At last, the academic year is behind me as I stroll forward into a sun-filled, adventure-packed, adrenaline-pinching summer! If you didn’t already know, each summer, cadets are cast into new and exciting experiences that help expand their understanding of the Coast Guard. For instance, last year, I spent seven weeks doing this little thing called “Swab Summer.” Well, since that is sort of self-explanatory, I will skip ahead to what this summer has had in store for me. Again, each and every cadet has his or her own exceptional story to tell, and although I cannot speak for my classmates, I can tell you that my experience thus far has only strengthened my resolve to attend the Academy.
Before I begin, let me briefly explain how 3/c summer (the time between freshman and sophomore year) is set up. Although it may vary for some people, rising 3/c cadets have two separate assignments, which span roughly six weeks each. After that, we all get leave for three more weeks before we return to the Academy to start classes. In most cases, one of the two assignments is spent on Eagle, however, I know some people who are split between two units, such as a cutter or a station. Others, like me, spend the first part of the summer in the fleet before returning to the Academy to take summer classes. Since I opted to take Introduction to Calculus instead of jumping straight into Calculus I during my first semester, I am now playing catch up. In order to graduate on time, I have to sacrifice time in the fleet to take Calculus II this summer. However, I am more than content in my current position. “Summer School” will be an intriguing adventure in itself.
In the end, I was assigned to Station Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Although I will be not be sailing on Eagle this summer, I am excited to acquaint myself with what small boat station life is like. After pounding the books for nine months, I am beyond stoked to be here. Currently, I am kicking back with a delicious chocolate milkshake, watching the afternoon storms roll in on my afternoon of liberty.
Life in the Academy and life in the fleet are significantly different. As a cadet, you sometimes feel sheltered at the Academy. This screened perspective is somewhat narrow, with my main focuses being academics, athletics, and military training. However, the Academy’s military instructions hardly pertain to fleet life. My summer experience has helped me expand my outlook, giving me a glimpse of what to expect when I graduate. Although I will not go into detail about those experiences in this blog entry, I will say that you can learn a lot in just a few weeks.
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