“I would have never expected you to do something like this.” – Francis N.
This past week was the Class of 2015 Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets New Cadet Week (NCW), or what I call “Hell Week”. More than four hundred incoming cadets signed in last Saturday, zeroed their heads, and got right into the nitty-gritty of freshman year in the Corps. We learned how to make our racks (beds), march, properly assemble our uniforms, and witnessed the Corps’ Regimental Band, the Highty Tighties.
From the physical expectations of PT to the structured and disciplined meals, formation, and amount of facts and statements we had to memorize, it goes without saying that the week was unbelievably challenging and literally one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I found myself constantly screwing up complicated acts such as my cadre’s rank and rifle practice to the simple gestures such as marches, commands, and uniform. Additionally, we were stripped from all things electronic, so I was slowly going insane from the absence of a cell phone or watch (and I’m still reaping the effects). I’m glad I “survived’ it, but it’s a working progress.
The ending event to NCW was the annual New Cadet Parade where all of the new Cadets display their [basic] rifle skills and swear an oath into the VTCC. The event went well except for my cover (hat); it was entirely too small and absolutely clenching my big head. Other than that the parade was a huge success. I spent the rest of the weekend with my family eating out and shopping for last minute supplies before they left later that evening. It was refreshing seeing them (and having my electronics back) and I can’t wait to visit in November!
My favorite part about New Cadet Week was the dining periods, also known as Chow Time. Shultz (the dining hall) is the only place I’ve ever eaten on campus and it was this week that I finally believed the hoopla about the extraordinary food at Virginia Tech. I got every item I could fit on my tray so I could quietly indulge in my seat (front six inches of course). Next to Chow time on the list of NCW highlights would probably be the rappel tower on the other side of campus, which is a sixty foot (?) column New Cadets descend from to “overcome their fears as they step over the edge into nothingness”. Here the phrase, “Like a Boss!” was born as we cheered for our fellow buds as they slowly dropped from the top of the tower.
Overall I’m glad to be back in school and learning again. I’m excited to meet some new students and to see what this school year will bring. As a transfer, starting in a new school is not easy but I’m glad I have new buds to push through with. ONE-FIVE!