By: Gillian McMahon
Two seniors experience Coast Guard life before applying
Embarking on the daunting task of sampling Coast Guard life is began on July 23.
For seniors Georgia Parsons and Ryan Taylor, attending the Academy Introduction Mission program was an essential part of deciding to apply to the Coast Guard Academy. Although not required for application, attending AIM helped in the process. Since they only previously had an outsider’s perspective, AIM provided an opportunity to test the real Coast Guard experience.
After seeing the flip side, Parsons and Taylor were able to get a sense of the reality of life at the CGA after growing up nearby and imagining what it was like.
“Growing up so close we’ve all kind of been exposed to it,” said Taylor.
This six day program in July was like the football team’s hell week…times ten. The days were long and exhausting, beginning with a 5:30 a.m. wake up call of fists pounding on doors and lights out at 10 p.m.
Drills, running, pushups and training took place throughout the day. There were also opportunities to learn about CGA’s different majors and the college application process.
“It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’ve never felt more accomplished,” Parsons said of her experience at AIM.
Outside of the dorms, everything was all business. Minute details like silence, turning corners at 90 degree angles, and never looking down at food were all required.
Rising high school seniors are able to apply to the AIM program. It’s a taste of the real swab summer that is the seven weeks following high school graduation.
For Taylor, who’s interested in engineering, AIM was an experience where he got a better feel for what life at the Academy would be like.
“Everything is done as fast as you can,” said Taylor.
Parsons has strong familial ties to the Academy. Her brother is a junior and her dad Chris Parsons is the men’s soccer coach.
“They both had to have had great work ethic and perseverance to accomplish the goal of completing the week,” said Mr. Parsons.
AIM did a great job of showing Taylor what life is like as a cadet. It’s go, go, go all the time and there can be no clear end goal in mind.
Taylor is also applying to WPI, RPI and Dartmouth.
With dreams of becoming a helicopter pilot, the CGA is one Parsons’ top choices. Her other options include Columbia and Georgetown.
Parsons and Taylor have already applied to the CGA. Their early deadline was Oct. 15 as opposed to Nov. 1 for other schools.
This bold step toward the future was a unique opportunity of trying Academy life before becoming cadets for Parsons and Taylor.