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A Wild Ride

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Mason Photo One of the coolest things I did this month was going on my Capstone trip to San Juan. It was so much fun! We had a meeting with the engineering officers on base, and the rest of our time was spent soaking in the sun and dancing. Our trip also took place over Super Bowl Sunday, so we got to enjoy that as well. I really missed the island, but every time I go back I find new things that I love about it. It would definitely be a challenge to live there, since the lifestyle is SO different from “the mainland” but I love the food, the beach, the sun, and the colors! The culture always amazes me. I’m pretty sure every woman in Puerto Rico could be a professional dancer. The way they move is mesmerizing.

 

For some bittersweet news, I’ve found out that I have to have surgery on my ankle from when I tore my ATFL last semester. However, I’m financially tied into going to Haiti again for a mission trip over spring break, so I have to wait until the middle of March. This wouldn’t be a problem for any other year, but my commissioning date is hanging in the balance! Basically if I am not healed enough to go onboard a ship and work by graduation (May 21st) I have to stay here at the Academy until I am, which means I can’t take my 30 days of leave until I am ready to commission, and that could potentially affect my billet. But I’m going to stay positive and hope for the best. Everything happens for a reason right? So if I do have to stay here for a while after, I’ll just have to make the best of it.

 

This next month will be the most exciting until graduation. Billets! And Haiti! And Surgery! It’s going to be a wild ride.

 

 


More about Ally.

 

The Long Blue Line

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Keith Photo Classes finished? Check.

 

Capstone presentation? Check.

 

PCS paperwork? Check.

 

As the days wind down to graduation, it’s so strange to think that I only have 19 more days in Chase Hall. In some ways, it’s bittersweet because I will be leaving all of the amazing friends and mentors that I have met along the way of this journey, but I know that we will again cross paths at some point.

 

I am incredibly excited (and almost in disbelief) that I will be graduating in a few short weeks and commissioning as an ensign in the Coast Guard! Especially with an electrical engineering degree. You see, I originally came in as a government major but decided to take on the challenges of engineering. Even though I’ve always enjoyed writing, I thought I would be better off if I stretched myself intellectually and learned more about math, science, and the technological world in which we live. It’s been the hardest thing that I have done to this point, and there have certainly been times where I thought I would fail out, but I’m confident that all of the things that I’ve learned will be useful as a junior officer – and it’s not even all technical. The ability to work together as a team to solve a problem, to think of an idea and actually create it in the real world, to keep pushing even though the end doesn’t seem in sight…those are the things that I will be taking out of the gates of this Academy, all thanks to studying engineering.

 

The section chief of my major, a Commander (O-5) just had his retirement ceremony in the lobby of Mac Hall and it dawned to me how unique this Academy and organization, as well as the continuity of the Long Blue Line, is. Days after he leaves the organization, my classmates and I will official enter it and begin our service as officers. While it’s sad that the Great Class of 2014 will be scattered throughout the country, and will never again be together as a whole, I know that we will get to see and experience amazing things while carrying out the missions our country has tasked us with. Several of my mentors from the classes of 2011 and 2012 have already left their ships and are well onto their second tours. My friends from 2013 are a year in and will be showing us the ropes while assigned to our ships. And those from 2015, 2016, and 2017 will be here, working through this 200 week program that is the USCGA. For those fortunate enough to be coming in as the Class of 2018, get excited. You’re in for one life-changing journey, one that I would do all over again.

 

 


More about Jordan.