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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

With High Risk Comes High Reward

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Gerton Photo As I mentioned briefly in my profile, the Academy is an extremely rewarding place. This comes from, as the saying goes, the high risk associated with it. It however is not a bad sort of risk. The risk comes from entering a life that you probably don’t know much about beforehand. The risk of coming here was a world of unknowns, but I have been rewarded so greatly that I want to share those rewards and experiences that have led me to where I am today and those that have helped shaped me into who I am today.

 

I want to blog to be able to share my experiences from my time at the Academy with those interested in coming here. I hope that through sharing my experiences I can possibly decrease the risk of coming here for those interested, without decreasing the reward. Honestly, I have gone through so many amazing but also some very challenging experiences while here at the Academy and I am still very happy with my decision to come here and hope that I can influence the cadets of the future.

 

More about Gillian.

 

Staycation

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Pavan Photo From what I hear, the summers here at the Coast Guard Academy are a blast! You get to go out in the fleet, experience the Coast Guard and apply some of the salty knowledge you learned throughout fourth class year, and go some pretty rad places… Well, so I’ve heard!

 

Unfortunately, in the spring of my fourth class year I had to undergo knee surgery to reconstruct a torn ACL, leaving me not fit for full duty for the entire 11 weeks. This summer, my classmates had the opportunity to do half of their summer aboard our training ship USCGC Eagle and spend the other half either somewhere else in the country experiencing the operational Coast Guard or attending summer school to fulfill academic requirements. This year, my classmates got to take the Eagle to Europe, which is an amazing opportunity, and if you’d like to read more about that feel free to dig around for their blog posts on it.

 

I spent the first five weeks focusing on getting strength back in my leg enough to be able to ditch my bulky brace and the second half I joined my classmates and attended summer school for six weeks while I was still doing a physical therapy program. Although I wasn’t about to share any crazy nautical experiences with my classmates, I was able to enjoy looking at my food and finally finding my way around Chase Hall! I was bummed at first, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and I could not be more thankful to have such a great on-base clinic with a physical therapy staff that is so flexible and knowledgeable! I’ll be back on the rugby pitch soon enough.

 

This winter, I am taking the opportunity to do something called “Winter Fleet,” where I will spent part of my winter leave doing similar training as my classmates did this summer (*completely optional*) just so I can experience the fleet and get a sense of what awesome things I have to look forward to. Since I live in Fort Lauderdale, the officers over in Cadet Training have helped me a ton in planning out a perfect schedule so I can work in the nearby station, go underway on some fast response cutters out of Miami, and still be with my family on the holidays so I am extremely excited for what is to come! I am stoked to be able to apply the knowledge I learned from fourth class year, as well as the things I am learning this semester and apply it in the fleet. Can’t get too carried away though, it’s not even winter yet!

Semper Paratus!
Bruna.M.Pavan@uscga.edu 

 

More about Bruna.

 

The Night Everything Changed

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Harrison Photo On May 7th, 2015, the stadium went ballistic. People in the stands were on their feet, yelling and stomping as the night continued on. The cold night air did not suppress their screeches and cries for the players who were rounding the bases. Except, these minor league baseball fans weren’t exactly cheering for their team. In fact, the Trenton Thunder baseball team had been on a severe losing streak, only giving the fans another reason to be angry while waiting on their hot dog order. Yes, the fans’ were not making cheers of exclamation for their favorite hometown team, but rather yelling incoherently at the redheaded girl behind the food stand who keeps messing up their nacho order. My name is Kiera Harrison and I have no idea how I made it this far.

 

This night started off as usual for your favorite hot dog girl. I took order after order and spilled soda after soda until the register was full but somehow my tip jar was somehow emptier than when I clocked in. As the fireworks went off to signify the end of another tragic Trenton Thunder loss, I took off to my car with a leftover stale pretzel in hand for dinner. I unlocked my car and stared out at Highway 9, thinking that New Jersey wasn’t going to be my home for much longer. I was on my way to becoming a Pittsburgh Panther and leaving in only a few short months. I pulled out my phone to let my mom know I was on my way home and I noticed I had a bunch of new unread emails. Thinking I missed an assignment in physics, I quickly checked through. The first email read “Save at Petco!” and I was wondering how they got my address. Highly anti-climactic. The next email, however, said I had gotten off the waitlist and had officially gotten an appointment to the United States Coast Guard Academy. There I was, a small redheaded girl covered in nacho cheese who was now the future of our country’s military. It could only go up from there.

