Coming here as an International cadet, I did not know what to expect. I had an idea of what I was getting into from my experiences as a cadet back home, but when I arrived, I was still blown away by how different the whole environment was compared to home.
I had grown up imagining what the U.S. would be like and I was not disappointed. Everything here is bigger, and the cities, roads, sidewalks and buildings are all so sophisticated.
I was not comfortable speaking English outside of my family and there I was on 01 July 2019, halfway across the world, thrust into one of the best colleges in America, waiting outside Roland Hall and making conversation with America’s best and brightest while waiting for Swab Summer to start. My classmates intimidated me. Every one of them seemed to be the golden boy or girl of their school. Over the course of the summer, my intimidation would turn into respect, and my shipmates became some of my best friends.
Swab summer for me was an enjoyable experience. It had its ups and downs but looking back on it, I only remember the good times. What really gets you through it is the people around you: your shipmates, company mates, your roommate, the Health Services staff at the clinic, the AIMsters and CGAS you meet and swap stories with, the civilians around base that never fail to smile at you even on the worst of days, the ladies and gents in the wardroom, your sponsor family, the chaplains, the officers, chiefs and senior chiefs, and of course your cadre, who are there to train you but are also your mentors.
The support system at the Academy is the best I have ever seen. I appreciate everyone that helped me make it here and I would like to thank the people who continue to give me the will and the drive to carry on at this fine institution. I wish the members of the class of 2024 good luck; I look forward to meeting you!