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I Need To Experience It

(Why AIM) Permanent link
Morin Samples

I have wanted to come to the Coast Guard Academy since the seventh grade. To give a little background, I was at an interest meeting with my brother for all the military academies. At the time he wanted to go to the Air Force Academy. I was losing interest until a woman walked onto the stage and started to talk about her career. She was a Coast Guardswoman saving turtles on the coast of North Carolina. Ever since then I have devoted myself to attending the Academy. However, I was only in seventh grade and college seemed so far away. In the past four years I have been going on USCGA’s website looking at the majors, the programs offered, and a better reason to attend the Academy other than saving turtles. This year I saw the AIM summer program. I was instantly excited and knew that I had to apply. I needed something to confirm that the Academy life was for me. I can read all about the Coast Guard Academy and listen to people who attended the school, but I need to experience it.

Currently, at my house, it is just me and my mom. My dad is in Florida due to the Army and my brother is at USCGA. So, as I was applying to AIM no one really understood what I was doing. My brother didn’t go to AIM and surprisingly knew nothing about it. I mentioned AIM to my parents during the application process but that was all they knew. It wasn't until I was visiting my brother in New London when my family finally knew what I was applying for. I was waiting for the acceptance letter and my parents did not understand why I was so nervous that day. Once I received the letter, the questions came. Now my parents are over the moon about AIM. My brother can't wait for me to experience it. My dad is really excited for me. He is happy for me because I worked hard on the application and I earned acceptance to AIM.

In the days leading up to my departure to New London, I am getting more nervous. I have been working all summer on my fitness and now I start to think, “What if I haven’t done enough.” I often reassure myself that I have. I don’t have any other concerns than that. On the other hand, I am really looking forward to making new friends. I can’t wait to meet people who have the same interests as me! It’s difficult to try to find someone in Pinehurst, North Carolina who wants to go to the Coast Guard Academy. I am also really looking forward to the Academy life. I really cannot wait to get to AIM!!


The Nerves are Turning into Excitement

(Why AIM) Permanent link
Emily LeBrun

Hello everyone! Emily here! Next week I go to the Academy for the third week of the Academy Introduction Mission. I am beyond excited, but I am also nervous. I wanted to come to AIM to make sure the Academy was the right place for me. I have always wanted to go to the Academy, but this is to confirm that this is where I am meant to be. This coming week I am looking forward to meeting like-minded people and experience life at the Academy. I cannot wait to meet my cadre and I am also very excited to stay in Chase Hall and feel like a real USCGA cadet.

I don’t have many concerns about the coming week. I usually wake up fairly early, I am a very active person, and I love working as a team and helping others. I am sure this week will live up to my expectations and most definitely surpass them.

Like I said I have wanted to go to the Academy for years now. My family has always been supportive about my decisions and have encouraged me to live my dreams. They have been nothing but helpful throughout this process and I know they are very proud of me.

This week my nerves are definitely turning into excitement and I cannot wait to see what AIM holds in store for me and my fellow AIMsters. I will touch base when I am at the Academy. Talk soon!


Ready for the Challenge - Coady

(Why AIM) Permanent link
Mary Coady

I am so excited to be going to AIM!

One of the reasons I wanted to go to AIM is to see what life at the Coast Guard Academy would be like, and I hope to get a glimpse of that. I hope to better decide whether the Academy is the path that I would like to pursue. I also wanted to challenge myself to the best of my ability, and I think that AIM will help me to do so. I look forward to the challenges AIM will offer me. I also am excited to meet people who have similar goals and who could possibly be cadets with me if I ended up at the Academy.

Though I am excited for the challenges ahead I am not without my concerns. I am worried that I will not be able to keep up with the rigors of the physical training throughout the day. I am also worried that I will come out of my experience feeling just as conflicted about my decisions for my future as I was when I went in, and that I will have no insights on the Academy’s lifestyle. In the end though, I really think that I will gain something from this experience.

I am looking forward to this opportunity, but my family’s thoughts on it are bittersweet. I am the oldest of five, with four younger brothers. My parents are happy that I got in, because they know that I really wanted to go. At the same time they are not quite ready for me to begin to look at options for my future, and like many other parents they do not want to acknowledge that I am at a point where decisions have to be made. My younger brothers are happy for me, (possibly also happy for some “guy time” as well), though they aren’t happy that I’m going to be gone for five days and that I won’t be able to call them. To them that seems like a very long time especially since I’m very close with all them, and I haven’t been away for this long without a way to talk to them. In the end though, they are all excited to hear about my experience, and I am looking forward to starting!


Future Possibilities

(Why AIM) Permanent link
Mackenzie Boose

Before hearing my mentors talk about the military, I never considered joining the Coast Guard since no one in my family has ever been in the military. Once that door was opened, my mind filled with possibilities of a future in the service.

