I have a few things to say about my third semester here at the Academy. Last year was rough in its own respect, but this year has been a whole new animal.
Now, I don’t need to tell you that life as an upper-class cadet is worlds better than life as a fourth-class. I’ve breathed the fresh air of independence, and there is nothing sweeter. Despite the fact that we are still restricted from civilian clothes and owning cars, the rights that we have earned back are definitely worthwhile. For instance, I can go out on Friday nights and stay out later on Saturdays. Also, I can wear rec gear (khakis and a polo) out on liberty, instead of the Coast Guard uniform. And, rather than being a follower, we are now expected to be role models for the new fourth class. Fortunately, the job isn’t so hard since we had all of last year to prepare for it. I myself am lucky enough to be in a division with a great fourth-class who knows how to do her job right.
On another note, my classes have not been easy this semester. I’ve struggled with a few different subjects and have noticed that as each semester passes, my GPA drops every so slightly. At first, I feared that I was doing something wrong. However, I later realized that it was a sign of how challenging the courses here at the Academy can be.
I once read, “…a man enters a new world with the aim of becoming something greater than he once was. He is tested once, twice, three, four, five times, each test harder than the last. Then comes the most difficult test of his life. And at the end of the week, he emerges a different man. He has met the hardest test of his life, and he has passed or he has failed.” I like to think that my time here at the Academy is one of those tests. Within the big test is smaller tests that I encounter each and every day. Even though I may not pass all of the tests, I know that as long as I pass the right ones and learn from my failures then I can make it out of here a better person.
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