Some positive 4c stories please

mrspk

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Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
65
So, as I am looking at a lot of the 4c stories from the last few years, it seems that there are not too many positive ones about classes and grades. All I am seeing is that everyone is failing, would get sick as they would cross the bridge coming back to the CGA after a break, parents getting frantic phone calls from their cadets, depressed/anxious cadets. We understand the pressure ahead, but really really need some positive things to show my DS and us as his parents. Can we get some good/inspirational stories please. Thanks!!
 

pikakemae808

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Joined
Dec 14, 2017
Messages
12
I currently have a 3C at USCGA. Swab Summer and 4C year was definitely a test of patience and absolute grit. As difficult as it was, the growth that came from it has been amazing. The summer after 4C was spent 6 weeks at a base on the West Coast then on Eagle, where he visited Europe and Bermuda. Our son really grew up during 4C year and it made him realize just what he was made of. Yes, we did receive those calls of wanting to quit and come home, but we just listened, encouraged, and helped him through the tough times. It's not easy, but for our son - it has been worth it. As in any other Academy, you have students that quit, but if they can keep going - they'll see the benefit of it all. Good luck!
 

Kaydet2023

New Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
2
I'm a 4/c and in high school I was a pretty average student, but somehow managed to get in the Academy. I was never really happy and just coasted through, never really being interested in classes. Now I'm actually happy to go to class and I feel like I actually want to learn. My GPA for last semester was actually higher than my high school average GPA because I was engaged with my classes and put in a lot of work to make sure to get help when I didn't understand something. Yes, it sucks here all the time, but it's really worth it. Even if you're struggling there are so many resources to go to. You just have to seek them out. It was terrible going back to academy after break because you know you're just going back to a grind of classwork and 4/c duties, but you're also returning to some of your best friends. Basically every day I'll swing from "this is the best time of life, I love it here" to "I can't take another day." I found there was a big learning curve on how to effectively manage my time and how to do all the small military things required here, but you will learn.
 

sbbm9901

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Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
23
I have a 4/c at USCGA and a 2/c at USMA. For us it is a tale of 2 experiences. My 2/c had a rough time early on and that first year was touch and go. Fast forward to this past Tuesday and he just plopped down $2000+ for his Class Ring.

For our 4/c CGA, she had a front row seat to that first year at USMA so she was much more prepared for what it may be like, though the USMA and CGA experiences do have some stark contrasts.

Our 4/c recently told us she has no regrets and is so happy to be where she is. She has struggled with time management and her grades. Though not at HS levels, she rebounded 1st semester ok. She has had her share of lows, from her 2 -Class 2 infractions the first month to a recent surgery. She has had a couple homesickness moments but never wanting to quit.

BUT she has found several amazing friends and this semester she has hit the ground running!

With that laid out - it gets better!

As parents we see the struggle yet immense growth in her so far and can appreciate the differences in both of their journies. She is in love with the CGA regardless of the struggles.

The goal as parents will be keeping them focused on the big picture and reminding them that 4/c year has a defined end to it and keep grinding. She texted us the other day and said- “Less than 100 days till 3/c Summer, cant wait” it is the small victories. 😁

I say her story is a largely positive one.
 
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mrspk

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
65
I'm a 4/c and in high school I was a pretty average student, but somehow managed to get in the Academy. I was never really happy and just coasted through, never really being interested in classes. Now I'm actually happy to go to class and I feel like I actually want to learn. My GPA for last semester was actually higher than my high school average GPA because I was engaged with my classes and put in a lot of work to make sure to get help when I didn't understand something. Yes, it sucks here all the time, but it's really worth it. Even if you're struggling there are so many resources to go to. You just have to seek them out. It was terrible going back to academy after break because you know you're just going back to a grind of classwork and 4/c duties, but you're also returning to some of your best friends. Basically every day I'll swing from "this is the best time of life, I love it here" to "I can't take another day." I found there was a big learning curve on how to effectively manage my time and how to do all the small military things required here, but you will learn.
thank you! Maybe you can message me to talk about your experience to my DS? He hasn’t had a chance to really talk to someone in it...
 

mrspk

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
65
I currently have a 3C at USCGA. Swab Summer and 4C year was definitely a test of patience and absolute grit. As difficult as it was, the growth that came from it has been amazing. The summer after 4C was spent 6 weeks at a base on the West Coast then on Eagle, where he visited Europe and Bermuda. Our son really grew up during 4C year and it made him realize just what he was made of. Yes, we did receive those calls of wanting to quit and come home, but we just listened, encouraged, and helped him through the tough times. It's not easy, but for our son - it has been worth it. As in any other Academy, you have students that quit, but if they can keep going - they'll see the benefit of it all. Good luck!
Thank you!
 

shiner

5-Year Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2010
Messages
132
By enduring difficult and challenging experiences, deep bonds are forged with your classmates. The programs are intentionally tough and built to be overwhelming to force a top performer to reach their limits and push past them in such a way that you come out the other side with a completely new definition of what your limits are. With social media, it is much easier to keep up with non academy friends from high school. During the low times, that may not be a good thing as one can't help but compare experiences. However, after completing a challenging task, or after an amazing experience like sailing the Atlantic aboard Eagle after visiting multiple countries as part of a college field trip - you start to look around and realize just how amazing the service academy experience really is and how lucky cadets are to have these unique life experiences.

