And I'm Up!
This early morning routine isn’t easy, but I wake up by diving
into my Bible study. Afterward, I turn on some fast-paced music
while I do my hair to mentally prepare for the training ahead.
A pre-sunrise salute.
I fall into formation on the Quad and am brought to life by cadets
shouting “campusologies.” Those who fail this campus history test
get a round of pushups in before standing at attention again. We
salute the flag, and the Corps Commander releases us to our
squadron commanding officer. I join Squadron 21 to begin our
This McDunc is mine!
I’m on a new mission: get my hands on a McDunc—Duncan Dining Hall’s
version of a McMuffin—before they run out. Breakfast sandwich
victoriously in hand, I head for my usual serving line and am
greeted by Ms. Elaine, who has served cadets like me for 40 years.
The food doesn’t taste like my mom’s cooking, but this woman has a
motherly way about her that makes me feel at home. Speaking of
mothers, I put my pull-out name, “Quad Mom,” to good use during
training chow as I drill freshman cadets on their day, current
events or training improvements.
Nap? Yes, please.
Back to my dorm for a quick shower and re-bag (post-formation
nap). An hour later, I pull my hair back in the second bun of the
Dressed for success.
I enter my first class in my Bravos and properly shined shoes.
It’s time to focus on leadership and political science to earn my
international studies degree through the Bush School of Government
and Public Service. My next step: hopefully get accepted into its
international affairs master’s program before enlisting in the
Marines to attend Officer Candidates School.
Hold on to your Cholula!
I return to Duncan on the hunt for something new: a bottle of
Cholula hot sauce to spice up my typical grilled chicken and
veggies lunch. Like the McDuncs, Cholula is a hot commodity (pun
intended) and disappears fast. I look forward to this part of the
day, enjoying camaraderie with my buddies.
I am not a spy.
Time for my favorite and most challenging course of the day:
Russian. Very few students pursue a minor in Russian like me, so I
am instantly greeted by a small group I’ve learned with since I
was a freshman.
Another wardrobe change.
Extracurriculars are starting, so it’s time for another wardrobe
change. If today were Monday or Wednesday, I’d be heading to Ross
Volunteers practice, but Thursday means I’m suiting up for Corps
women’s soccer practice.
Game on, girls.
I join my fellow Corps women on the field, glad I listened to an
epic movie soundtrack on my drive to Penberthy to relax my mind
and prepare for the technical soccer drills and scrimmage
ahead. We are fortunate to have a senior cadet volunteering as our
coach, and we all respect her for the work and time she puts into
the team to make sure we’re ready for our weekend matches.
Reporting for duty.
Reporting to the Susan and Michael J. Plank ’83 Leadership
Learning Center as a student assistant, I hope for a quiet night
to give me time to focus on my studies.
Exhausted but fulfilled, I walk across the eerily quiet Quad to my
dorm where I plop down my backpack, brush my teeth, and change
into my PT gear to get ready to roll out of bed and do it all