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The Experiences of Real Swabs, Real Cadets, Real People

(Choosing the Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link   All Posts
MegMarie Stanchi

I sit in my room anxiously thinking about reporting in to the Academy. I imagine the cadre yelling at me, my shipmates and I doing push-ups, what the food will taste like, and what uniform I will be wearing. My mind races. I am very much of an over thinker, and I rarely like to be surprised. And then it occurs to me. I YouTube “Swab Summer United States Coast Guard Academy” and am met with many videos from the previous summers. I extended this search by going online to the CGA’s website and read the cadet blogs. Real swabs, real cadets, real people. Real people who have done what I am about to do. Suddenly, the Academy doesn’t seem as scary.

This happened a lot. Whenever I felt nervous or scared, I tried to find new resources of people talking about their Academy experiences, which was often accomplished by reading more cadet blogs. Hearing cadets’ stories and struggles made me realize that I too could make it through the challenges of the Academy. This is what I hope to accomplish for others by being a cadet blogger.

It is truly overwhelming to think about what you are about to get yourself in to by accepting your appointment to the Academy. I hope to lessen those anxieties for prospective cadets by sharing my experiences. I want them to realize what I came to realize, that the Academy is filled with people who have been tested in so many ways. Many people have made mistakes, some have been sent home, but most are still here. No one is perfect. The challenges you face at the Academy are miniscule compared to the challenges you will face in the fleet and in life. Everyone grows and learns here, and among the challenges are the amazing and unique opportunities you can’t find anywhere else. I have already experienced so many positive and rare things in my few short weeks here. It takes a certain kind of person, but if I can do it, I believe you can, too.