Grads of any SA will often say the school is a great place to be FROM, not necessarily a great place to BE. I think the origin of this sentiment is perspective. When in the middle of it - it's challenging. Possibly for the first time in your life, people are holding you accountable. You were a rock star in your high school and community and then you became average when surrounded by other rock stars. For many, that is very difficult to process.

The experience is made up of many smaller moments - not all great and not all bad. Know your "why" for attending and it will get you through the low points. Cherish the high points, because in context of what other people in the age group are doing around the world, it is pretty spectacular!
 

Korab

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2017
Messages
489
So, as I am looking at a lot of the 4c stories from the last few years, it seems that there are not too many positive ones about classes and grades. All I am seeing is that everyone is failing, would get sick as they would cross the bridge coming back to the CGA after a break, parents getting frantic phone calls from their cadets, depressed/anxious cadets. We understand the pressure ahead, but really really need some positive things to show my DS and us as his parents. Can we get some good/inspirational stories please. Thanks!!
Some will have an easy time and sail through, most will have some bumps along the way but manage, others will struggle every step of the way but make it, and some (approximately 15%) wont make it for one reason or another, maybe grades, honor offenses, or just deciding it wasn't for them. For the most part, you will only hear about that 15%.

You are asking about recruited athletes - their team will be their escape from the every day reality of academy life. Its a place where they can relax, let their hair down, and be normal for a few hours.

Not sure what part of the country you are from, but from our experience winters are mild in New London. Sure, its not a bustling modern city, but it looks like most of the small towns in the northeast. Yes, its grey a lot in the winter, just like everywhere else in the northeast.

Chase Hall crud is real, though, and that **** will kill you, so wash your hands.

If your son is tough and resilient and used to getting yelled at , he will do just fine. Shrinking violets will have a tougher time.
 

shiner

5-Year Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2010
Messages
132
Sometimes you have to create fun... at USAFA, one way of making the experience fun is to plan and execute a Spirit Mission. This is an opportunity for a group of classmates [people in the same grade], or even the class [year group] plan a surprise that shows class spirit. Some are small, and others are huge. Some of the less than brilliant ones I saw in my day involved paint. Some classmates who were not savvy about porous stones opted to use oil based paint to cover the marble terrazzo strips in our class color gold... The class after us chose to paint the static F-16 on the terrazzo red. The entire class banded together to help clean those up --- but here I am talking about it 20 years later... I gotta say - it was memorable!

My favorite was one that I participated in. The scenario involved what is referred to as a triple threat or triple whammy - wing wide Saturday morning inspection (SAMI) + parade + mandatory football game. It was cold and would likely freeze. At USAFA, there is 1 path for the cadet wing to get the parade field. The current science building was under construction and that meant there were wheel barrels and hoses laying about.... If we freeze the ramp, they have to cancel the parade... Once the plan was hatched, six of us departed the squadron, and the remaining 19 4th class cadets in our squadron prepped our spaces for the SAMI. We stayed out all night soaking the ramp. Taking trash cans full of water to the top and pouring it down. Wheel barrels to the top -- whatever we could find. Slowly (but surely) we created quite the ice layer that literally spanned the length of the ramp which is almost like a 100 yard stretch that is roughly twice as wide as your driveway. As the sun rose, we could slide from top to bottom.

We trudged back down the Ho Chi Min Trail back to Sijan Hall and when we entered the squadron - everyone was already buzzing around in full service dress and the inspection was about to begin. Upperclassmen swarmed us - wanting to know why we were not in the correct uniform... where had we come from... and so forth.

With heads down we kept on moving - trying to quickly get to our room to change in time for the inspection.

And then...... the most glorious announcement ever to grace the loudspeaker from command post - "Attention in the area, attention in the area. The parade for this morning has been canceled due to ice on the ramp. I say again, the parade for this morning has been cancelled."

Joyous cheer from throughout the entire wing erupted and could be heard coming from each and every cadet room....

It was then that our cadre connected the dots. The yelling stopped, and we were told to get some sleep (and skip the inspection...).

Good times! The short is it is that you can make your own fun. It's stressful and you have to find ways to let off steam that work for you.
 

