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cadet blogs

One is Silver and the Other’s Gold

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Culp Photo For me, coming home from the Academy for leave means coming home to an onslaught of family members, old friends and dogs. During my few weeks back in Nebraska, I wound up seeing everyone from church members to high school friends to future cadets and their families (shout-out to all the Cornhuskers who apparently read my blog religiously, by the way – you’re awesome!). Just like it’s the people at the Academy who make that experience special, it’s these people on the home field that make leave something that I look forward to every year.


However, it is very challenging to maintain any sort of long-distance friendship. I stayed close to about four high school friends after I started at the Academy. Getting Facebook back 3/c year helped a little, but still, I wound up letting go of a lot of friendships. As a cadet, you just don’t have the time when you have so much homework and military responsibilities, varsity sports, and, of course, all of the new and wonderful relationships demanding your attention.


I don’t write this to make you apprehensive or to recommend that you ignore all of your high school friends (please, please, please don’t do that!) but to show you the hope behind the reality. I don’t get as much time as I’d like to talk to my handful of closest high school friends during the academic semester, thanks to the aforementioned demands; and with jobs and classes and families back home, my friends are engaged in difficult and time-consuming balancing acts as well. But, with these girls, even just the quickest text or carving out one hour for a phone call every couple of months keeps our friendship strong. And then, when I come back home each winter and summer, we pick right up where we left off – of course, there’s always a quick update about whatever happened that semester and then it’s off to our next adventure in the wild Midwest! So, you might not ever be as close as you once were and you might unfortunately stop talking to some people completely but chances are you’ll find that your best friends stay close to you – just in a different way. And then they become one of the best things about home.


I encourage all of you prospective cadets (especially Class of 2019 – R-Day is in less than a week! Gasp!) to start thinking about what your friends mean to you. Think about the support they’ve shown you, the excitement they had when you decided to leave home for the Academy, and the good times you had with them. Be prepared for loss – it comes with the appointment – but also be grateful for those people who love you and will be there to welcome you home. You’ll come to realize even more acutely than you did before just how integral those few people are to your life.


More about Abby.


Awesome Summer Adventures

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Coburn Photo I cannot believe that it has been almost one year since I arrived at the Academy for R-Day last June. The time has really flown by and I am learning so much about the Coast Guard each and every day. Right now, I am on South Padre Island, Texas at a small boat station with another cadet. So far, this experience has been awesome. At first I was a little nervous but the crew has been very welcoming. They are always helping us and teaching us new seamanship skills. South Padre is one of the busiest stations in the country; not only have we been able to see how the Coast Guard works during real search and rescue missions, but we have actually been able to participate and it is incredible.


The weather down here is amazing. It has not dropped below 80 since we arrived and the beaches are great. We are allowed to go out and explore the island and, since it is so small, almost everything is within walking distance. We are at the station for two more weeks and then we will be flying back to New London to board Eagle. On Eagle, we will be travelling down to Philadelphia for the Tall Boat Show, which will be really cool, and then we will be cruising down to Bermuda (I am really excited for that part). It is going to be a lot of work but most of my friends are going to be on the same phase so I will be able to see them all again! Toward the end of July, we will end the voyage in Boston and then I will go home for three weeks of leave. On August 16th, I will report back to the Academy for my 3rd class year. I cannot wait to be part of Charlie Company and meet the new 4th class. To all of you soon-to-be-swabs out there: good luck this summer, have fun and try not to worry too much. Y’all will do great!


More about Mimi.