Victoria Gil Regalado
It’s truly the people and experiences that make the Coast Guard Academy special. The individuals I have met not only introduced me to their culture, but they also made my time here truly enjoyable. The friends I made transformed the Academy into my home away from home, opening their homes and families to me and allowing me to explore various states and even foreign countries during our breaks. I have also been fortunate to have a supportive sponsor family throughout my four-year journey. Furthermore, the experiences offered by the Academy were extraordinary and enriching. I had the unique opportunity to sail across the Atlantic Ocean on the USCGC EAGLE, engage in multinational maritime exercises in international waters, lead our incoming freshmen through their Swab Summer training program, and visit multiple countries. The Academy’s operational summer training equipped me with valuable technical and leadership skills that will greatly benefit me as an officer upon my return to the Philippines.
If you’re thinking of applying to the Academy, you’ll find it’s not going to be easy at first, but don’t give up. The challenge of juggling your academic and military responsibilities, not to mention experiencing culture shock and some homesickness, will be tough. Just maintain your resilience, seek support from others, embrace diversity across campus, remain open-minded to new experiences, and always stay optimistic. Also, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have fun!