With AIM being next week I am thrilled to finally get a taste of Academy life. I was hoping to attend AIM ever since I joined the United States Coast Guard junior leadership program my freshman year of high school. A lot of my classmates raved about it. But my main reason for wanting to come to AIM is to really see all the different majors, activities and get a feel for what pathway I would love to go down - whether that be naval engineering or marine biology.

I am most looking forward to meeting new people from so many different places. Being from a small town I have grown up with the same people my whole life; it would be great to branch out and meet new people with different life experiences. I am also interested in hearing from cadets themselves about their experiences and tips for rising seniors who want to apply to the Academy. Additionally, I am super interested in being able to explore the campus re thoroughly throughout my week at AIM, especially since there is such a rich history with a lot of buildings and areas within the campus.

The only concerns I have with AIM have to do with nerves. A lot of people get nervous when doing something new in their life and being in a new environment. Adapting to a new place with people you don't know in a strict environment can be hard, but when I take a deep breath I realize all the other people participating in AIM probably feel the same way and I am not alone. In the end, I am hoping these first day nerves will fade with the first day and by the end I wouldn't want to leave the Academy or the new friends I made. I know I will come home with overwhelming confidence and excitement to share.


Only Elation & Enthusiasm

(Why AIM) Permanent link
Isabelita Sekulovic

My dream, since I was a little girl, has been to join the military. As I’ve grown, I’ve explored different paths to achieving that goal. The Coast Guard Academy is a strong, potential path and one that excites me. I want to attend AIM so I can seal the deal on my final decision. I expect AIM to challenge me mentally and physically. Also, I’m ecstatic about trying new things. I can’t wait to encounter the new activities at AIM that I have not yet come across. I know my experience at AIM will only build my motivation to attend the U.S Coast Guard Academy.

Many times, I have shared my career aspirations with other individuals in my community. Not once have I met anyone with similar goals. I am really looking forward to networking with like-minded students who are just as passionate about attending the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as I am. AIM will be the perfect opportunity to make new friendships where we will hold each other accountable and encourage each other during the application process. Along with that, I’m excited to see the campus and learn about its traditions.

Often, when I tell close friends and family that I will join the military, they always voice their concerns. I can’t say the same for myself. I have only elation and enthusiasm. As soon as I found out I was selected for AIM, I’ve been exhilarated. I can confidently say I have no concerns for AIM. I’m ready to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! My family has their own thoughts, but they are thrilled I will take part in AIM. They are unfamiliar with the military and want me to get as much exposure as I can before making it a huge chapter in my life. I know I will come home with overwhelming confidence and excitement to share with them.


The Place That Might Be My Home

(Why AIM) Permanent link
Cheyenne Waters

I am excited to see the place that might become my home for the next four years. As a military child, I have moved several times. So, four years in the same place seems like a long time. I moved to Arkansas a few weeks ago. Before that, I spent four and a half years in Virginia. It blows my mind that I may live at the Academy almost as long as I lived in Virginia. It has also occurred to me that I might also be meeting the people that I will go to college with, so I am excited to make friends.

I am probably most looking forward to just being at the Academy. I want to show my determination to get in. I hope that my time at AIM will increase my chances of getting into the Academy. It has been my dream to get into the Coast Guard Academy since 9th grade. I believe going to AIM will make my dream come true.

My primary concern is the physical fitness exam. I have been preparing for it, but I am a little nervous. I have done physical fitness tests for Civil Air Patrol. However, the Coast Guard Academy’s test is more challenging and has higher standards. I have resolved to try my best and then continue to improve my score before I send my application.


Prepared For What is to Come

(Why AIM) Permanent link
Bethany Tennyson

Though the days leading up to AIM have been slightly nerve racking, they have also been extremely exciting. I have wanted to attend this program for years, and it is finally about to happen in only a few days. I am eager to experience the life of a cadet at USCGA. More importantly, I am ready to meet new future cadets and develop a camaraderie with them as we work together and create new experiences. One of the experiences that I am excited to create is when we go sailing, something I have always wanted to do but never had the chance to.

Some of my days leading up to AIM have caused me some concern. I am nervous that I will not be as physically fit for the PFE tests in comparison to my peers. I have trained intensely in order to be ready for this, but what if that is not good enough? I will simply have to experience the physical challenges while I am there and see what I need to work on and improve in order to be as physically prepared as possible for the needs of the Coast Guard. Regardless of these concerns, I have been continuously motivated to run and work on my upper body strength every day.

Attending USCGA has been an absolute dream of mine for years. After attending several briefings and even traveling to New London, Connecticut for a tour, I have only fallen more in love with the school, its opportunities, and its missions. Attending the AIM program will only enhance my drive of attending this incredible institution.