Gangway is a privilege that 1/c cadets earn during their last semester at the Academy, usually in April or May. This privilege allows 1/c cadets to leave campus whenever they would like, as long as they are not absent from military obligations. This includes morning formations, meals, trainings, and classes. Prior to earning gangway, 1/c cadets can only leave from the following times: Thursday 4pm-10pm, Friday 4pm-11:59pm, Saturday 10am- Sunday 10pm. The hours for underclass are different, as other bloggers have already likely explained how liberty for cadets works. So far, I haven’t really used my gangway. I feel like I’ve already built a routine over the year and don’t find it necessary to go out on a Monday or Tuesday. It is really nice to have the freedom to go surfing in Rhode Island or go golfing during the day when I want to. That’s a huge change I’ve seen in myself now versus when I was a highschooler- I used to be very sporadic with my activities, daily life, and goals. Now, I feel like I follow a strict routine (in a good way), work towards specific goals, and am efficient with my time. I believe although it has been difficult at times, the Academy has taught me to be more productive, efficient, and effective in the way I live my life. Now that I have a lot more freedom for these next two months, I value the time I have, what I do with it, and to make smart decisions. Without the discipline and difficult times of being at the Academy the past three years, I might be wasting my time instead by drinking, partying, watching TV, playing video games, or whatever it may be. The Academy teaches you to value your free time, because often it takes it from you and only gives you what is leftover.
Lessons to takeaway: take advantage of your free time! Do something productive like reading a book, working out, or achieving whatever goal you have. Also, something important to take away from this post is that I had no idea what gangway was or what liberty was prior to coming to the Academy. You don’t know what you don’t know. Take time to ask questions, schedule a tour with admissions, and ask more questions. A lot of high schoolers come to a service academy or ROTC and don’t realize what they are getting themselves into, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but more information is better than less.