Skip Navigation Links
APPLY | BEARS DEN LOGIN | REQUEST INFORMATION | ESPAÑOL | VIRTUAL TOUR | SEARCH
FacebookFlickrTwitterYou Tube
CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Hello, It’s Me

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
King Photo A few months ago, I got a letter in the mail from myself. I had written a letter to my future self two years ago at a summer camp and it was time to open it again. I had nearly forgotten about it, and eagerly ripped it open, excited to hear the wisdom of high school me.

 

The first thing I noticed was the terrible handwriting. It was large and uneven. It was funny – it started in cursive, than quickly switched to print. I guess I figured that I shouldn’t have been too fancy in my own letter. The very first question besides “How are you?” was “Did you get into the Coast Guard Academy?” I’m sure high school me would be happy to hear that I made it in.

 

Reading it, I realized that I couldn’t write letters that well back then. I also realized that I’ve grown so much in those two years since writing the letter. I am much more focused and calm. I have gone on so many adventures like sailing across the Atlantic and lived through Swab Summer. I also went through two years of trials, such as Calculus and 4/c year. Both have helped me learn more about the world and myself.

 

That being said, high school me did have some good pointers. In the letter, I told myself to be persistent and have a sense of humor. Looking back, I wish I could tell my high school self to be more adaptable and careful, but hindsight is always 20/20.

 

A new year and new semester are coming up and, pretty soon, I will be transitioning to be a leader. While I’m proud of how much I’ve learned in the last two years, I know there is much to improve on. I am excited to find out what the next two years and beyond will bring.

 

More about Deborah.

 

Family is What You Make It

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Opas Photo When I first joined the Coast Guard, I considered myself to have an incredibly small family. Biologically speaking, it was just my parents, my two siblings, and me. Throughout high school, I’d expanded to include a handful of incredibly close friends, but even then, I had a small support network. Moreover, I’d subscribed to the school of thought that defined family as the people you chose to surround yourself with. But my time here at the Academy has taught me that family is something you don’t choose, rather it is thrust upon you. Even in the beginning of the semester and after Swab Summer, I didn’t realize how much my family had grown.

 

Sure, I had my company mates ‒ my fellow fourth class ‒ who I’d toughed out Swab Summer with. Yet even among such a group, there were those of us who didn’t click. I was truly lucky to have roomed in fourth deck Charlie fall semester, on a p-way of only fourth class. Somewhat sequestered from the rest of the wing area, we formed a tight-knit bond as our own little unit. Leaning on each other for anything from late-night Statics and Engineering Design homework help to ironing a buddy’s shirt before a formal room and wing because he had a rugby game, we had our own little microcosm. And it ran like a well-oiled machine. Yes, we had our little spats. Two or three of us would be grumpy the whole week prior to an exam, but then we’d all pile into someone’s room and shoot the breeze on a Saturday night instead of going out on liberty, just to decompress as a fam. We had our one practical joker, our resident bookworm, our cynic, our cheerleader, the list went on. Everyone was a piece of the puzzle and that suited each of us just fine. But there was another of my company mates who lived on third deck, far away from the fourth deck biosphere. She has become a sister and a mother to me, through all the first semester’s trials and tribulations.

 

It was roughly 10 a.m. the Saturday of Parents’ Weekend, the two of us standing in the grass before Hamilton Hall with the hordes of parents and loved ones, all related in some fashion or other to different members of the Corps of Cadets. My parents were unable to make it up to Connecticut for the weekend, so I didn’t have anyone to look forward to seeing. To top it off, I was recovering from an injury ‒ just like my shipmate ‒ so we both couldn’t drill. But from the moment she and I waved her parents over to join us in watching the pomp and circumstance of the special drill ceremony, that bond of sisterhood solidified. Her unconditional acceptance of me into her family is one of the things that has grounded me during my time in New London, in an environment where it’s really easy to lose yourself in the stress.

 

Your family here is that which makes you smile and laugh every day in spite of all the class assignments, sports obligations, and military trainings. It’s what makes you get up in the morning instead of rolling over after reveille to sleep in, like any other college kid. It makes getting through the workday an exercise in trying not to laugh at each other’s blunders rather than a string of failures and insurmountable challenges. The idea of family is that which makes the Coast Guard the Coast Guard, and it’s what makes this academy just that little bit better than its sister academies.

 

More about Leah.

 

Life on the Greens

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo This semester, I found a great way to spend my free time—through the Academy Golf Club. Relatively new to the game, I had only played a few times my 3/c year, but this year I really got into it. One of the best kept secrets of 1/c year is the PE class: Advanced Golf. During 3/c year, all cadets take a basic golf class, and during 1/c year you can elect to take Advanced Golf. For this course, you are responsible for playing 10 rounds of 9 holes. Cadets who take this course are free to leave whenever there is no class or military obligation, which was a great opportunity to get away for a few hours each week and enjoy the New England autumn. After playing for the class, I began to play during my own free time and golfed beyond the required amount for the PE class. I discovered that the Academy has many avid golfers, and that there is a special deal at a local country club for cadets.

 

I spent many hours at the country club this semester, and really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the game with officers, chiefs, and fellow cadets. I have played many courses in the area over the semester. On Veterans’ Day, a few of my friends and I played a local country club for free! Golf has become my outlet for stress this semester, and I am glad that I stumbled upon it! Over this coming winter leave, I will be spending my time with family at a resort in the Dominican Republic, and I can’t wait to check out the courses down there.

 

More about William.

 

Support, Strength, Family

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Wheeler Photo Over the course of my (almost) one semester here, I have noticed something about the Corps of Cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Something unique to our school and something I have heard translates into the fleet as well. There is a sense of togetherness here that I haven’t experienced anywhere else, a corps-wide bond that is unspoken but mutual. Everyone here treats each other as family and will help each other, regardless of class or age, without a moment’s hesitation. Sure I experienced friendships and support at Marion Military Institute (my prep school), but there is something very special about the Academy, something about its size and the mindset that is shared by each and every cadet that fosters strong ties and connections, promoting a family unit. If there is one thing that sets the U.S. Coast Guard Academy apart from every other service academy, let alone every other college in the nation, it is the support system that can be described as nothing short of family.

 

More about Pat.

 

Saving Lives as a Cadet

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tousignant Photo One of the main things that I often leave out when explaining my motivation for applying to the Academy was my high school desire to join the Peace Corps. This desire to help people is why I chose the Coast Guard over any other military service. I love the strict military schedule and lifestyle that meshes with my Type A personality. However, the Coast Guard is much more than a military branch. It is a lifesaving service. What recently brought this to my attention was the question of why I donate blood. I dislike waiting for hours while I could be doing homework and being poked and prodded with a needle, but I still keep going back. I realized my action to give blood was driven by the desire to save lives. Even though it is unpleasant, I believe that anyone that is able to donate blood should participate. Though cadets do not have the daily opportunity to conduct search and rescue operations, we can start saving lives without even leaving campus. The Academy is more than academics, military, and athletics. We learn how to be leaders and how to serve the people of the United States. We are required to do community and institutional service. However, cadets usually go way beyond these requirements. Taking a couple hours out of one’s day to help another makes the world a better place even though it is not always apparent.

 

More about Jackie.