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cadet blogs

Settling In: Second Semester

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo After two awesome weeks of leave, it’s that time of year again. It’s time to come back to the Academy and start preparing for the second semester. I think I speak for most of the corps when I say that we all wish we had more time off, but in reality leave was long enough.


I had a fun break. I got to go home and see all my friends, see my cousins in Arizona, and I even got to celebrate my birthday and the New Year in Las Vegas. Even though I’m under 21, Las Vegas has awesome stuff to do for people underage. I saw three different shows and visited the Hoover Dam. Then, New Year’s Eve was awesome. I heard that 330,000 people had flown into Las Vegas to celebrate the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, the streets were totally packed. It was a struggle to walk through the masses of people, but just being there to take it all in was worth it. At midnight, I was standing in front of the prestigious Caesar’s Palace Hotel and the Bellagio. Then, all of the hotels started launching fireworks. It was amazing. I could spin around and see fireworks in every direction.


On January 1st, I heard about the massive winter storm headed for the East Coast so I had to leave Vegas a day early to get home ahead of the snow. Luckily, I was able to get back to my home in Massachusetts before many of the flights to the Northeast were cancelled. Some cadets were not so lucky, and they are stuck waiting for flights back to the Academy for a few more days.


When I got back to the Academy yesterday, I wasn’t too excited about physically being here, but I was very happy to see my friends again and to hear their stories from leave. Luckily, we don’t launch right into classes as soon as we get back from leave. At the beginning of each semester, we have a week dedicated to academic and professional development. This week is the “Midyear Administrative Processing” week or MAP week for short. MAP week is a great time compared to the rest of the semester. Throughout each day, we have a variety of trainings and meetings, but no academics. Each class meets with the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Commandant of Cadets, Assistant Commandant of Cadets, and their class advisor. Individually, cadets meet with their academic advisors, division members, and so on. Additionally, we take our physical fitness exam, have sports practices, and move rooms. MAP week is great because it’s the ideal time to get everything non-academic taken care of before the semester begins.



More about Hunter.


End of my Fifth Semester

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Meyers Photo Wow, it's been five semesters already. As I wind down the semester and get ready to take my last final tomorrow before going on break, I am taking a look back on 2013 and everything I've done. I'm pretty amazed. In the past year alone, I've been to five amazing concerts, traveled to Colorado for spring break, made a lot of new friends (and lost a few old ones), gotten a gold star all five semesters I've been here (with a term GPA of 3.15 or greater), been cadre and an MAA, sailed around New England for two weeks, and got air lifted into a helicopter. I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, but those are what I can think of off the top of my head.


With five semesters down and three to go, I'm seeing the world a little differently now. It's not “how much longer until I get to leave”, but “how much longer do I get here”. It's not at all that I'm not excited to go out into the fleet, I'm beyond excited to start my career as a Coast Guard Officer and really work. It's more that I'm realizing how special of a place the Academy is and that I have to make the best of my last three semesters. Every semester has had a sort of “motto” to it that has guided pretty much everything I do. I think for this next semester my motto is going to be “work hard, play hard.” Don't worry, I'm not going to play too hard and get in trouble. I mean to say that I want to work hard on school work on the weekdays and make the best of every weekend. While I'm 21, that does not mean going out and drinking with my friends every chance I get. It means experiencing life to the fullest, sometimes stepping out of my comfort zone to experience something new.


Now, I don't only have great things to look forward to, but great things to look back on. This has been a great year, and I'm sure next year will be even better.



More about James.


Our Favorite Week So Far

(Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sandri Photo The week before winter leave was finals week at CGA. Finals are often thought of as a stressful time of year, but for me and many other 4/c, it was our favorite week so far. During finals week, the 1st Lieutenant (the 1/c cadet in charge of guiding the 4/c) granted us modified carry-on in the wardroom. This meant we were able to look at our food and not have to square it or brace up. In addition, closed door study hours ensued after lunch; these are time periods during which cadets are allowed to close their doors and sleep, or spend the time as they please. Usually, we must keep our doors open and stay awake during the workday, which begins at morning formation and ends at 1600.


Despite studying hard, I had a considerable amount of free time during finals. Luckily, this wonderful week coincided with the first large snowfall of the school year. One evening, a friend and I ventured outside and ended up sledding for hours on the hill that runs from Chase Hall to the auditorium. We used Tupperware box lids for sleds, which worked surprisingly well! It was a lot of fun, and a great way to top off the semester.


More about Eva.


Christmas So Soon

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo Season’s greetings to all from the CGA! It’s astonishing how quickly this first semester went by. It seems like yesterday that I was scared out of my mind with my cadre yelling down my back. Now all of a sudden, the first semester is over, and it’s time for Christmas leave. For some of my shipmates, this is the first time that they get to see their families again, which is a big step in their careers. Since I live in Connecticut, it’s less magnificent, but it does mean that I can help people out who need rides to the various airports around here.


Finals week has been stressful and relaxing at the same time. I’ve had more time on my hands than I’ve known what to do with. I never really studied hard in high school, and now my inability to do so has been fairly detrimental to my preparation. I’ve sought help from upper-class and my classmates, and they were a huge help during this week above all.


I’m really looking forward to seeing my high school friends again, and our schedule lines up with the choir concert at my old school, so it will be nice to see that. I’ll also be able to drive again, which is always a plus. It is going to be harder than ever to return form break after two and a half weeks of normalcy. This is going to be the true test of our class, to see who wants it bad enough to give up everything.


Until next year!



More about Drew.