 

The next month and half was a blur. A weird combination of graduation parties, paperwork, high school “lasts,” pitiful attempts to get in better shape, and goodbyes to good friends. Needless to say, when R-Day rolled around, I was very unprepared. I knew an appointment to a military academy was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I had no idea what to expect. I went in completely blind, but it ended up working out for me. I know this is the case for many students who have no connections to the military. I want to be a blogger so these people can relate to someone who was in their shoes not long ago. My goal is to deliver relatable posts that will help prospective cadets get a glimpse into Academy life while having a few laughs along the way.

 

More about Kiera.

 

Crunch Time and Thanksgiving

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Hosley Photo Well it is finally that time of year again and I can’t wait! Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday. I can’t wait to finally relax, see all of my family, and of course eat Thanksgiving food; but before the holiday leave period rolls around we have a couple weeks of crunch time. That is when, all of the sudden, you are just overwhelmed with major projects, tests, and papers that the teachers have to squeeze into their class schedules before Thanksgiving leave. This week has been a total whirlwind and I still have two days left to get through before leave. It has been especially hard now that a lot have my friends have already gone home early on recruiting leave, Chase Hall feels a little extra lonely and quiet. Plus they also love to send me pictures of them relaxing at home or with the new Starbucks holiday drinks in their fun fall civilian outfits, how insensitive! Just kidding really, we’re all just a little antsy to get home to our families.

 

I am very lucky to live so close to the Academy, but since some of my classmates aren’t as lucky they can’t travel home for this holiday. I always extend an open invitation to anyone who can’t go home for Thanksgiving; no one should miss out on the good food in my opinion. Now, the only thing standing in the way of me and that turkey is a five-page paper on the subject of a world without mangrove forest habitats in Southeast Asia for my fisheries biology class and a massive rough draft poster presentation for our marine GIS project (or geospatial information systems). For our GIS project we are correlating NOAA sighting data of right whales to the acoustic detections of the DMON buoy located off of Martha’s Vineyard that I have been working with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on for my directed study as well. The importance of the project is crucial for the conservation of the species and will be presented to District 1 and hopefully Headquarters so that the Coast Guard will take on the buoy project and continue with this valuable research. The whole project is very interesting, but also very complicated so it has taken a ton of focus, research, calculations, and mapping to put it all together so far. Anyway, I should probably get back to working on that… Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone!

 

More about Cece.

 

The Experiences of Real Swabs, Real Cadets, Real People

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Stanchi Photo I sit in my room anxiously thinking about reporting in to the Academy. I imagine the cadre yelling at me, my shipmates and I doing push-ups, what the food will taste like, and what uniform I will be wearing. My mind races. I am very much of an over thinker, and I rarely like to be surprised. And then it occurs to me. I YouTube “Swab Summer United States Coast Guard Academy” and am met with many videos from the previous summers. I extended this search by going online to the CGA’s website and read the cadet blogs. Real swabs, real cadets, real people. Real people who have done what I am about to do. Suddenly, the Academy doesn’t seem as scary.

 

This happened a lot. Whenever I felt nervous or scared, I tried to find new resources of people talking about their Academy experiences, which was often accomplished by reading more cadet blogs. Hearing cadets’ stories and struggles made me realize that I too could make it through the challenges of the Academy. This is what I hope to accomplish for others by being a cadet blogger.

 

It is truly overwhelming to think about what you are about to get yourself in to by accepting your appointment to the Academy. I hope to lessen those anxieties for prospective cadets by sharing my experiences. I want them to realize what I came to realize, that the Academy is filled with people who have been tested in so many ways. Many people have made mistakes, some have been sent home, but most are still here. No one is perfect. The challenges you face at the Academy are miniscule compared to the challenges you will face in the fleet and in life. Everyone grows and learns here, and among the challenges are the amazing and unique opportunities you can’t find anywhere else. I have already experienced so many positive and rare things in my few short weeks here. It takes a certain kind of person, but if I can do it, I believe you can, too.

 

More about MegMarie.