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Finals, Break and Returning to the Academy

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo So the first semester has come and gone. It is hard to believe that I am 1/8 of the way through my journey at the USCGA. Although I may have never thought on R-Day that I would make it this far, it has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. Finals approached right before winter leave. One difference I noticed between civilian college and the USCGA is that finals week is a lot more enjoyable at the Academy! While civilian college students cram to learn months’ worth of materials in one night, cadets here (including myself) use the free time during the day to study, but not having sports, extra military obligations, clubs, or classes makes finals week a bit more relaxing than the normally hectic work days.


Once finals were finished, I booked a train out of New London and went back home to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was great to be home. I saw family from all over the country and spent a lot of time relaxing and enjoying the time with old friends. I have heard that coming back to the Academy after winter leave is not enjoyable for fourth class, but honestly coming back was not difficult since I knew all of my friends are like family here and I would get to see them once I walked back in through the doors.


More about Hannah.


Militarily, Academically, Athletically

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo Hi everyone!

I’m so sorry that it has been so long since I have written last; my semester has been one of the busiest I have had so far! I’ll give you a little look at what I’ve been up to last semester militarily, academically and athletically.


Militarily – Last semester I was the Support MAA for Foxtrot Company. This position helps the Guidon train the 4/c as well as helps the 1/c Support Department Head with their duties. With this responsibility I worked with the 4/c and I answered questions and supported the Guidon with their roles. This was a great experience for me because I got to learn about my own leadership style and figure out ways to improve it.


Academically – This was my best semester yet academically. I took very interesting major-specific classes. I took Fisheries Biology, where I learned everything I could ever want to know about fish and took an awesome field trip to Mystic Aquarium! I took Ocean Dynamics where I learned about how water travels in the ocean and the physics behind it. The last MES class that I took was GIS or Geographic Information Systems. This is a class where you create a map using computer software that you can then use to spatially analyze data. It was one of my favorite classes that I have taken and at the end of the course we got to work in groups and solve a marine problem from beginning to end. I really enjoyed all my classes and can’t wait to take more major-specific courses.


Athletically – Once again, I sailed last semester. The team had one of its best seasons in a long time. The women’s team was ranked 1st in the entire nation for a month! So that being said, we really did have a great season. We worked hard on and off the water to do that well and we are going to continue working hard to get ready for the spring season and hopefully qualify for Nationals again this year!


Now that I let you know a little of what I have been doing, I’ll give you a heads up on the things I have coming up in the future! I have so much to be excited for – Ring Dance, school, sailing, and 1/c summer! I’ll make sure I write more often this semester! As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at


More about Kayla.


The Academic Year

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
 Martorell Crespo Photo Being a fourth class is tough but fun at the same time. First semester is almost over and now I can’t wait to start second semester. We always have homework plus other tasks that we have to accomplish, but that is just preparing us even more.


I have learned the importance of time management and setting goals while being here at the Academy. If you want to do well, you have to do your homework every day, use your time wisely, pay attention in class and never fall asleep. Academics here are a challenge, but if others have made it through, why can’t I? Every day I am busy and don’t usually have time to go out and talk with my friends. Some weekends I don’t even leave the Academy because of the quantity of work I have. But if you want to succeed you have to sacrifice.


I always try to work ahead and seek help when I don’t understand something. As time passes by, I enjoy being here more and more. You have a lot of school work but you can have fun at the same time. Upon arriving here at the Academy, I thought I would only have time to study and never have the opportunity to socialize or relax, but there is always time for everything. I study, but also there are times where you can have a morale night and get carry-on, get smoothies, talk with your friends, and have fun. In the end, working hard is worth it.


More about Irene.


Coast Guard Academy Scholars Program, What’s That?

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kimura Photo CGAS – Coast Guard Academy Scholars program. I wished somebody covered that topic in a cadet blog when I was accepted into the program during my senior year. I had no idea what to expect. I never heard of it before I received the acceptance phone call, and the Academy website vaguely explained the program’s details. There is relatively no advertisement for the CGAS program because candidates cannot apply for it. The program is similar to other service academies’ preparatory school programs, in which the Academy sends potential cadets to a year of schooling to improve certain areas, such as academics or physical fitness, before joining the next year’s class. Although I joined the program feeling uninformed, I have not regretted the decision, or opportunities it provided me.


A few questions I had going into the program:

What does CGAS consist of?
Well, it starts with a three-week training period, almost like a compressed version of Swab Summer, full of the yelling and running around campus. Those three weeks are challenging physically and mentally, but creates everlasting bonds with the other scholars. At the conclusion of the three weeks, the Academy sends the scholars to one of two military schools, Marion Military Institute in Alabama, which I attended, or Georgia Military College. The curriculum consisted of English composition, general chemistry, general physics, pre-calculus or calculus, military training class, and in some cases like mine, band.


What is the difference between attending a regular school and re-applying versus going to one of the Academy’s prep schools?
I originally thought I might as well attend a civilian college for a year and re-apply, rather than committing a year at a prep school far away from home. However, I did not realize the benefits of how well the academics could prepare me, becoming adjusted to a military schedule, and the lasting friendships I would make with future classmates.


If you have any questions regarding the CGAS program or preparatory school, please feel free to contact me.


More about Amy.


Time Moves Faster Now

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Williamson Photo Hi everybody! I’ll start off by saying that my email is, and anyone can contact me if you have questions.


So the month of September as has come and gone and I’ve been in school for the same amount of time as Swab Summer. Comparing the two, time moves much faster now. The days themselves feel long, but all of a sudden it’s Friday and you ask yourself were the week went. My classes are going well; I have pretty much found my groove. Homework is the biggest issue when it comes to time and stress. The classes themselves are not bad, but at the end of the day when all I want to do is sleep is when this place feels harder than your average college. Having all my classmates around and seeing them going through the same struggles helps me stay motivated. An old retired Coast Guard veteran once said something that stuck with me through the admission process, Swab Summer, and now: If the guy next to your is doing it, and thousands of guys before you did it, then you sure can do it; you are strong enough to finish, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


Right now I am in the middle of the sailing season. I have never sailed before, and the first time I set foot on a sail boat was Swab Summer. However, in a few short months I have pretty much learned all the basics to sailing a boat. My position in the past few races has been skipper, which means I steer and make a lot of the tactical decisions. It is pretty cool to think that am now able take out a sail boat and feel comfortable sailing when I didn’t even know one thing about sailing three months ago; its things like that that make the Academy such an amazing place. Here, you are open to so many new things, and so many talented people. This combination gives you to opportunity to learn a whole array of new skills, as long as you are willing to put in the work.


Currently, as the winter sports season approaches, I am still unsure if I should do winter track or just take the winter off and do Ski Club and try out some other clubs. I want to do well in track in the outdoor season, but doing three seasons of sports on top of all the military and academic obligations might get hard to manage. I still have to figure that one out…oh well. That’s all for now, stay happy and motivated!


More about Cody.