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The Aim of AIM

(Reflections) Permanent link   All Posts
Brooke Thomas

After not being able to see my parents since the start of AIM, it felt incredible to see my dad during graduation! I couldn’t wait to tell him, and the rest of my family, about everything that happened during the week! However, when I was able to talk to my family about the many things that took place, I found that it was hard for me to relay certain things. For example, it was hard to explain the humor in some situations we experienced. I told my mom about what happened in our room inspection; essentially, we had a big ball of dust in our room and so one of our cadre made us give the dust ball a name. After naming it Bob, he made us sound off “Bob is my friend 01, Bob is my friend 01…” Looking back on that moment, I find it completely hilarious, but when I told that to my mom she didn’t find it quite as funny. I think many of the things we went through are funny now after getting home. However, I do realize that for people who didn’t go through it personally, they really can’t understand the situation fully.

I learned a lot from attending AIM. Specifically, I now know that I can accomplish much more in a shorter amount of time. Before attending AIM, I would normally take a 15-30 minute shower. Now, after taking 12 minute head breaks with 10 other girls, I realize that I don’t need 30 minutes to take a shower. More importantly, I would like to translate this mentality to more major things in my life. For example, being able to get more things done (like school work) in a shorter amount of time than the time I usually spend to finish that amount/type of work. I think the main goal of AIM is to demonstrate the concept of time management to all of its participants and have them take this away with them, if nothing else.

AIM was a great opportunity for many reasons. Referring to the previous paragraph, I was able to accomplish many different tasks in a shorter amount of time. I, along with my shipmates, were able to complete those tasks because of the environment in which we were placed. The atmosphere was challenging, stressful, but most of all encouraging as our cadre wanted us to learn about the Academy more than anything. In addition, attending AIM has really given me a look into what Swab Summer and cadet life are actually like. We were treated something like the 4th class cadets and had to follow the same rules that they have to follow. From squaring our food to doing “funny covers” when someone forgets to put on their cover, we were given a full look into what actually happens during the 4th class year. The benefit of this is that now I can make a sound decision whether to apply to the Coast Guard Academy (or other academies) because now I have a first-hand knowledge of Academy life and can determine if I want to be a part of that or not. After talking with my shipmates, I have found that after attending AIM many of them decided if they were going to apply based upon their experience. It has been an incredible chance to experience AIM and I am grateful that I was chosen to participate in it!