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AIM: A Perfect Balance

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Aija Brown

After an amazing week at AIM with some great people, pickup on Friday was both relieving and sad. It was hard to have to say goodbye to the people that I had become friends with throughout the week. At the same time, I was still happy to be going home and living like a normal person again. When I told my family and friends about my AIM experience, I told them about all the little things that we had to do: eyes on the boat, standing at the position of attention at all times, not using personal pronouns. All the small things that often slipped our minds and made the week difficult. I also told them about how it gradually got easier as the week went on. Also, when we actually got to know our cadre, they were all really cool and funny. I also told my family about all the amazing opportunities that the Coast Guard Academy and the Coast Guard had to offer that I had not previously known about prior to AIM.

Over the week I learned a lot, not just about the Coast Guard, but about myself. It gave me a taste of what my life would be like over Swab Summer, and it was a good test to see how I would do under pressure. I feel I did a good job of not getting overwhelmed with all the yelling and screaming that was surrounding us. I also thought it was a good lesson to see how, in order to be successful, we had to work as a team and everyone was responsible for doing their part and holding one another accountable. Once we began to do this, we finally started to make the time requirements set by our cadre, and began to make less mistakes as the week went on.

My week at AIM was a very valuable experience. It really gave us a taste of what life at USCGA is like, especially over Swab Summer. Personally I feel it was the perfect balance of seeing the difficult aspects of life at USCGA, while also having fun and bonding with our fellow AIMsters and our cadre. Another aspect of AIM that I valued was that we were pushed physically and mentally almost the entire week, and it was very rewarding to be able to see that we could push ourselves further than we thought. I am beyond grateful for my week at AIM and the people that I met, as I learned many valuable lessons, and received a unique experience that I could not find elsewhere!