Cayavajor

New Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
1
I'm a 4/c and in high school I was a pretty average student, but somehow managed to get in the Academy. I was never really happy and just coasted through, never really being interested in classes. Now I'm actually happy to go to class and I feel like I actually want to learn. My GPA for last semester was actually higher than my high school average GPA because I was engaged with my classes and put in a lot of work to make sure to get help when I didn't understand something. Yes, it sucks here all the time, but it's really worth it. Even if you're struggling there are so many resources to go to. You just have to seek them out. It was terrible going back to academy after break because you know you're just going back to a grind of classwork and 4/c duties, but you're also returning to some of your best friends. Basically every day I'll swing from "this is the best time of life, I love it here" to "I can't take another day." I found there was a big learning curve on how to effectively manage my time and how to do all the small military things required here, but you will learn.
When you say you were a "pretty average student", how average were you? If you don't mind sharing what was your GPA, SAT's , etc.
 

mrspk

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
65
Sometimes you have to create fun... at USAFA, one way of making the experience fun is to plan and execute a Spirit Mission. This is an opportunity for a group of classmates [people in the same grade], or even the class [year group] plan a surprise that shows class spirit. Some are small, and others are huge. Some of the less than brilliant ones I saw in my day involved paint. Some classmates who were not savvy about porous stones opted to use oil based paint to cover the marble terrazzo strips in our class color gold... The class after us chose to paint the static F-16 on the terrazzo red. The entire class banded together to help clean those up --- but here I am talking about it 20 years later... I gotta say - it was memorable!

My favorite was one that I participated in. The scenario involved what is referred to as a triple threat or triple whammy - wing wide Saturday morning inspection (SAMI) + parade + mandatory football game. It was cold and would likely freeze. At USAFA, there is 1 path for the cadet wing to get the parade field. The current science building was under construction and that meant there were wheel barrels and hoses laying about.... If we freeze the ramp, they have to cancel the parade... Once the plan was hatched, six of us departed the squadron, and the remaining 19 4th class cadets in our squadron prepped our spaces for the SAMI. We stayed out all night soaking the ramp. Taking trash cans full of water to the top and pouring it down. Wheel barrels to the top -- whatever we could find. Slowly (but surely) we created quite the ice layer that literally spanned the length of the ramp which is almost like a 100 yard stretch that is roughly twice as wide as your driveway. As the sun rose, we could slide from top to bottom.

We trudged back down the Ho Chi Min Trail back to Sijan Hall and when we entered the squadron - everyone was already buzzing around in full service dress and the inspection was about to begin. Upperclassmen swarmed us - wanting to know why we were not in the correct uniform... where had we come from... and so forth.

With heads down we kept on moving - trying to quickly get to our room to change in time for the inspection.

And then...... the most glorious announcement ever to grace the loudspeaker from command post - "Attention in the area, attention in the area. The parade for this morning has been canceled due to ice on the ramp. I say again, the parade for this morning has been cancelled."

Joyous cheer from throughout the entire wing erupted and could be heard coming from each and every cadet room....

It was then that our cadre connected the dots. The yelling stopped, and we were told to get some sleep (and skip the inspection...).

Good times! The short is it is that you can make your own fun. It's stressful and you have to find ways to let off steam that work for you.
That is great!!!!! Yes! More of this! He knows it will be hard, but there has to be an element of adventure and memories attached as well!!!!!
 
Last edited:

Kaydet2023

New Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
2
When you say you were a "pretty average student", how average were you? If you don't mind sharing what was your GPA, SAT's , etc.
My GPA was ok, like a 3.5ish unweighted. What saved me was my 1400 SAT. Up until the middle of junior year I had decided to just go to my state school like almost everyone in my senior class, but I took a far right turn and decided my one mission was to go to USCGA. I had no leadership to show for, so I actively looked for opportunities in my local area and school. I started working harder in classes and did everything to show USCGA I wanted to be there. I was in sports teams all of high school, but I was no superstar. Biggest message is you're not out of the count yet; you can still improve and show that you want to be here. They will notice that.
 

glacier

New Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
3
This past Monday was 100th Day a USGCA, the 4/C get to trade with their 2/C mentors’ rank shields and act like upperclassmen for the day, while the 2/C’s have to act like 4/C - squaring meals etc. According to my 2/C DS they have to earn their shield by completing a “Spirit Mission” on their mentor 2/C - usually some kind of non-destructive prank to their rooms Involving bubble wrap, 1000 toy soldiers, little sauce packets, sticky notes..... These were going on all last week with plenty of laughs. Don’t worry, there is such a thing as fun at the Academy!
 

mrspk

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
65
This past Monday was 100th Day a USGCA, the 4/C get to trade with their 2/C mentors’ rank shields and act like upperclassmen for the day, while the 2/C’s have to act like 4/C - squaring meals etc. According to my 2/C DS they have to earn their shield by completing a “Spirit Mission” on their mentor 2/C - usually some kind of non-destructive prank to their rooms Involving bubble wrap, 1000 toy soldiers, little sauce packets, sticky notes..... These were going on all last week with plenty of laughs. Don’t worry, there is such a thing as fun at the Academy!
Thank you!
 
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