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cadet blogs

Change is Possible

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo At the beginning of every new semester at the United States Coast Guard Academy, I always seem to expect that the previous semester and the new are going to be relatively similar. But no matter what year or season it is, I get a week into the new school semester and realize how quickly things change at the CGA. Last semester I had all engineering classes besides my Nautical Science III course. This semester I only have three engineering classes, and then I am also taking Atmospheres (a marine environmental science course), Personal Finance, Criminal Justice, and Personal Defense II. Overall, my workload, at least for now, seems to have slightly lightened. This gives me the opportunity to fill some of my time with what I choose.

 

So far, my days seem to go with school until 1500, workout until 1700, then dinner, Glee Club, meetings with the Guidon (the 2/c in charge of the 4/c cadets within Golf Company), and then more homework and bed. I applied for the privilege of being an MAA, or Master at Arms, for Golf and got it. This means that I work with the Guidon, one of my good friends, and the 4/c (freshman) to help develop them, while also working with the rest of the company staff to keep the company running smoothly and initiate new training ideas. What I am enjoying most about this semester is getting to understand how the Academy truly runs, and that the reason things get done around here a lot of the time is because cadets initiate and are it behind the scenes. It makes me realize that if you put the time and effort in, change is possible, and I can carry this lesson with me into my first unit after graduation.

 

More about Hannah.

 

The Final Four

(Athletics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Friedman Photo Before winter leave, I had the opportunity to do something I never thought I would do…go to the Final 4. The Coast Guard Academy Women’s Rugby team won upsets in the round of 16 and the elite 8 to have a first ever birth in the national championship. Needless to say our entire team was thrilled. During the practice before we left for the Final 4, the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent came and wished us luck. The next day we boarded the bus for the trip down to South Carolina.

 

After an overnight bus ride that consisted of a lot of movies and restless sleep, we arrived in South Carolina. Friday night we checked in with USA Rugby and got ready for our games over the weekend. Even though we lost both games, we still came out 4th in the nation, a big increase from our ranking as 14th in the nation last season.

 

I am incredibly proud of everything our team has accomplished, and while I didn’t enjoy sleeping on a bus, I hope I get to do it again next season, and come back with a national championship.

 

If you have any questions feel free to email me Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.

 

Whoa, I Actually Know All This Stuff!

(Academics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Horacek Photo Finals week: words that strike fear into the heart of any college kid. A month’s worth of exams crammed into a few days to hopefully prove that you have, in fact, been awake at least 75% of the time for the past semester. However, despite its reputation for being a week of certain doom, in my experience finals haven’t been all that bad here. Some classes will even let you validate a final if you have a high enough score, usually in the 90-93 range. If you’re lucky, you’ll validate or not have finals on the last few days and get to leave early! If you’re curious, here’s how a typical finals week goes:

 

After the last few days of school (which are mostly filled with a few reviews and course evaluations) we have study and conference day. This is an empty day set aside for you to get with your teachers one last time if you need to and get yourself organized for the next few days. The next day, finals begin! We get to wake up a little bit later (0730, woohoo!) and then there are two testing blocks, morning and/or afternoon for five days (give or take, I had a test Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and validated my Wednesday final so I was fortunate and got to leave early). That’s it! All you have to do is study and take a few tests and, let’s be honest, that definitely doesn’t take up a whole day. Most of my (awesome) teachers sponsored 1-2 hour review sessions where we went over the basics of the whole class, and I personally studied no more than an hour or two outside of that for each test. The rest of my time was filled with sleep, Skyrim, and Netflix. All in all, the finals themselves were fine; the worst part is being so close to going home and having to wait to take a test before you can!

 

But now, as I’m finally riding the plane back to the land of warmth and enchiladas (Texas), I’m realizing how much got crammed into my head this semester. Most of my friends and I got to the point in our studying where it was like, “Whoa, I actually know all this stuff!” Except Electrical Circuits and Machines, electricity is still difficult for me. But I still knew enough to get a decent grade on the test! And the farther into this education I get, the more realistic the problems are getting, and the more I realize that I’ll actually use this stuff I’m learning in the real world. This unfortunately means I’ll have to use calculus in the real world… But for now, it’s time to enjoy the break! Happy holidays everyone!

 

More about Brandon.

 

Inaugural Parade: Infinitely Proud to Serve

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Cadet Photo Last week I marched in the Presidential Inaugural Parade. It was truly a whirlwind trip! Ninety of us left the Academy at 0200 on a bus and traveled to the Naval Academy. At USNA, we were each paired with a cadet host and got the opportunity to eat in their wardroom and exchange stories of cadet life. I have always been curious about the other academies and it was really awesome to see a bit of how they run. I can honestly say, however, that the USCGA was the best choice for me. USNA was so gigantic…I had a hard time finding my way around!

 

The next day we practiced marching and drilling with our pieces before being bused to D.C. The majority of the day was spent going through security checkpoints, which involved a lot of “hurry up and wait.” It was almost dark by the time we began marching and even then there was a lot of starts and stops. Finally, we turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue. As we marched along the route, we were greeted with cheers of “Go Coast Guard!” and “Thank you for your service!” Even though the march was cold and long, hearing those cheers made me infinitely proud to serve. At the command of “Eyes left!” we snapped our eyes to the left to see the President of the United States saluting us as we passed by. I am so proud to have represented the U.S. Coast Guard and the Academy in front of our great nation! God Bless America!

 

More about Cameo.

 

Inaugural Parade: Representing the Coast Guard, Women in the Military and Our Diversity

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chen Photo Last week, I had the opportunity to march in the Inaugural Parade. In order to attend, I had to fill out an application and a few days after my submission, I was informed that I was selected to participate. I was very excited and my family was proud of me. I wanted to be a part of history. I chose to go to represent the United States Coast Guard, women in the military, and show the diversity that we as an institution have.

 

Let me tell you, an inaugural parade is very hectic if you’re marching in it. On TV, you see people marching perfectly as if everything was running smoothly. However, in reality, it is a big waiting game of stop-and-go. When we were marching, we would stop from time to time to allow citizens to cross the street. Throughout the whole day, we spent about ¾ of it waiting in tents, on buses, and on the street, while a ¼ of it was actual marching. I may be underestimating the waiting part.

 

The best part of the trip was staying overnight at the Naval Academy. Cadets from all of the service academies were there. I had to chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones. I also got to learn about the various lifestyles that cadets from each academy had. It was amazing getting to know these people and potentially crossing paths again one day.

 

If I could do it again, I would!

 

More about Sarah.