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cadet blogs

The Present

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Miller Photo Last night I was out on liberty with a friend, and while we were on the libo bus, we started talking about how much can change in a year. I realized that a year ago, I was a fourth class getting ready for 101st night. When I was in Chase Hall, I was braced up and squaring my food. I didn’t even know what I was doing for the summer. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even thinking about the summer—I was taking it day by day. I still try to take things day by day, since I have the habit of thinking about the long term and sometimes forget to recognize the present.


Two years ago in high school, I had just submitted my application to the Academy. I wasn’t really sure what the Academy actually was, but I applied anyway. Now I’m a third class, eagerly anticipating my second class summer and taking on a bigger leadership role. While I still look forward to the future, I’m remaining focused on what is happening in the present. As I’m writing this, I can hear the current 4/c “enjoying” 101st night as they attempt to earn 2/c shoulder boards for 100th day. Next year, I’ll probably be IT-ing 4/c as they attempt to earn my shoulder boards. It’s about 365 days away, but days go fast. Two years from now, I’ll be contemplating what I want my first billet to be. And I’m definitely excited for that. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the cup of coffee in my hand and the relative quiet in my room.


If you have any questions, feel free to email me at


More about Caroline.


Happy To Return to the Academy

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Quintero Photo After a long summer of being out in the fleet, most cadets are happy to return back to the Academy. I know I’m excited for a number of reasons, with the first being that I get to see my friends again. I have made great friends at the Academy that I know I will keep for a lifetime, and that is because we go through a lot together. Unlike civilian colleges, even during some summers you spend the whole time with your shipmates. This fosters friendships like no other, especially because after a while you grow more distant from your friends at home.


The latter obviously depends on how close you live to the Academy, because if you live so far that you are unable to come home once a month with ease I doubt that you’re going to keep a close relationship with friends at home. From what I have experienced, cadets that live as far as Virginia, have no problems seeing their friends and family on a monthly basis. This is also very dependent on your funds, because you can only go as far as money can take you. I’ll be honest with you that the monthly stipend will cover only your very basic necessities like to go out and eat on the weekends and perhaps buy yourself a little something. Although you should remember that most college kids don’t have money for anything anyway and the cadet is no exception. So you better pray that your parents hook you up with a little bit of money. I would suggest that you constantly remind your parents about how hard you’re working and how depressed you are at times and perhaps they will send you money. Someone wise once said “money can’t buy happiness.” Whoever said that is completely wrong and I guess he/she didn’t attend an academy. I can assure you first hand, that when the Academy takes all these privileges away, but you can buy yourself a Big Mac or a Whopper on the weekend along with some ice cream…yeah, I’m very happy.


Moving on to another reason why I am happy to be back at the Academy is that I can start school back up.


“WAIT. WHAT???” That’s what you’re asking yourself. “ARE YOU CRAZY, CARLOS?? You can’t wait to go back to school? Are you a nerd?”


I would like a chance to answer those questions and then explain myself, NO, I am not crazy, Yes, I can’t wait to go back to school and NO I am not a nerd (although I wish I was because I am currently ranked one of the last in my class for academics). Now remember, this summer I have been working hard on a cutter (boat), meaning long hours of manual labor. I enjoy a good mix between hard manual labor and classes. I tell kids all the time, why wouldn’t you want to go to college and would rather just get a job right after high school? College is probably one of the best deals that life has to offer…trust me. You get to sit on your butt ALL DAY, and listen to a professor. It doesn’t get easier than that. Then you go back to your room and sit on a chair and study. Add free food and school into the mix…life doesn’t get better than that. That is why if you may think or consider yourself lazy, then go to college.


More about Carlos.