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The Best Thing I Could Have Done to Change My Life

(Reflections) Permanent link   All Posts
Mackenzie Boose

The first step out of the Academy after a week of experiencing so many new things was filled with relief and excitement. Relief that I was able to do my best over the week and challenge myself physically and mentally. Excitement because for the first time in my life I was 100% sure of something; and that is the United States Coast Guard Academy is my dream and I need to be there. The first thing I did when I got home was contact my Master Chief and let him know that this is an opportunity I am very passionate about.

Over the course of just six days I have grown tremendously. Even on the second day I could see the change in my demeanor and my thinking. This week broke me down and put me into a military mindset; then lifted me up and gave me confidence I never knew I had. Confidence in my skills and competence. It is crazy to think that I can come out of a six day summer camp with a deeper understanding of life at the Academy and the hard work it takes to be one's best through various challenges. Additionally, I have developed a great sense of teamwork and realized challenges are easier when working as a team than when trying to do it all by oneself. For example, when rushing to organize and clean our rooms for inspection we all went around to each other's rooms and helped each other out so we could finish as a team.

I would 100% recommend this experience to high school students. Even if one doesn't plan to ever join the military or go to the Coast Guard Academy, one would benefit from this experience tremendously and improve as a person. By being a better person, you look at certain inconveniences in life differently. For example, when I got home, I had work the next day; I had never been so excited to wake up early and sit on a lifeguard stand for 8 hours. As I was sitting all day, I was so grateful to be able to do my job and I was very appreciative of my work environment. The little things like that are what make me realize that AIM was the best thing I could have done to change my life; and I know my life will be great because AIM made my heart yearn to be a cadet at the USCGA. Hopefully, I can see the beautiful campus again but as a SWAB.