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cadet blogs

Class of 2020: Focus on the Future

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo I changed my phone background recently. It’s now some lovely tropical flowers gracing my screen. Really, the last one I had was fine… but with finals coming up and a heavy influx of division work within Chase Hall, I needed a consistent reminder that in about one week, I am heading to Florida for my first assignment at a Coast Guard air station! Trust me, I’m ready for it. Five weeks of immersion in Coast Guard aviation, hanging out at the beach, great food, and running past palm trees will be rough, but I think the challenges of this school have prepared me well.

 

I truly was pretty overwhelmed this last week, what with giving two presentations for the Science Department and lots of last-minute work for my division, but it truly did help to have something to look forward to. The annoyance and frustration is temporary; the experience is forever! I hope the incoming swabs will remember that as they go through the summer. The initial shock is pretty rough, and the days are very long…but believe it or not, the weeks are short. You just have to remember that there are better days ahead and a million adventures awaiting you. Before I reported in, I did some math. Did you ever realize that seven weeks, out of 200 for our training program, is only about 3.5% of your Academy career? That means 95.5% is made up of meeting new people, travelling, getting into a great major, assuming some leadership positions, flying, sailing, going on internships, joining clubs, attending religious activities… not the rigorous, loud days of the summer. Focus on the future, on the great things in store for you if you endure Swab Summer, and you’ll be fine. Even if you have some doubts at the beginning, 2020… I think you’ll grow to like those odds.

 

More about Abby.

 

Class of 2017 Ring Dance

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo Ring Dance is a very momentous milestone in a cadet career. We finally have a physical connection to the Long Blue Line and to all those who have walked through the halls of Chase and across that graduation stage. The night was full of good food and lots of dancing, which made me very happy. I got a miniature rose gold band with an amethyst for my stone. Amethyst is my birthstone so it makes the ring that much more personal. The Class of 2017 cannot stop gawking at one another’s rings and I think it is just because we are in total shock that we have made it so far in our Academy careers already. Time has surely flown. My friend was also kind enough to remind me that the next huge landmark in our path is Billet Night. That was crazy to think about, and I cannot tell you for sure where I plan on spend the first two years of my career but hopefully this last summer as a cadet will inspire me to come up with an answer.

 

This summer, I will be on commercial vessels for five weeks, getting a look into the merchant mariner world and the people we serve. For the last six weeks of my training, I will be going to Sitka, Alaska for an internship. I am aware of how challenging internships are to get, in both civilian college and here, so I am super grateful that the Academy has given me this opportunity. Being able to use the science knowledge I have learned over the past two years in a real life study at the Sitka Sound Science Center will be amazing.

 

As always thanks for reading and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions!

 

More about Sydney.

 

1/c Summer on the Horizon

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo This week has been madness! I’ve been swamped with finishing up term papers, group projects, routing planning memos for Swab Summer, studying for finals, and attending end-of-year club dinners.

 

My classmates and I just received our class rings this past Saturday! We had a great time dressing up in our dinner dress white tuxedos, donning our class rings, and spending the night off-base afterwards. It was a great event and definitely a milestone for the Class of 2017. Looking at our class rings, it is clear that we are almost seniors. Time has flown, but at the same time, it feels like it has been a lifetime. With the Class of 2020 receiving their appointments, it means that the Class of 2016 will soon be shipping out to the fleet. Crazy to think that soon my classmates and I will be the oldest folks here at the CGA.

 

I am excited to leave for Alaska on a 110-foot patrol boat in two weeks! After finals, I have to pack out my room and move all of my stuff to Regimental Row for the second half of the summer (which should be a monumental task with many trips)! Less than a day after that, I’m leaving for Alaska. I’ve already started my qualification for Quartermaster of the Watch with my Nautical Science instructor, and hopefully this summer will be a good opportunity to shadow junior officers and see what it’s all about. My next blog in May will probably be from the icebox!

 

More about William.

