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cadet blogs

Swab Summer Etiquette

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link   All Posts
Chang Photo To the incoming Class of 2021,

 

Congrats! This message will be starkly different from the one your cadre will give you, but either way we’re all super excited to meet you. Around this time of year, three years ago, I remember watching Swab Summer videos on YouTube and scouring the blogs for little tips and tricks for guidance. I’m not going to give anything away, because that would take the fun out of it, but here are the basics of what I guess you could call “Swab Summer etiquette.”

 

1. Share your food: Everyone’s hungry, and an extra bite can really make someone’s day. I remember my friends getting massive care packages loaded with candy, homemade cookies, and granola bars. You really bond with people over a snack and a chat.

 

2. Hygiene: Yes, it’s hard to be clean when you barely have time to brush your teeth, but please, shower. Figure out a system that works for you, because the one of the worst things about Swab Summer is the smell. Even a dab of hand sanitizer goes a long way.

 

3. Homesickness: It’s perfectly normal to be homesick, but I’m not going to sugarcoat this next part. You’re in the military now, and you need to suck it up. If you’re not used to being away from home, Swab Summer will probably amplify feelings of homesickness. Even after a year at prep school, I teared up a little when I got a letter from my mum. Regardless, you have larger things to focus on and sometimes pushing aside these feelings is necessary.

 

During Swab Summer, happiness is scarce and it’s easy to fall into a pit of discouragement. Oftentimes you’re not allowed to show any emotion, but that’s all a part of training to have a proper military bearing. However, when you reflect on your day, try to find at least one good thing you did. It doesn’t have to entail answering a question correctly or having a decent uniform, but maybe you helped your homesick shipmate or had a mini snack-party in your room. Finally, regardless of what light your cadre will see you in, your classmates will remember you the most vividly. I cannot stress enough the importance of helping each other and not being a jerk. People remember the most random things and we all have our bad moments, but don’t let that get in the way of being a decent person.

 

That’s all for now, good luck and see you in August!

 

Very respectfully,
1/c Olivia Chang

 

More about Olivia.