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cadet blogs

Always on Your Toes

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2018) Permanent link   All Posts
Auzenbergs Photo I have caught myself calling Chase Hall “home” more and more often now. It worried me at first, until I realized that it just means that I’m actually getting into the hang of things here, and this doesn’t just feel like some extended AIM week anymore! It’s been hard for me to realize that this is my life for the next four years. Monday and Friday morning drill practice, early morning military trainings before class, the long school days, and busy nights of homework just seem like a test that I have to pass to get back home. (In this case, home being my high school in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts). But that is not the case! This is home now, and it’s becoming more evident every week. I find myself stressing with my roommate about things that I know my friends at UMASS will never encounter, like if we buffed our floor enough, if our beds are wrinkled when we wake up in the morning, or if our blinds are secured before we leave the room. Then we laugh hysterically when we’re walking down the ladder wells in Chase and we see another 4/c do a spin move in the corner instead of squaring, risking demerits just for the fun of it, or when we see someone wait an extra 30 seconds in their doorway before exiting for an upper class to walk by, just to avoid having to greet them in the hallway. Now if I came back from a soccer game at a civilian college, I wouldn’t have to think twice about the transition from laughing and joking with the team outside the dorm, to opening the door, squaring the corner, and locking my eyes in the boat. The little things that make the Academy unique and fun are starting to become more evident and unite us even more.

 

However, life can’t get too comfortable here at the Academy! Teachers start planning for midterms which are quickly approaching, Cadet Evaluation Reports (CERs) are due, the first military testing period opens up, and to add onto it all, I tore my ACL and meniscus during a soccer game. Now there is another stressor to deal with that seems like it will be much harder to get used to. Luckily, the support here is better than anywhere else I can imagine. My roommate has been more than helpful, my shipmates are even more supportive than they already were, and my teachers are very understanding about arriving a few minutes late to class due to the painstakingly slow speed of crutching, or with making up missed work because of doctor’s appointments, surgery and PT visits. (But sadly it doesn’t make it easier to get from Satterlee to Smith in a reasonable time!) So, now this month and a few weeks beyond will be spent trying to adjust to another challenge that I will hopefully adapt to just as quickly as the others – the Academy on crutches.

 

More about Gabrielle.