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cadet blogs

And the School Year Goes Rolling Along

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Purrington Photo The title works best if you imagine it being sung to the tune of the “The Army Song.” That’s what I’m doing anyway and it seems to be working for me!

 

This year has been nuts. I still get more sleep than I got in high school but on the flip side, I’m doing more with the time I’m awake than I used to. From running around and making an effort to do the stupid stuff well to sailing to glee to academics and to all the other little things – or perhaps big things – like duty, trainings, physical therapy, set design, and learning indoc, I can honestly say I don’t think I fit this much stuff into a day in high school on a regular basis. Sure, there were a few weeks here and there that were just as hectic, if not more so, but it they were not like that for months on end. They are here. But a lot of you probably already know that, particularly if you have read any of the blogs of the upperclassmen. Time is precious here.

 

And it flies. Holy cow, its October, October 12th at that. What is this madness?!?! Some people here really like the phrase “the days are long and the weeks are short,” but personally, I prefer, “the days are short and the weeks are short.” It just seems more fitting to me. Every morning I get up, do clocks, go to formation, go to breakfast, take out trash, go to class, go to clocks, go to formation, go to lunch, go to class, go to sailing, sometimes go to glee or another training or lecture, do homework, go to bed, repeat. By the time I remember to blink it’s time to go back to sleep again; kinda crazy when you think about it.

 

Speaking of time flying, I should go before it gets away from me and is an unfortunate hour of the morning.

 

As always, email me if you have any questions about our nation’s best service academy or if you just want to talk to a cadet and see what we’re like. We don’t bite unless provoked! ;)

 

Very Respectfully,
4/c Darden Purrington

 

More about Darden.

 

Getting Accepted Into Prep School

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Hill Photo I attended Cadet for a Day as a junior in high school and loved everything the Coast Guard Academy stood for. The AIM program rejected me in the summer of 2014. Then, I found out on Christmas of that year that I was not accepted during the Early Action process for the USCGA. I reasoned it was because I did not take a math course my senior year (I hadn’t even taken pre-calculus). The Coast Guard Academy was the only service academy I had applied to because it was perfect for me—a Florida girl who loved law enforcement, the United States, and the coast (of course!). I decided then that I would go to the University of South Florida on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, which I was not as thrilled about.

 

I still did not give up on my dream though—I decided to send the softball coach at the USCGA my highlights video and asked people I knew to write recommendation letters for me. So, when I received an email from a LT about an opportunity for the Coast Guard Academy Scholars program—I screamed and jumped up and down with my mom and my next-door neighbor. The fact that I was given a chance, a CHANCE, a clear path to eventually becoming an officer in the United States Coast Guard, had me stoked! I was a bit nervous about the amount of effort and work I would have to put in to be successful, but I rationalized that nothing worth doing is easy. This would set me up for the rest of my life—work hard now, serve my country and have an early retirement; which seemed okay to me :).

 

More about Kelly.

 

Going Home

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Swift Photo When going home, I always rediscover my sense of heart and adventure. It’s only on the plane, taking off from wherever I ended up, that I really feel like I can blend my roots and my current positions. It’s always so funny to me because I am alone on these flights, but I feel closer to my friends and family in these moments, two worlds that have rarely collided. Trying to explain the place that shaped me, the people that comprise my soul, is always impossible, but really deeply satisfying to try to do. There are so many different parts of telling people who you are, or where you’re from, which is for me one and the same. How can I explain, while on the ground in New London, what the wind sounds like as it echoes through 1,000 miles unimpeded, 6 miles of it straight skyward. You can get scientific, and say that it creates resonant frequencies that surround everything you are when you drive out into the middle of nowhere to listen, or you can get historic, and tell people that the people, ancestral or just stubborn, that eked and etched out their existence in the hard caliche, called it la llorona, Spanish for “the weeping woman”, or just sang with it and prayed for their crops, but it doesn’t surmise all the things that it means. How do I tell octogenarians, who spent their entire lives within 20 miles of the small-town hospital we were both born in, what sitting on the masts of Eagle watching whales as the sun rises feels like? I can’t describe the space of New Mexico, and I can’t put the blending of all the experiences and cultures and people into a definition, unless I’m a mile high, staring down on all that our country is. Can anyone?

 

The people who will become closest to you in the Academy, and in all of life, are the people who don’t necessarily understand but don’t need to. My mom told me once that the reason she loves my dad so much is because he doesn’t understand why she thinks the way she does, but he loves all of her thoughts anyway. I may never understand how exhilarating it is to play pranks with my friends at a civilian engineering school, how cool it is run my own DJ business, what it’s like to compete in Northern Virginia school systems, how it feels to be part of a swimming family on the shores of Lake Michigan, or what Chicago feels like at Christmas, but I can’t help but to picture the lifetimes that crafted the people I love the most. The people who are worth going back home for, and the people who give you courage to leave it again, are the people who love all the places and faces that you describe imperfectly to them because you are the product of those things, and they love you. I’m so glad that, for all the hardship the Academy has given me, it’s added to who I am. It’s given me experiences that one day I will describe to someone else who can’t understand, and it’s given me people to share everything we are (and everything we will be) with. It’s given me the metaphorical chance to look down from a mile high on home, on who I am, and to get to be there as others do the same.

 

More about Delaney.

 

A Lot to be Excited About

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Hill Photo Indoctrination boards was not as bad as I had thought it would be—I passed the written test and oral test the first time around! I am making so many close friends and I just received my summer assignment. This summer I am going to Bermuda on Eagle! And a station for six weeks where I can get qualified in boarding team member operations and firearms training! Yes, I am excited (hence the exclamation points). We, the 4/c, still do not have full carry-on yet so I was a little disappointed about that, but it’s okay because 3/c year is approaching fast!

 

That’s all for now folks…

 

Never give up faith and love life,
Kelly Hill

 

Please email me with your questions!

 

More about Kelly.

 

New Year, Last Semester

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Hill Photo Happy New Year, am I right? Okay, I was so not looking forward to getting back to reality after an awesome vacation with the family back home in South Florida, but I came back loaded down with: a positive mindset, warm Under Armour gear, inspirational books, and decorations to remind me of home. I love my new room and roommate—it’s on third deck instead of fourth (less stairs!) and its warmer and in a more central location to my company dayroom, or main hang-out room.

 

Upcoming events for me this semester:

 

  • I am worried about passing boards (what 4/c have to pass to become 3/c – It is essentially a test on all the information from the Running Light)
  • Excited for six weeks on USCGC Eagle (Please 1st phase and Bermuda) and two weeks in the fleet this summer
  • Trying Crossfit Club because I eat too many cheddar bunnies not to…thanks new roomie :)

 

In other news, to keep spirits up during the “dark ages” of winter in Connecticut, I have found strength, hope, and guidance from teachers and mentors. Officers who went through the CGA themselves, keep saying, “It gets better” and that life in the fleet is something to look forward to. Oh, and LT Parker’s pet Husky, Aries is adorable. I am also resolved to read my textbook so that I am prepared ahead of time for class. Thus far, I have understood all of the Calculus II, Physics and Statics Engineering and Design material covered, so that’s a plus.

 

Comment on the weather: at first, seeing all the snow was a little scary, but it is beautiful and I am adapting. My Southern tank-top-no-shoe-wearing self is learning how to dress for the cold and brave the storms. OOO RAH Coast Guard! (hah)

 

After this first, decidedly not stress-less week of second semester, it was great to unwind and get closer to new friends over a long weekend.

 

Just keep trucking and live in the moment.

 

Thanks for reading (or skimming)!
4/c Kelly Hill

 

More about Kelly.