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cadet blogs

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.

 

How Much This Place Has Changed Me

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Beckert Photo Recently, the 4th class at the Academy, myself included, experienced an annual tradition called 101st night, where we become ‘swabs’ again for a few hours and it’s mainly compromised of a lot of yelling and a few push-ups. However, it was a sharp contrast to Swab Summer, when I felt like I drifted through the days terrified of everyone. This time I knew my cadre, and it was almost fun to get yelled at by them. As the school year continues, I realize how much this place has changed me. This time last year, I thought I had my entire life plan figured out, but after a tumultuous few months, I’ve changed my major, began a new sport, and found some new friends that I consider family at this point. I guess it’s all just part of the Academy experience though, discovering what you’re actually good at.

 

This fall, I started as a coxswain for the crew team, which if you’ve met me makes a lot of sense considering my size and love of being in charge. I’ve found it presents a unique set of challenges, as I never realized how difficult it truly was to be in charge of a boat with up to eight girls, and controlling everything that happens during a race. It’s a pretty good opportunity to develop some leadership skills that will come in handy in my future career.

 

I switched my major to Electrical Engineering fairly recently, figuring well, if I am going to be having a difficult next few years, may as well go for the major that I know will challenge and interest me in turn. So, in conclusion, the year is going pretty smoothly, just studying for boards and dreaming of carry-on at this point. And as always, if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email at Clara.L.Beckert@uscga.edu.

 

More about Clara.

 

Bright New Things

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Lorence Photo The beginning of the new year brought a lot of bright new things for me. New classes, teachers, and I am settling into the swing of things at the Academy. I have had to make a few tough decisions these past few weeks, which led to this blog being neglected. I am deciding on if I want to change my major, and if so, to what? If you have read my previous entries you will know I am currently a Naval Architecture and Marine Science, but with my last semester being as bumpy as it was dealing with calculus and physics, I decided it would beneficial to change to a major with less of a focus on math. The name of the game for me is graduating and getting my commission.

 

The 4/c lately have been stuck in what is known as the “Dark Ages,” which is based more on the weather than anything, and if you’re from the north you know what I mean. After the winter holidays the cold starts to get to people and honestly it is not a super fun time to deal with alone. This leads me to reason #12,432 for why the Academy is great. You have a huge support network, and if you need to talk to anyone they will be willing to help. I feel that this is the reason people are willing to go to the Academy for four years. It is not an easy journey, but you make friends that will last your entire life, and you will grow closer to them than you did with any previous friends.

 

On a lighter note, the rifle team has been doing extremely well, and I am proud to say I am part of the team. (I am currently writing this section while riding back from a match against MIT.) We defeated MIT and took the Beanpot Trophy which was a great time! I placed first for small bore rifle the second day and did well overall. I have had to miss a few matches lately because of medical reasons, such as the match at TCU, which would have been an amazing experience but there are so many more opportunities to do great things in the future!

 

If you have any questions for me about Academy life, or really anything my email is Dylan.M.Lorence@uscga.edu.

Go Books, Go Rifles, and always, Go Bears.

 

More about Dylan.