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Hurricanes and Ambulances

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2024) Permanent link   All Posts
Cheyenne Waters

Now this is not your typical worst first day of school that involves mean kids, strict teachers, and funny mishaps. This is quite extreme when it comes to college experiences.

So, the week started off with a hurricane. The hurricane barreled into New London on Sunday which, of course, cut our weekend short and locked the cadets up in Chase Hall. Believe it or not, the hurricane was one of the best parts of the week. Even though I was stuck in Chase, I found ways to keep myself busy by preparing for school and creating study tools and sessions for the 4/c.

Tuesday was the first day of classes. I woke up early on Tuesday excited to start school and especially excited for my oceans lab where I would be studying meteorology. I get an email advertising for a blood drive later that day. I sign up on a whim thinking I had a free period, it was a nice thing to do, and, if I am being honest, it was also a good bullet. So, my first class went great, and my spirits were high as I headed to Leamy to give blood. I had never donated blood, but I had my blood drawn loads of times, and I was not fazed by needles or blood. Therefore, I walked into Leamy thinking it would be no big deal. I was very wrong. I got there at 11:00 and waited for about an hour. I figured I would miss lunch, but I had a good breakfast, and I was drinking my water while waiting. Plus, all the times I had my blood drawn I was just fine after a cookie and some juice.

I finally get to the table, feeling slightly nervous but ready to finish and get to class. They stick me, which was not that bad, then the blood starts flowing. The machines beeps were the first sign something was wrong. The blood sucker machine kept saying my blood was moving really slow. So, they give me something to roll in my hand and it flowed a little faster. However, it still ends up taking forever to make a pint. Almost four time longer than usual!

At this point, I really want to get to lab. The whole process had taken way longer than I thought it would. So, I quickly stuff some food in my bag and start off to class. I don’t make it very far before my head spins and my vision blurs. I walk back to the Red Cross people, and they have me lie down. Now I did not actually pass out. I just got very close. I hazily emailed my teacher to tell her where I was. I tried to sit up, but I felt so dizzy that they made me lay back down. Finally, the head Red Cross lady said she was going to call Nine-One-One. Now, I start to panic in earnest. I felt terrible, but I thought an ambulance was a bit dramatic. I really just wanted to go to the clinic. I also wanted to sit up because my panic was making my breath tight. Someone from the clinic arrives, but they call the ambulance anyway.

The EMTs get there. They strap me to the transport bed thing, and we take off. The ride was actually pretty fun, and I guess the highlight of the day. After that, they stick me in the ER, and I wait a while. I eat and drink something and feel better, but when they take me back, they say I am still dehydrated, and they hook me up to an IV. The IV, of course, starts hurting when the bag gets about a three quarters empty. So, they take it out and send me on my way.

I get back to the Academy, tell my story about a dozen times (which was actually pretty fun since it was a traumatic but very interesting story). The next morning was pretty bad too. I missed another class because I was in the clinic. Then, I switched up my classes and missed yet another class. I got a lot of makeup work, but I made it through Wednesday with no more ER trips. After a bit of rest and relaxation and a couple of good nights sleeps, I felt back to one hundred percent.

So, I guess I should summarize the great lessons from my unfortunate first days of school. The first is basically bad things will happen. I mean it happens. Sometimes you just have to roll with it. The second is that sometimes you do need to take a pause. Sometimes it is just too much, and you need to take time to sleep, breath, relax, etc. The third is something you will hear at the academy a lot which is communicate and ask for help. Everyone here is very helpful and understanding if you give them the chance by communicating and asking for help. The last one is trying to find a silver lining. I will admit I was pretty down those two days. I had a lot of stress (but unfortunately not blood) pumping through me. However, I am trying to get back to my normal, happy self and look on the bright side. I can’t say you will be happy all the time at the academy. It’s just not true. BUT you will enjoy your time better here if you do your best to look at the positive no matter how hard things get.

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