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cadet blogs

Neverland No More

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo Last year (fourth class year) and through the summer, I struggled to come to terms with the fact that I am an adult—and one that is practically living “independently” (as in, not relying on my parents for much of anything). I felt as if time had stopped and I had stopped growing up at 17.5 years (middle of my senior year). Academics last year seemed strikingly like high school, and this summer felt oddly like a giant, regimented summer camp. Honestly, I was frustrated that I didn’t feel older, more mature. Until I returned to the Academy in the middle of August for the start of classes.


A number of factors contributed to my new sense of adulthood. First there was a new class below mine; we were no longer the “little ones.” Instead we are now the ones looking out for the fourth class. In addition, there are greater responsibilities placed on the third class (3/c)—such as being in charge of a day of watch (duty).


Academics also played a role in my perception change. This year I am taking more major-specific classes. While my course schedule has always been slightly different than my peers’ (as a result of the five classes validated [tested-out of]), this year everyone is taking classes in their major. There is a more diversified range of classes among my classmates; it no longer feels as if we are too young to pick our own classes, so they (the mysterious “they”) assign us all the same course load. But back to my major, Marine and Environmental Science (MES), the simple fact that I am taking classes to develop myself as a marine and environmental scientist astonishes me. I’m working toward being something—somebody—I will be for the rest of my life/professional career. I had this epiphany the other night as I was working on a detailed lab report about a local estuary; that made me feel like a college student.


And finally, I’ve taken on leadership roles in my extracurricular activities, too, which has required me to embrace a higher level of responsibility. I am a media specialist (as I call myself) for both Officers’ Christian Fellowship and the Sustainability Club (check out the video I made to promote the club: under ‘Videos’ on lower right hand side of the page). I attend the leadership meetings for OCF and make decisions about the Sustainability Club with the two other presidents and the advisers of the club.


I would say that all that time I thought had stopped has caught up with me, which required me to grow up quickly—or at least feel more grown up practically overnight. Sure, I’m still the spastic teenager (I’m still only 19) who likes jumping up and down to loud music and running around trying to lift others’ spirits by doing crazy things (like writing pop song parodies about classes or being a 4/c cadet), but when I step back and assess my life, comparing it to who I was a year ago, I feel more mature. But that’s just me…


More about Justin.


Boats Out of Water

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Ward Photo After rowing Nationals, I was sent to San Diego, California on the CGC Boutwell. It was the same cutter I was stationed on as a 3/c cadet. Since then, it had changed homeports and crews. Because rowing crew had cut into my summer, I was stationed on the Boutwell for about 18 days instead of the standard 42. Luckily, I had already completed many of the trainings 2 years ago onboard the cutter so I was able to qualify Security Watch within those few weeks.


When I first got the assignment to the CGC Boutwell, I was disappointed, as I had already experienced the exact same cutter. However, I am really happy I was sent back. The attitude and the operational success of the cutter had been transformed since I had last been aboard. It was awesome to see the difference in the cutters performance, the crew’s attitude toward not only cadets, but the Coast Guard in general. It was a great example to me about how leadership does have an impact.


But just as soon as I felt settled down, it was time to fly off to Albuquerque for my internship.


More about Jessica.


Row, Row, Row Your Boat

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Ward Photo This past summer was one of the best of my life. It began in May when the Women’s Crew Team was selected for NCAA Nationals. Eight Division III schools are selected and we were one of them. Instead of immediately heading out for my summer unit, I stayed at the Academy with fellow rowers and trained. All we did was eat, sleep, work out, and hang out. Nationals were held in New Jersey and we went down the week of the event to train there. One night involved a huge banquet where all the rowers of all NCAA Divisions dressed up and celebrated their achievement in making it that far. We wore our Trops (a summer uniform) to the event. I was so proud that night of everything we had accomplished. We succeeded in attaining the same level athletically as these other rowers while going through so much else that they would never know about or understand. It was a great feeling. That week was Memorial Day weekend and the speaker gave the Coast Guard a shout out. One of the seniors, SJ Otey, won the academic award for having the highest GPA out of all Division III rowers. Pretty incredible. We ended up dominating the Petite Finals after not making it into the Grand Finals by a close photo finish. We quickly said goodbye to the seniors as they departed for their units and were transported to our summer assignments.


More about Jessica.