learned so much about the Coast Guard Academy and everything that comes with being a part of this wonderful community. I met so many people that have the same interests and aspirations as me. I hope to stay in contact with them and see where they end up deciding to go to college next year.

This virtual experience has taught me a lot of skills that can be used when working online for my future classes. The main skill I learned was how to control the things that are in my control. Technology is still a work in progress to this day so not everything is always going to go correctly. So I cannot stress about the technical difficulties that I cannot control, but instead fix the things I can.

At first I wasn’t 100% set on going to the Coast Guard Academy, but this AIM experience completely changed my mind. Every day of this program I learned more and more, making me want to go to this academy. They have so many clubs, sports, and activities that spark my interest. They also go on so many crazy adventures in really cool places. I am very excited to apply and hopefully attend the Coast Guard Academy next summer.

MORE ABOUT MADISON

Realizing How Much Can Be Experienced through a Screen

(Mid-Week) Permanent link
Elizabeth Meyer

When I first found out that AIM was going to be conducted online this year I had a lot of questions. The biggest one being, how is this all actually going to work? The idea of doing an all-inclusive camp about life at the Academy online seemed unrealistic at first. Now as I have participated in a few days, I have realized how much can truly be experienced through a screen.

So far through this program, I have learned so many new things about not only the Academy but also myself. With interactive guides such as the FIT booklet we were provided and daily workouts, it feels to me as if we were actually at the Academy. I never expected that I could learn so much just by signing on to a Teams call. This program has opened my eyes to so many new things I didn’t even know were possible.

One of my favorite things about this virtual program is having discussions with our platoons. I find it fascinating to learn about people all over the country and what brought them specifically to AIM. It is very refreshing to see that even with all that's going on in the world that we all still have the same goals for the future which is to serve our country.

My favorite experience so far in this program would definitely be learning about all the activities available at the Academy. I found it somewhat surprising seeing that an Academy dedicated to serving also has somewhere for each person to have fun. Not only does the Academy have athletic activities, it also has musical, religious, and other activities.

MORE ABOUT ELIZABETH

An Incredible Experience So Far

(Mid-Week) Permanent link
Madison Nualart

My virtual AIM experience has been incredible so far. I have learned so much every day and I am continuing to do so. I expected for this journey to be very informative but this has exceeded my expectations. Due to the program being moved to a virtual platform, I lowered my expectations for AIM. However, the program has actually been extremely hands-on and interactive. I have been able to make long lasting relationships with like-minded individuals. I have learned everything I need to know about the campus life, clubs and sports, application process, and more. AIM could not have been more informative about what the Coast Guard offers.

My favorite part of the AIM program so far has been the time we spend in our own divisions. This time is so enjoyable because we are able to have one on one time with our cadre and peers. Everyone’s personalities are really shown during this time. It is also really nice to see how different everyone’s interests and aspirations are. My cadre was super nice and was very excited to answer all of the questions we had for her.

MORE ABOUT MADISON

Not Letting The Setback Stop Me

(Initial Impressions) Permanent link
Elizabeth Meyer

When COVID began all I could think about was, “What does this mean for my summer plans?” I applied to AIM because I felt it was the only way to test if I had what it takes to succeed at USCGA. Then when the news came it would now be online I was devastated. How would I know if I belonged without ever setting foot on the campus?

Yet, I didn't let this setback stop me from participating in the program. Even in a virtual setting I still have the opportunity to learn more about life at USCGA. Just after one day I have learned so many new things about not only the program but also myself. In just a short video call I learned so much about Coast Guard history and traditions along with more personal information about each person participating in the program.

I was very surprised that even though this is a Coast Guard program, it focuses on making sure you make the right decision for you. The faculty and staff want to ensure you know all your options, not just this one. I really enjoyed the FIT workbook and how it focuses solely on what makes you the person you are.

I look forward to the rest of the week of AIM. Even though it is not a traditional setting I believe my fellow AIMsters and I can earn a lot of valuable lessons from this program.

MORE ABOUT ELIZABETH

Already Learned So Much

(Initial Impressions) Permanent link
Madison Nualart

Life has been full of adjusting and adapting to this new way of life during this pandemic. When I received my acceptance letter into the AIM program I was beyond excited and nervous.But was soon disappointed thinking it would be canceled due to COVID-19. During the livestream when all of the announcements were made I was relieved to hear that it would still go on virtually.

My initial impressions of the virtual AIM program was that it is organized and structured very well. It was fairly easy to find the launching page with all of the instructions and links to find everything I needed throughout my days. I thought because I had never used any of the websites or platforms they were using it would be difficult, but they left links for directions on how to use and set up everything which was extremely helpful. When I did have trouble with something I just emailed asking my question and they got back to me right away.

I was surprised to see that we get such close interactions with our division and cadre. I had expected, because it was virtual, that we would just watch prerecorded videos and not get the real life connection we would in real life, but I was so wrong. On the first day, I got put into my small division and was able to learn about my peers and cadre through a video chat. It was so fascinating to see where all my fellow AIM students live. Everyone was so nice and welcoming, especially my cadre. We were all able to ask our cadre questions about their experiences and what we should expect if we go to the Academy. I’ve learned so much already and it is only the beginning.

MORE ABOUT MADISON

More Helpful Than I Expected

(Reflections) Permanent link
Micah Tracy

My AIM experience has been very useful and informational. I have learned a lot about the Academy and cadet life. I had fun talking to the cadre and getting to know them. They were all very kind. While I still believe the in-person experience would have given me a better idea of what the Academy is like, this experience has definitely been more helpful than I expected it to be. I wish we would have done group activities or challenges of some sort in each of our divisions, though. I think that would have helped us build leadership and teamwork, as well as get to know the fellow AIMsters better.

I learned a lot about the different majors that the Academy offers, which will assist me in figuring out what I want to major in and what I want to do when I get older. I also learned a lot about the Coast Guard’s missions, which was very interesting. I feel that I now have a better understanding of what the Coast Guard’s values and core ideals are, and how they serve our country. My platoon posted workouts for the week, and I am glad they did because I think they will be good to use to get in shape for the PFE, and I have been doing them throughout the week. It’s not the same as the actual AIM workouts would have been, I’m sure, but they were still engaging and I enjoyed them.

Through the FIT workbook, I have learned about different aspects of my personality that shape what kind of a leader I am. This will allow me to know my own strengths and weaknesses, which is definitely an important thing for leaders to know. I took the Interest and Activities inventory in the FIT workbook, which gave me results with some career paths that align with my interests. I found a career field, operations research, that seems very interesting to me. Then I realized that it is a major at the Academy, so that is even better. I have learned that the more questions you ask, the better. No one should get mad because you ask too many questions. This is an important skill to learn because you never want to go into something blindly; you want to know all the information you can beforehand.

The AIM experience has made me excited to apply to the Academy. Listening to the cadre talk about how much they love it and how much they love the people at the Academy is encouraging, and I am definitely considering the Coast Guard Academy as my path after high school. It will be an amazing opportunity to challenge myself to be the best I can be, and I believe I will have many valuable experiences as a cadet, and then as an officer in the Coast Guard.

MORE ABOUT MICAH