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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Home Away From Home

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Noble Photo As an international cadet from the Philippines, it is very hard for me to go home and see my family. I only get to see them once a year. It can be difficult at times because I tend to miss them a lot and I miss a ton of events such as my uncle’s wedding, my mom’s birthday, and my dad’s birthday. Sometimes, I feel like I am alone and have no family. Although I have lots of friends in the Academy and lots of people who look after me such as my company officers, company chiefs, professors, and upperclassmen, I still long for the day where I can just go home, sit back, hug my parents, and just have a break from all the rigors of the Academy. Unfortunately, this scenario is no longer possible because I am 8,000 miles away from them and my home.

 

The closest thing that gives me that break and that refreshment is going to visit my sponsor family. I am thankful for this program at the Coast Guard Academy has because without it, I do not know if I would have survived the first semester of 4th class year. My sponsor families were my driving force and my inspiration every time I feel like giving up. Yes, I have a country to represent and my family back home as my main source of strength but my sponsor families gives me that hope and rekindles my fire inside every single week. Every message they send and encouraging moments we spend together helps me feel like I can take on the world and I can take on every challenge that the Academy gives me. They truly made my transition to the military community better and one that is unforgettable. They made my life in the Academy very rewarding and very fulfilling.

 

Each of my sponsor families is unique and I am thankful for them. My first sponsor family who was selected for me by the Academy is very accommodating and very loving. It almost feels like they are my real parents. They also have a son who is an officer in the Coast Guard so they also feel like I am their son. Aside from all the support and the help they provide, one thing I love the most is how great the food is in their house. Every single meal they cook for me is like a taste of heaven, the sea and its lore. They owned a restaurant before so this is why they are really good at their craft. Moreover, it was one of the best in Connecticut so they really make delicious meals. To add to that, they made me one of the most scrumptious lobster bisque I have ever tasted in my life. My second sponsor family has a Filipino background and thus I love spending time with their family because they give me a sense of my country and a feeling of familiarity with my culture and my nationality. They also cook the best Filipino meals and they provide me encouragement that I cannot get from anyone else. It feels very special when I hear it in my own native language and the comfort of their household just makes me feel refreshed and renewed. My third sponsor family is a family that has both a Filipino heritage and a military background. They work in the U.S. Navy and are currently stationed in the Naval Sub Base. They are a young couple so it is very easy to relate with them, joke around, and laugh with. They are very adventurous so they have toured me around from Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, and Boston. Just like my other sponsor families, they cook good Filipino food and they give me a boost and renewed mindset.

 

By signing up for the program, I wanted to surround myself with good people who want me to succeed and this is what a got. These people have always made me feel special every time I am with them. I am thankful that I am just in my first year in the Academy because I still have a lot of time with them and a lot of adventures to go on with them. I appreciate that they accepted a young cadet like me and I will always have a grateful for their generosity and willingness to help me with my 200-week-long journey. I am glad that the Academy values strong familial bonds. These relationships not only last for my stay here in New London but also for a lifetime after I go back to my home country.

 

Thank you for your time,
Go CGA
Go Sponsorship Program
And Go Bears!

 

More about Eric.

 

Truly a Family

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Wheeler Photo Being away from my home in Maple Valley, Washington for so long has caused me, like many others, to form bonds and friendships far beyond that of a normal college. We here in the Corps of Cadets at the Coast Guard Academy truly are family in its purest meaning. Everyone here is going through the same trials and challenges as everyone else, so it’s easy for us to sympathize and help one another whenever the need arises. Encouraging and friendly are just a couple words that define Academy cadets. This comradery and kinship truly began to form for me last year at prep school at Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama. The roughly 40 of us there became fast friends and very close over our year as Coast Guard Academy Scholars. Many, if not all, of the friendships I formed at MMI have carried over to the Academy and I know without a doubt in my mind that these bonds will be lifelong. The United States Coast Guard Academy is a family. We are a family away from family back home, sharing in the hard times as well as the good.

 

More about Pat.

 

Hump Week

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Turner PhotoMidterms! This past week marks the halfway point of the first semester. Nine weeks of stress, lack of sleep, and late night group study sessions has finally ended, only to lead into another nine weeks of the exact same thing. These nine weeks have been a rough transition from high school. The ability to manage sports with classes, and military obligations, while keeping up your grades is a challenge. One thing that helped me get through the first part of this semester, would be the 4-5-2 class periods. These classes allowed me to effectively plan my obligations and assignments for the upcoming week, and while it may sound simple, it’s extremely helpful. When it comes to getting work done, you need to be able to find those small breaks that you have and use them effectively. Thus, you save so much more time at night, allowing you to do other activities such as going to bed early!

 

In terms of the grading process, the first part of the semester is almost completely homework. You won’t believe the amount of homework that you have. I remember my senior year, I had eight classes and I could get my homework done in a few hours. Now, I have 4 classes and depending on the number of military obligations I have, it can take all night. While it may sound rough, don’t worry it pays off in the end. I told my division head about my progress, and she advised me to push a little harder in the latter half of this semester, and I’ll have a gold star. Now, the latter half of this semester is going to be a little harder. The first half was plagued with homework, and now the latter half is plagued with exams. No worries though, it’s still going to be a good semester!

 

Until the next scheduled programming.

 

Peace,
Anthony Turner

 

More about Anthony.

 

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.