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cadet blogs

Finding My Motivation

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link   All Posts
Ritchie Photo I’ve just finished my third week of the school year. After a long seven weeks of Swab Summer, it was definitely a relief to start classes and not have to brace-up anymore except in Chase Hall and formations. (In academic and athletic buildings, 4/c cadets can now talk and walk normally). Swab Summer was full of tough challenges and high expectations. Though my dad went to an Academy, my household was by no means military. Because of this, I struggled at the beginning of the summer, but improved a lot as it went on. The cadre were hard on my shipmates and me because they wanted to make us the best followers we could be in order to later become the best leaders. We were reminded a few times this summer that once we’re all in the fleet, our class will be the one’s replacing our cadre’s class in stations, so they train us so they’re confident that we can maintain their work ethic, efforts, and leadership. All of the things we had to do this summer had a reason behind them. It was awful at the time, and there were plenty of times when I just wanted to give up, but remembering that there was a method to the madness helped me through.


After Swab Summer, there was CAP Week, a week of administrative meetings and planning. That week presented a new set of stressors for my fellow 4/c and me. Now, we faced challenges in getting organized and setting good foundations for the school year.


The actual school year was another shock to many of us. I am still adjusting to the workload and going to bed at midnight and waking up at 5:30. Again, I looked for a source of motivation. I found it on 9/11. I took some time to think about what it means to be at an Academy, and there’s no way to explain the pride I felt just thinking about it. Finding these motivations helps me keep a positive attitude each and every day.


More about Sarah.