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cadet blogs

A Whirlwind Semester and Much to Look Forward To

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kimura Photo “Flying by” is an understatement when it comes to describing this semester. Diving season ended, spring break in Machu Picchu happened, and now there is only one week left of classes. The end of the school year means 4/c passing boards, earning carry-on (no longer having to brace up in Chase Hall), and using social media again; 2/c bringing back their newly bought cars; and firsties making plans for their new homes, weddings, and 30 days of leave. For myself as a 3/c, this past weekend made me truly appreciate everything I have to look forward to in the next two years.

 

I attended Class of 2017’s Ring Dance, which is a ceremony that recognizes the 2/c approaching their final year of the Academy with personalized class rings. Just looking at everyone’s rings made me excited for when I get the chance to pick out one for myself. The most astounding part to me about the rings was the amount of money people spent on them. The reason behind the hefty amounts paid was not that people had money to spend carelessly. Instead, the splurging was justified by the sacrifice they have personally put into the Academy; those late nights cramming, exploring foreign port calls, running a PFE the day after every break, hanging over the side of Eagle feeling seasick, cleaning until midnight. They made the investment in the rings because of the strong impact of their Academy experience and the bonds they made with the people around them. I’m sure if I asked any of them if they would pay $1,000, $2,000 or even $3,000 on a ring in high school they would laugh at the thought. But, something changes in three years that makes cadets take enough pride to want to spend that sum on a place they had no experience with three years before.

 

More about Amy.

 

The End is Close!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Dow Photo Wow! It’s been a while; you get so caught up in everything here and then it’s April. Between softball, school and other extracurricular activities and duties, I didn’t even realize it has been so long since I last posted. But in reality, the days may be slow here, but the weeks are going fast. Only a few more weeks until finals and then second class summer! Although the school years sometimes feel long and very difficult, the summers make it all worth it. Being here at the academy has opened many doors, and more opportunities than I could have ever imagined going to college.

 

During finals week, we can only have at most two finals in a day, and it runs for five days. Some finals you are able to validate if you exceed a certain grade in the class, but it is very difficult and not many do. The summers are definitely a highlight of the Academy experience because you get to go out and explore the real fleet, and meet people you might one day work for, or with. The Coast Guard gives you so many great opportunities to see the world, and all you need to do is put in a lot of hard work.

 

As a rising second class, the week after finals is 100th week when we prepare for cadre summer. The Cape May Company Commanders (who are cadre for a living) come and train us. During this week and the actual three weeks of being a cadre, we also get to sail on the Academy’s yachts to practice navigating, plan the trip and lead our peers. We qualify for pistol; take our Rules of the Road test; and explore what the aviation side of the fleet does with a week at an air station down south. This summer will be challenging, but will also bring us even closer as classmates.

 

Last summer, I was on a buoy tender out of Newport, Rhode Island. It was one of my favorite memories. The second part of my summer was on Eagle, where we sailed to Bermuda, Philadelphia, Portland and Boston. This was also super cool, because not many other people can say they sailed around the East Coast, (and because we got to go to cool places for “work”!)

 

Can’t wait for the summer to begin!

 

More about Emily.