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An Update

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link   All Posts
 Jordan Keith It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you guys, so here it goes.

From last semester: I finished finals all right, and ended up with an okay GPA. This semester was definitely the most challenging I’ve ever experienced. I went from failing all of my first tests to eventually improving and coming out about average for my class. Militarily, my uniform appearance wasn’t stellar and I had trouble managing time. I gave up doing a sport so I could focus more on academics, and was tired most of the time. Christmas leave was awesome. It was definitely a much needed break for me to reflect on my experiences so far at the Academy, and realize what I was doing wrong. In my opinion, failure is acceptable if you learn from it.

Now let’s fast-forward to this semester. Hotel won Honor Company! Basically this means that we were the best out of the eight companies in the Corps of Cadets. Along with that has come a long weekend (we could leave and not have to come back until Sunday), and impressing our new guidon, who was on exchange at another service academy and therefore didn’t know what to expect from the Hotel 4/c.

Unfortunately, I relaxed too much over Christmas break and didn’t have the “sound body” to pass the first Physical Fitness Examination. Luckily though, I got off the remedial PFE today after having passed it two times consecutively.

Things have improved on all fronts for me. I know how to manage my time now, so I can now balance all of my academic, military, and extracurricular obligations. I’m finished with my least favorite class, Macroeconomics, and am in Statics and Engineering Design, which suits me more. I finally have my room condition and uniform appearance under control. Additionally, I’ve been keeping up with school and doing pretty well.

Speaking of school, we’ve yet to have a full week of classes because of all the snow causing the base to be closed. Coming from the Midwest, I’ve seen some pretty heavy snow falls, but nothing like this. It just keeps piling up. Let’s see if we can make it to Spring Break without a full week of school, right?

I think I’m going to do outdoor track as my sport this semester. I ran track and cross country in high school, and hadn’t realized how much I missed it. The only problem is that I put in for first phase Eagle for my 3/c summer, and track may conflict with that. First Phase is going to Ireland, Germany, and London, while Second Phase picks it up in London and heads over to Iceland, Nova Scotia and Boston. Whatever phase I get, it’s going to be a blast. I also put in for the new National Security Cutter, so we’ll see if I get it or not. I should find out in a month or two, and I’ll let you guys know where I’ll be headed this summer.

The period from the beginning of the second semester is traditional called the “Dark Ages” because of the lack of sunlight in New England and the absence of any leave periods. And for 4/c cadets, we are starting to prepare for Boards. Boards is part of the process to earning “carry on”, meaning that the 4/c are recognized by the corps and gain all of the privileges that have been withheld since R-Day. Boards consist of memorizing information about the Coast Guard from a 54 page packet. An upper class will ask us 10 questions from that packet, and we have to get 8 out of 10 correct to pass. All of 2014 has to pass Boards before carry on can be granted. Honestly though, despite the negative stigma attached to the Dark Ages and Boards, second semester has been fantastic. I’ve got my grades under control, good military conduct, a great division, planning on doing a sport again, and haven’t had a full week of school yet. What else could a 4/c cadet want? Well, besides carry on of course.

Have any questions on what the first semester was like? Or what it’s like being a spring semester 4/c? Feel free to shoot me an email at Samuel.J.Keith@uscga.edu

More about Jordan.