 

Two Spring Breaks for the Price of One

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo I had a bit of an odd spring break this year. I departed a day early to perform in Georgia and Alabama with the Glee Club, spent the rest of the week with my grandparents who live outside of Atlanta, and flew back the day prior to leave expiring. So all of that was pretty standard… what made it odd was that after I unpacked from my trip down south, I simply repacked for another one! The next morning, I flew out to Rome, Italy with three other cadets, one of the humanities instructors, and her husband to compete in the week-long Harvard World Model United Nations competition. Guess who got two spring breaks for the price of one?

 

The Model United Nations team is one of the fastest-growing clubs at school. This time last year, it was a ragtag group of individuals piling onto a train going to New York City… now, we’ve become well-established enough to ship cadets overseas to compete. This particular conference is easily one of the most remarkable events of which I’ve been a part in my life. I worked with one of my classmates in a group simulating the United Nations’ Disarmament and International Security committee. We represented the interests of South Sudan in conversations about Violent Non-State Actors, and collaborated with about 400 other students from all across the globe to formulate mock laws facing that issue. The people who participated alongside us were from Germany, France, England, Iran, Australia, Syria, Venezuela, Russia, Italy, and countless other countries. Considering that cadets aren’t even allowed to leave the base most days of the week, you can imagine what an enriching experience it was to learn about so many different places from the people who know them best! It was such an excellent place in which to learn about international politics and relations. Seeing as how there is not as much room in the science major for such study, I appreciated the practical lesson in applying and acquiring current events knowledge!

 

And the conference wasn’t even the end of the fun… each night, my classmates and I were able to go out and explore every corner of Rome. I won’t bore you with the extensive list of the sights we saw, but I will mention that Harvard arranged for us to hear a speech by the Pope (yes, he spoke in Italian, so I had no idea what he was saying… but it was still him, so that’s cool), the Colosseum is indeed humongous, the piazzas are pretty and plentiful, gelato is amazing, and the best part was meeting up with one of my best friends from high school! Yes, I saw my friend from quiet little Nebraska in Europe, of all places! No better person with which to watch the sun set over Rome from a beautifully sculpted terrace in the middle of the city!

 

It’s easy to look at the Academy and think only of all the restrictions and sacrifices you have to make to be a cadet here. No daily liberty, no deciding on my own clothes, lots of time spent on homework… And yet, because I chose to give up those little freedoms, I’ve been rewarded with the most fantastic of opportunities and chances to see so much more of the world than I ever would have at a different school. Rome was incredible, the people at the conference taught me so much, and I made a once-in-a-lifetime memory with a close friend. So I suppose in a sense, by making your world a little bit smaller, you expand it beyond anything you could expect… isn’t that funny?

 

More about Abby.

 

Half Marathon Fun

(Academics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo “I Just Felt Like Running” – Forest Gump

 

The first day of spring arrived, and lo and behold, we had a delayed opening due to snow! But in all seriousness, it is springtime, the trees are budding, and there are more and more cadets out and about on our sports fields, running trails, and roads between 1600 and 1800, or sports period. The sun is going down much later in the evening, and let me officially declare that the Dark Ages are over!

 

Last weekend, I ran in the Savin Rock Half Marathon near New Haven, Connecticut. I had been training since January, and I finally did it. There were over 500 people in the race who had come from all over. Apparently, there is an underground community of half marathon fanatics, some of whom do one every weekend. Each cadet must participate in some approved athletic activity in order to remain in good standing, through varsity or club sports, intramurals, or an approved athletic activity. As a cadet, you can run an official half marathon and receive sports credit, so I decided to try it this semester. When I started taking running seriously at the beginning of the semester, I couldn’t run more than 3 miles. By the beginning of March, I was running ten miles at a time, and about 30 miles per week. I was a bit nervous for the race last week, but it went by quick—just under two hours. I was pretty sore the next day, but I decided to sign up for another one in central Connecticut in two weeks. A bunch of cadets are running it to get their sports credit and have some fun, so we’re driving up there together. I’m looking forward to exploring this newfound hobby for the remainder of my time at CGA.

 

More about William.