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cadet blogs

Returning to My Roots

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Corbett Photo A common perception of military training is that everyone should fit into a mold. By the time we graduate, we should become the image of military excellence. This was a fear that I had before coming to the Academy, that I would be stripped of my core identity. I can tell you this is just a silly rumor in most cases. When I meet someone new, one of my first questions is always “what’s your story?” To which I typically get a look of confusion followed by “I don’t have a story.” Everyone has a story and it is important to realize what it is and hold on to it. Your story is what makes you unique; it is what makes you the person you are. A piece of my story that I always share is my love for art. Before becoming an Electrical Engineering major, I had taken zero, count ‘em zero, engineering courses. I did, however, max out the ceramics department’s program and the graphic design program, and did an independent study in ceramics with a focus on throwing on the wheel. So, why talk about this? Because it is important to know your story and return to it occasionally!

 

I lugged my potter’s wheel up to the Academy last semester hoping that I would have time to experience something other than the math and military-filled days. I, unfortunately, did not get the chance to reach back to that previous flame last semester and thus brought my wheel back home for winter break. While home, however, I bought myself 25 pounds of clay, fired up the wheel and day after day went back to what I did before the Academy. I sat for a lunch break with my mother most days in a disarray of clay-covered clothes and with dry hands. Among this chaos of an outfit was a smile though. I was at peace working with the medium.

 

The Academy can often fill our lives up and make it feel like we have nowhere to go other than the crevices inside the mold. It is important to realize that there is no mold except the one you make for yourself. Expand your expectations to be what you want and pursue what you want. I can sit here happily studying electrical engineering, but it does not mean I have to give up other things in my life that made me happy. Besides, at the end of the day, let’s face it; an engineer is an artist too, just with a different medium.

 

More about Shane.