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cadet blogs

Trudging Through the Work

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Murphy Photo Obviously, 3/c year is a lot different than 4/c year. First of all, I’m not homesick; I have become a lot closer to my friends and teammates. Second of all, I don’t have all the responsibilities of a 4/c. That means no more squaring, bracing up, and feeling like a robot. With this nice change, comes some bad news. The academics don’t get any easier. Currently I am studying civil engineering and I have had a rough semester academically. Classes are more intense and aren’t necessarily “core” classes. I’ve just been trudging through the work; I work with two other friends of mine who are studying civil engineering. It works really well because we are able to bounce ideas off of each other to figure out our work (of course we credit each other).


Coming home for Thanksgiving was nice, but I wasn’t as excited as last year. This is because I have become a lot more comfortable at the Academy. I have had a lot to think about though; I am considering switching majors. Cadets need to pick a major by the end of their sophomore year, but in order to not get behind, I need to pick my major by next semester. Wish me luck! Good luck with the application process!


More about Sean.


Cultural Diversity

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo I have realized since being here at the Academy that cultural diversity is not what ethnicity you are. Yes, I believe it plays a part of who you are, but a bigger factor of making you unique is where and how you were brought up.


I spent this Thanksgiving in Indiana at my friend, Mary’s house. It was the first break I have not gone home and also the first time I have ever been in Indiana. It was all a new experience for me and during my stay I saw what made Mary the way she is. Her personality does not come from her being a mix of European ethnicities; it comes from her being the oldest out of eight, growing up in the country lifestyle of Indiana. I realized that being at the Coast Guard Academy has really been an opportunity to meet different kinds of people from all over the U.S. and the world (with our international cadets). I learned a lot while staying with the Hazen family over Thanksgiving and also how cadets are different. There were three of us that went to Indiana to spend Thanksgiving and we all represented a different part of the United States, one coming from Washington state, one from Texas, and me from New York City. I saw how where we came from and how we were brought up played a bigger part in shaping us and making us culturally diverse. Back in New York, my city and state universities are filled with different ethnicities, Hispanics, Asians, African Americans, and Caucasians however, since we are all born and raised in New York City, there is not much of a cultural diversity. I witness more cultural diversity at the Coast Guard Academy and in the season to be thankful, I am so blessed to be at the Academy and learning and experiencing new things from new people.


More about Ellie.


Varsity Freshmen

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo It is a requirement at the Academy that cadets participate in athletics; whether the activity is a varsity NCAA program or an intramural group is up to the individual. For me it was a clear choice to row – I have been rowing in the area since I was ten and recently have become more competitive as an individual in a single (sculling alone) and as a team member (sweep rowing typically with three or seven other rowers). Through high school I updated head coach, Jen Meuse, with my erg scores and race performances, and this made for an easy transition to collegiate rowing.


Around the third week of Swab Summer “sports periods” started and swabs were able to meet with coaches and cadre of their sports interest for about 90 minutes. While at first it was very awkward to be in a relaxed environment with the chief of staff (a 1/c cadet), my division officer cadre, (a 2/c cadet), and other upper class, I soon felt at ease conversing about a sport I knew very well. The awkwardness continued to go away as the school year came along, and by our first race in September I felt comfortable enough to train alongside any of my team mates.


I will admit that the initial shock of racing varsity was overwhelming; my roommate, Caroline, was just learning to row and practiced with the rest of my friends who were on the novice team. Usually the varsity girls would finish earlier and I would take my time changing and make the effort to walk back up to Chase Hall with my novice classmates. I tried to share any knowledge from experience I had and made a conscious effort to be humble about my abilities, knowing that within months my peers could match my skill level. I was worried at first that racing in a double, a two person shell, with my partner, 1/c Tahnee Zaccano, in September would distance me from my classmates, but instead the girls were enthusiastic and very supportive. My classmates’ support helped me to train hard and not to worry about losing their friendships.


I treated my varsity teammates the same as my novice peers, sharing tools for rigging and quick fixes for technique problems. Even as the season went on, it was still an odd feeling to teach someone older than myself, and particularly strange when my teammate was in my chain of command. It was a great experience however to have a professional relationship with my 3/c, who sat directly behind me and was directly responsible for me, my Swab Summer 2/c, sitting 2 seats behind, and the Swab Summer chief of staff, sitting in bow. All of these ladies were in Bravo Company with me, and rowing in the “Bravo Bow” with them was an honor and a made for a fantastic first season.


Our shortfall season closed in late October with a regatta in Boston known as the Head of the Charles. Teams from across the world came to compete in one of the most well-known races and in particular, collegiate teams raced only their fastest crews. Our competition was very aggressive and the field overall became faster, so we placed in the lower half of our field. Our boat was not discouraged by this performance however; we identified our weaknesses and made a plan to improve them for the spring season. As an individual I was also able to evaluate myself and my performance, and knowing that I had begun my collegiate rowing career as a varsity athlete helped me to see my potential and my value to the team.


More about Sarah.


Worth It In the End

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Subramanian Photo When does the holiday season actually start? A couple of friends from home told me it started way back at the beginning of November. While I loved having holiday spirit and it boosts my morale considerably, I am trying not to get distracted ahead of finals. For me, the holiday season begins on December 11, when I finish my last final in Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design.


Thanksgiving leave was a much-needed getaway from the grind of the Coast Guard Academy. With six projects due in the upcoming weeks, as well as studying for finals, I used my Thanksgiving break to relax and mentally prepare. As an engineer, finals will be very difficult. It will no doubt be rewarding once I am done.


All the winter sports’ seasons have kicked off. I am very excited to go to the men’s basketball team home games and see all my classmates in all the sports perform and represent the Academy well. I have been sidelined in boxing due to a recent shoulder injury but I hope to be ready to go when next semester starts. I still continue to play b-side ice hockey on Friday mornings. It is very difficult to stay awake in classes, but I have continued to work hard in finishing my work sooner and getting to bed at a reasonable hour to be well refreshed to play hockey at 0400.


I plan on blogging over winter leave. Until then, I will be nose-deep in my notes and textbooks. As officers, alumni, instructors, and my parents always say: It will be worth it in the end.


More about Kevin.