It’s understandable that a sudden change in lifestyle may be difficult and traumatic, but starting to adjust your everyday habits is the best way to prepare yourself for the challenges ahead.
Sleep: The NU Corps lifestyle will be both physically and mentally challenging and draining. Being a teenager, it’s probably true that you stay up rather late. The best way to prevent over-exhaustion is to change your sleeping habits now. I don’t mean that you need to be asleep by 2200 hours starting tonight and every night at that. Despite popular belief, it is possible to be too well-rested. Sleeping too much has potential to cause the same effects as not sleeping enough. I suggest that you gradually modify the time you go to bed each week. For example, if you generally go to bed around 0100 hours, go to bed at 0030 this week, 0000 the following week, 2330 hours the next and so on and so forth. This way, your body will be able to adjust to an earlier bed time. In addition, try not to sleep in past 0800 now and 0700 closer to Rook Week. This will prevent a sudden shock and over-exhaustion in the challenging months ahead.
Eating Habits: Eating right is always important, but at times it can be difficult when some of your favorite treats are in the pantry this summer. Wean yourself off of fast food. It won’t be available to you on campus and it’s mostly empty calories anyway. It may be delicious, but no one wants cravings at 0200 hours. The most important thing to remember is that everything should be eaten in moderation. Fruits and vegetables are good for you, but natural sugars can be harmful in excess and nutrition from vegetables in only achieved through proper and full chewing. Vegetarians in the corps should be sure to intake large amounts of protein through foods such as eggs and bananas. A balanced meal with 2-3 food groups is generally your best bet for a meal. Here at Norwich, we have Fat Nasties....that would be desert, pizza, burgers, fries- genuinely unhealth stuff. Definitely attempt to wean yourself off of those now becasue they will not be your friend here. They are available, but your cadre will not like it and neither will your stomach during PT.
Physical Fitness: Being able to meet the Corps of Cadets fitness requirements is a must before Rook Week. It’s understandable that you might not be ready right now. The best way to shed pounds, build stamina, and meet standards is to gradually improve your fitness. In regards to running, I suggest that you do a 4-week plan. The first week, run ½ mile anywhere from 3-5 days a week. The second week you’d run 1 mile 3-5 days a week, 1 ½ miles the next, and finally 2 miles in the 4th week. Do what works for you by turning it into a shorter or longer plan by weeks or amount of mile/miles. This way, you may improve your fitness without over-tiring yourself. Be sure to run at least 3 times a week because consistency is vital to success. If you are having trouble with pushups, it’s most likely due to a lack in upper arm strength, core strength, or both. You can build both types of body strength through planks. For example, hold your body in a starting pushup position and hold it there for 60 seconds or 30 if you’re not quite there yet. You can modify this position by planking on your elbows and forearms instead (this is slightly easier). Again, working on these exercises over time is the best way to improve your skills while preventing injury.
Good luck prospects!
I've noticed that many of us have a lot of free time and I'm sure many of you have
discovered that it can be a negative thing. I highly recommend that everyone goes
out for some sort of Specialty Unit, sport, or club. Norwich has hundreds of
opportunities that many other universities do not offer. Being busy is fantastic
because it gives you zero tie to procrastinate and sit around. Obviously academics
are (or should be) everyone's first priority, but I can guarantee that as a Rook
you have plenty of time to go out for Rangers, MCW, Drill Company, Band, CAV, NAB,
Spec Ops, or one of the plethora of clubs offered here at NU. I highly suggest that
you all at least try to fill your free time with something constructive. Personally,
I have decided to go through Drill Company Training as well as join the Soccer and
Robotics Clubs. Like I said, being busy keeps you from sitting around and procrastinating,
but don't take on more than you can handle. Try out for special units and join clubs one
at a time, so as not to overload your system. Do what works for you, but if your academics
slip, definitely seek help from the AAC and speak with the head of whatever activities
you have/will join. Remember that we're all here for opportunity, but we are students
before anything else!