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cadet blogs

Lessons from Inside the USCGA Walls

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
Nathan White Hello All!!

I am sorry that I haven’t had many blog posts lately; alas, the summer is over and there are no more crazy mountain climbing trips or stories of catching drug runners or migrants on the high seas. No, the school year is in full swing and academics, football, and military duties have gotten in the way of what is really important: keeping the press and paparazzi informed of my day-to-day activities!

In general, 1/c (senior) year has not been the most kind to me; my division is having military trouble, the beloved football team is 1-3, and school (as always) is not sympathetic. However, there are some bright spots: liberty on Thursday nights, being 21, having my Jeep on base, etc. So I have learned a lesson from watching “Spiderman”: with great power comes great responsibility. Actually, I have a better way to phrase it: with great power comes great temptation. I want to leave every night and go out and watch TV or relax, but I ALWAYS have work to do. ALWAYS! I think that that is a leadership lesson you can learn anywhere, here it is just accelerated. So I guess the lesson is this: enjoy where you are at. I am enjoying being a 1/c, but miss the days where I could nap or relax when I wanted. So to you high school seniors fighting and clawing to get in to the Academy, here is an idea: relax. Take a deep breath and enjoy having your family and friends around you. One day, you may miss it.

OK, are you done relaxing? Well good, because I received some emails and want to spread around the information I gave out about choosing to go to the Academy or not. Specifically, peoples’ reasons for applying. I have found that the main difference between the people who stay here and enjoy themselves and those who don’t is their purpose in being here. For example, here are some good reasons:
  1. I know what the Coast Guard does, and I want to be a part of that mission.
  2. I want to serve my country and get a good education at the same time.
  3. I don’t want to just “survive” at normal college, I want to excell.
  4. I want a job with a purpose other than making money.
Bad reasons:
  1. I want a free education (different from needing a free education).
  2. Those navy blue uniforms get the guys/girls! (Maybe true…. still a bad reason….)
  3. I like the beach! (Disclaimer: This was my reason…. I was lucky. But honestly, what’s better than laying out on the beach all day?)
  4. My Mom or Dad says that I should. (This, in my humble opinion, is the most common reason people leave.)
  5. I watched The Guardian once, it was awesome! (Seriously? Worst. Reason. Ever.)
So, if you have any questions or need clarification, let me know by way of email! But for now, I will get back to studying Morals and Ethics, because I just put off studying for that to write this. You are welcome insatiable, unyielding public! Wish me luck!

1/c Nathan White

More about Nathan.