Yesterday was my first day of school for the second semester. I and the rest of the Corps of Cadets have been back from winter leave for just over a week now. Over leave, we had about two-and-a-half weeks to go home and spend time with our families. It was a much needed break after a long first semester of college, and it was great to get to sleep in my own bed for a few days. I spent the last week of leave on my training trip with the swim team in Sarasota, Florida. It was a wonderful experience, and though the training was tough, it helped me significantly to prepare for the PFE that I had to take when I got back to the Academy. Last week was MAP week, which is a week that gives us a chance to make schedule changes, meet with advisors, attend presentations, and readjust to Academy life.
With the start of second semester comes a lot of changes here at the Academy. Everyone begins new classes and switches rooms and roommates. Regimental Staff and Company Staff, 1/c cadets who lead the corps, change as well, and 4/c have to memorize all the new names. As 4/c, we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have worked hard these past few months to get through Swab Summer, pass classes, and keep up with military obligations. Now, we are looking forward to getting carry-on sometime between February and March when we earn it through boards. Boards are one of the final tests for the 4/c, and passing them is a huge step militarily at the Academy. Boards consist of reciting the mission of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a uniform inspection, and answering 10 indoctrination questions. The 4/c has to earn eight points on the questions to pass the board, and then he or she begins to be rewarded with privileges.
This semester will again be full of studying and hard work, but I’m looking forward to reaching my goals in academics, military, and swimming.
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