Hey readers, I'm Luke and you probably already know what I'm here to blog about. I'm a sophomore at Norwich and part of the corps of cadets (you freshmen should be ready for an intense but rewarding first year). I went through Rookdom and Indoc for Ranger Company last year, so if you have any questions about either, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I was born and raised in Tucson, AZ, so I know what it's like for anyone who's especially homesick.
Summer is so much more awesome when you know you're going back to college 2800 miles away from your real home. You should be willing to take risks and pick up new hobbies during your off time (welding is super awesome). I won't bore you with every detail, but I'd like to share some advice on how to prepare for your first year at Norwich.
- Work out as much as you can, no one is so busy that they can't exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. You don't want to be the person in your platoon that is holding everyone else back, they're like your brothers and sisters, so treat them well.
- Work on being a team player. Everyone is coming to this school to learn how to be a leader, and that's great, but at this school we tend to have the problem of having "too many Chiefs, and not enough Indians." Be willing to follow your first year here, that's the purpose of it. You are broken so that you can be rebuilt into someone better.
- Don't be arrogant. You'll learn early on that you don't know very much. Use this year to master the basics, learn everything that your Cadre teach you and be above reproach. Don't make stupid mistakes, because everyone around you will pay for them.
- Take everything a step at a time. Whether that's dealing with homesickness, or just taking all of the crap you're given day-by-day, hour-by-hour, until you get those minutes after lights out to relax.
- Sleep. Speaking of free time, I know it will be tempting to screw around after lights out, but resist the urge, you can get caught and screw over your whole platoon if you aren't careful (especially if you have a window well). I don't know if it will be changed for your Freshman year, but we would get 7 hours of sleep, maximum, every night. Take advantage of that time. You'll need it.
- Find something to keep you here. Join a special unit, do band, a sport, something, otherwise you will quit because you have no reason to stay. You'll always have your Rook buddies, but you need more than that to keep you grounded. You will need something to take your mind off of the monotony of Rookdom.
So, in summary, good luck and stay strong. Enjoy the rest of your summer, maybe I'll see you around campus (and maybe at Ranger Indoc).
May the Force be with you,