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cadet blogs

New Roommate Every Semester

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo Hi everyone! When I go home and talk to my friends that go to “normal” college, they are always surprised to hear that I move rooms and have a new roommate every semester. This is something we do here to ensure that we can learn to deal with change and other personalities. This is good preparation for the fleet, since we will be on a boat at sea for possibly months at a time with the same people. This semester I am rooming with one of my best friends here. Last semester, my roommate and I asked to room with each other this semester. We hoped we would get it, but were not completely sure we would. However, when the rooming list came out right before Christmas break, we saw that we would be living together! We were super excited, however, a little skeptical. You see, we spend the majority of our day with each other without being roommates. We are friends, have most of the same classes, and are in the same division. Before living together, we joked that we were going to go crazy being with each other so much! Now that we have been living together for three months, I’ve found that it has worked out really well for each of us. Our key to success is being able to understand each other’s personality. For example, I am an introvert, so I like to sit quietly doing my homework with my headphones on. However, my roommate is an extrovert; she plays loud music, is always talking to others and inviting people over, or going to other people’s rooms. But since we know each other’s personalities, we have learned when to leave each other alone and when to be hyper and social.


My roommate and I have had some of the best times together this semester. In January, we went to the Statue of Liberty with our other friend, Christi Frost. We then went to my house to spend the weekend. At school, it’s awesome that we are roommates, especially when we have a test in one of our classes. We can just study in our room together. The same goes for group projects that we have together. And for division work, we are already together, so it is easy for our work to get done! But it’s not all work in this room! We are both absolutely obsessed with Frozen! Almost every night, right before bed, we listen to the Frozen soundtrack! We both know basically all the words! Much to the surprise of both of us, being roommates has been an awesome time and has truly worked out in our favor.


I believe that it is truly valuable that we switch rooms and roommates every semester here at the Academy. It teaches us how to deal with others in close quarters. It prepares us for the fleet when we may be stuck on a boat with only 100 other people for months at a time. It is a truly valuable lesson.



More about Kayla.


Major Decision

(Academics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Seaman Photo Choosing the major you’re going to study for the next four years can be a difficult decision. I applied as a Government major, but this past week switched into Operations Research and Computer Analysis. I chose to switch for many reasons. Operations Research is geared toward solving problems through math and logic. I find that appealing because there is always a need for advancement or more efficiency. Also, this year I realized that math comes more easily to me than other subjects. Operations Research is a math-oriented major, as opposed to Government, which is mostly writing.


The use of computers and problem solving is also a growing field in both the Coast Guard and the civilian world. I believe that the computer programming taught in the major is both interesting and a helpful skill to have with today’s advancing technology. When I made this decision, I talked to a couple teachers and upper class. I found that our majors do not have much weight when determining our jobs in the fleet, but come into play when we retire and join the civilian sector. From there I thought about which major, paired with great operational knowledge from the fleet, would provide me with the best job. I determined that to be OR. Even though I won’t be majoring in Government, the Academy still has many opportunities for me to be involved in the subject. For example, we are required to take a Government course 3/c year and I have been told that there are opportunities for OR majors to work alongside Government majors in some of the projects they work on.


Through this experience, I have learned that there is no right major to study at the Academy. The right major is the one that you can be most interested in and most successful at. So don’t worry if you aren’t sure of what you want to major in yet because 4/c year does a good job of showing you your strengths and interests academically, and it is easy to switch once you get here.



More about Rachel.


1/c Capstone Projects

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kloo Photo As we approach first class year, people begin to consider capstone projects. These are usually year-long projects that challenge cadets to confront a large-scale, real-world problem while incorporating what they have learned in their previous three years of study. Cadets get to choose, or in many cases, design their own capstone project, which means that you get to devote yourself to something that you are truly passionate about.


There are a wide variety of capstone projects each year, but some of the most interesting are the Coast Guard projects that cadets can choose from. A good friend of mine is a mechanical engineer and he is working on creating a sling and recovery system for a Coast Guard small boat. Undergraduate students rarely get to make things that play such a big role in the real world. Another good example is electrical engineering majors at the Academy are working to improve a dynamic positioning system (DPS). Coast Guard buoy tenders use DPS in order to keep position in variable currents and winds. Another good friend of mine, a management major, is working on a project to determine if the Coast Guard is making the best decisions in allocating money based on geographical location. All of these projects not only help them refine their craft, but can also have a direct and long-term impact on Coast Guard missions.


I am still undecided what I want to do my capstone project on. There are a lot of good options. Right now, we have students working on mustard gas toxicity research as well as diabetes research. Other areas of research include oil spill fingerprinting, which is something that the Coast Guard Marine Safety Lab does every day. There are a multitude of opportunities; the hard part is making a decision.



More about Alex.


Anticipation of Summer Adventures

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ledzian Photo Second semester I am taking less credit hours of class, 20, an easier semester on paper at least. Now three months into the semester I am still trying to match my rhythm from first semester. Boards, school work and track occupy what seems like every waking moment of every day. Spring break was a week of reprieve but once I returned to the Academy it was quickly forgotten. I do miss the warm Florida weather, only to be replaced with freezing conditions in New London. I remember enjoying the cold weather and snow, for about two weeks. Spring seems to be taking its time. The anticipation of summer adventures and an end to a long school year is pervasive. I will be traveling the Caribbean on Eagle and then head up to Station St. Emerald Isle. It is exciting to think of the coming adventures: climbing the rigging on Eagle, visiting foreign ports, and taking out a small boat. It is also easy to get trapped in a bubble and forget about the outside world, but soon I will get to leave to the Academy, for the summer at least.



More about Patrick.