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cadet blogs

Making it Meaningful – A Reflection on First Semester

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2015) Permanent link   All Posts
Sherman Photo Even though I’m a little late in writing this I want to wish everyone happy and safe holiday season before I begin. So, Happy Holidays!!


Having completed the first semester of my third class year, I believe a reflection on the past three and a half months is in order. This past semester was difficult; I faced challenges that I hadn’t expected. I didn’t feel as comfortable as I did last year. Classes were difficult, and I had to work harder at them. I was in positions of leadership in extracurricular activities, and I expected results that I didn’t see materialize. During the semester, I labeled it as a frustrating one. Now that I’ve completed it—now that I’ve made it through the valley—I can still look back at the semester and feel proud for what I accomplished and what I did not.


I may have lost some of that shiny-eyed freshman wonder, but I am still happy where I am. As I returned home and went to holiday parties, everyone asked how I “liked the Academy.” I answered that, despite the difficult semester, I loved it. Most importantly, I would not want to be anywhere else. I would rather be “roughing it” at the Academy than sailing by, content and complacent at another school.


I have come to realize that importance in my professional and personal development of these not-so-easy times. First, they remind me that I’m still alive and feeling. It’s like they told us during Swab Summer: If you’re in pain then you know you’re still alive. Second, and more importantly, it doesn’t allow me to be complacent. My difficult situation (and I remind you that difficult is a relative term—difficult compared to last year) has inspired and encouraged me to strive for improvement; improvement in my personal life and at the Academy in general. I have a fire, a passion, to work harder to see change and to see improvement.


I’m excited to return this January as a leader in the Sustainability Club and to begin making a difference at the Academy. In Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF), we are preparing for another semester of growing in the faith, fellowshipping, and studying the Bible—in short, changing lives. This semester we, the third class cadets (class of 2015), shall be developing military in preparation to become cadre this coming summer.


This semester is going to be exciting. I know I shall face challenges and frustrations, but my outlook on such matters has changed. I am prepared to tackle them head-on and allow them to fuel me, so without further ado, let’s get started!


Have a great 2013!


More about Justin.