Blake Gorman ’13, Eagle Reporter
As an MMA cadet, I get homesick on occasion because I miss my family back at home. But there are ways that I cope with homesickness. Almost every cadet here gets homesick, whether you are an international or American student, new or old boy; there are a number of ways for you to cope with homesickness. One example can be found in your cadet handbook on page 19. There is a list of steps that you can take to feel better about yourself while you are away from home. It’s very common for cadets to experience extreme homesickness. The farther away from home you are, the worse it can be. But before you get to that point, perhaps consider talking to someone about it, take a deep breath, and realize that the person to your left and right are most likely experiencing the same thing if not worse.
The worst period of time that homesickness can come upon us is right when school begins and also when we come back after Christmas break. The time we spend with our families over the summer and around the holidays can contribute to our longing for home. Another reason we can come down with homesickness is when we hear of something important or significant happening at home, such as a sick relative or family birthday. But I always have to remember that my family is proud of me for being here. This academy will make you a better man than you could ever imagine being. We may be away, but maybe being away for some time can make us stronger men.
Middle school cadets can definitely feel homesickness because they’re still at a point where they are not as old as high school students and can have a tougher time getting used to being at MMA. Whenever I was in middle school, I couldn’t bear being without my mother for a seven-hour day at school. You don’t see your mother when you are here. But try to stay strong – I know it’s hard but stay positive. Talk to older boys and listen to how they deal with being away from home. One middle school cadet said he goes old school and writes letters to home instead of emails. He says he wants his family to know that he is doing fine here, and that he cannot wait for them to visit. But he added that he believes if he keeps working through it then he will be better prepared for the future.
There are other types of home sicknesses we can experience. Perhaps in addition to missing our families there are also times when we can be insecure of being here. But just as there are ways to get through missing our families, we can also do things to make ourselves more comfortable here. For example, faculty members are there to help you. They will find ways to make you secure. There is always that faculty member that every cadet goes to. I like to talk with the nurses in the Cadet Clinic if I’m going through difficult times. One high school cadet I spoke with said he feels better sometimes after sitting down and having a conversation with CPT Moffitt. There are times when you may believe faculty is making you feel insecure. They will not harm you in any way shape or form. They are here to help you along your way on the path to college and our future. They are willing to help you become a better man.
The main thing about MMA is what you make of it. You can both hang your head down and be negative everywhere you go or you can work to get past that, excel, and get involved. There are many extracurricular activities that take place at MMA. For example, I am involved in six different clubs and organizations: The Eagle, Raiders, Honor Guard, Drama, Chapel Worker, and Railsplitters. If you stay positive and explore your options, you will make it through and you will like the results. Improving your physical, academic, emotional, personal, or spiritual lives will set you on the right path of where you need to be.
Just remember these words as your fundamental advice for the future, “I will not lie, cheat, or steal and I will correct others that do.”