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Julia Striker: Post-AIM Interview

Julia Striker | March 16, 2023

Julia Striker

What were your first impressions?

Nervous; but I started to calm down when I got to look around the beautiful campus and meet everyone in my platoon.  But once the cadre came in and took us to Chase Hall, that’s when I realized that it was “go time” and I no longer had time to think about nerves!

Rate the physical intensity of AIM on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most intense).

8. For me the hardest parts physically were the punishment workouts we would do for making mistakes and not getting the little things right. These workouts included a lot of static exercises like squat holds and holding our water bottle out in front of us – all while sounding off, of course. I was actually a little surprised! I knew it would be tough, but I slightly underestimated how intense it would be!

What challenges did you overcome?

Trying to correctly identify the cadre while keeping my “eyes in the boat.” At the beginning of the week, I really struggled with this and called some cadre by the wrong name for sure! However, by the end of the week, I had found some things to help me. Whether it was by height, or little things other platoons’ cadre would say, I had much easier time identifying.

Anything surprise you?

The infancy of the Cyber Systems program. Going in a knew that it was a newer major, but I was surprised by the amount of flexibility and opportunity that lies with the program.

What was your favorite part of the program?

Seeing the demeanor of the cadre “shift” a bit toward the end of the week. It was so great to see all their personalities come out and get to learn more about who they really are. The cadre care about those who they lead and how they enjoy their experiences at the Academy.

How have you changed?

I am stronger than I thought I could be. Through all of the difficult workouts and “punishments,” I never gave up, and this has really helped me realize the importance of hard work and overcoming adversity for a bigger goal.

What words of advice would you give to high school students considering AIM?

Work on running and physical skills especially in the heat. Spend some time preparing yourself mentally, but just know that nothing can really prepare you for the shock value of experiencing something like this for the first time. And learn how to yell with their diaphragm before coming.

About Julia

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