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My Whole Way of Thinking Changed in Just a Few Days

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Mackenzie Boose

That first step I took out of my car upon arriving at the United States Coast Guard Academy was filled with excitement and nervousness. I had a couple of close friends attend AIM in the past, so I was familiar with the intensity. The Academy itself is a beautiful campus and I was very appreciative to be on it, even if that included running the stairway to heaven every day. My cadre were very intimidating at first because their job is to put us into a climate of being yelled at and keeping a perfect position of attention. As the days progressed, I got the hang of things and I realized the cadre only wanted what's best for us and to be our very best. The intimidation and yelling just goes along with getting our brains into the right mindset and contributing to the end goal. Additionally, it was great to be surrounded by people in my platoon that have similar goals and mindsets. All the AIMsters in my platoon showed the epitome of teamwork and drive to perform their best as a platoon.

One of the things that surprised me the most was my capabilities. Before coming to AIM my perception of what I could do was not very broad; I did not have much confidence in myself. Over the course of a few days in AIM, I realized I was capable of doing a lot more than my mind thinks it can do. I was pushed mentally and physically, and I know if I just put in 110% effort, I can do anything I set my mind to. My whole way of thinking was changed within a few days. For example, when doing the IT’s as a platoon I would just be thinking about doing better for my platoon and myself instead of thinking of the physical work I was doing.

One activity I particularly enjoyed was the sports portion of the week. One day my platoon and I competed in kickball. During kickball I enjoyed how we all came together and supported each other to win against the Bravo platoon with a score of 14-13. This game really showed me how the comradery was so great with just a few days of knowing these people. This gave me a taste of what it would be like during swab summer and during my time as a cadet. I hope to make these similar bonds as a cadet at the Academy.