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cadet blogs

One is Silver and the Other’s Gold

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Culp Photo For me, coming home from the Academy for leave means coming home to an onslaught of family members, old friends and dogs. During my few weeks back in Nebraska, I wound up seeing everyone from church members to high school friends to future cadets and their families (shout-out to all the Cornhuskers who apparently read my blog religiously, by the way – you’re awesome!). Just like it’s the people at the Academy who make that experience special, it’s these people on the home field that make leave something that I look forward to every year.


However, it is very challenging to maintain any sort of long-distance friendship. I stayed close to about four high school friends after I started at the Academy. Getting Facebook back 3/c year helped a little, but still, I wound up letting go of a lot of friendships. As a cadet, you just don’t have the time when you have so much homework and military responsibilities, varsity sports, and, of course, all of the new and wonderful relationships demanding your attention.


I don’t write this to make you apprehensive or to recommend that you ignore all of your high school friends (please, please, please don’t do that!) but to show you the hope behind the reality. I don’t get as much time as I’d like to talk to my handful of closest high school friends during the academic semester, thanks to the aforementioned demands; and with jobs and classes and families back home, my friends are engaged in difficult and time-consuming balancing acts as well. But, with these girls, even just the quickest text or carving out one hour for a phone call every couple of months keeps our friendship strong. And then, when I come back home each winter and summer, we pick right up where we left off – of course, there’s always a quick update about whatever happened that semester and then it’s off to our next adventure in the wild Midwest! So, you might not ever be as close as you once were and you might unfortunately stop talking to some people completely but chances are you’ll find that your best friends stay close to you – just in a different way. And then they become one of the best things about home.


I encourage all of you prospective cadets (especially Class of 2019 – R-Day is in less than a week! Gasp!) to start thinking about what your friends mean to you. Think about the support they’ve shown you, the excitement they had when you decided to leave home for the Academy, and the good times you had with them. Be prepared for loss – it comes with the appointment – but also be grateful for those people who love you and will be there to welcome you home. You’ll come to realize even more acutely than you did before just how integral those few people are to your life.


More about Abby.