The Emotional Side of Challenge

The word “homesick” seems too measly a term to the distress one feels while beginning life at OYCP. You are ripped from everything familiar and plunged into a brand new world where you have no choice but to march instead of walk, “utilize” instead of pee and “consume” in ten minutes instead of eat at your own pace. It’s a complete 180 lifestyle turnaround. You aren’t accustomed to the militaristic environment. You get loads of strange acronyms thrown at you like SOP and D-FAC, and you haven’t been waking up at 6am every single morning. There are brusque leaders called cadre shouting at every turn. Then there’s P.T. and I.T., physical training and incentive training. Running the dusty mile course and being in a hot and dry climate leaves you feeling more inadequate than when you started and you wonder if you are really going to make it. Not just through the mile, but through the whole program. You’re also required to maintain bearing, the total lack of facial expressions and complete professionalism. You don’t have freedom to roam about as you please. Yet, as you progress through the program, you start to see positive changes happening. Little things are transforming here and there, like the muscles in your arms and legs feel stronger. You start accommodating to the routine and learning how to adapt. Waking up early isn’t so much a burden anymore as much as a way of life. You might even start to love the structure. When you begin to see how you are becoming an improved individual, it motivates you to work even harder. Ultimately, there are many ups and downs here at OYCP, but the hardships change us for the better.

Although we get homesick, there are also more emotional tests at OYCP. One of the main tests is having a leadership position. Each cadet gets the chance to have a leadership position, whether it is a team leader, squad leader, K.P. leader or even the Cadet Platoon Leader. The emotional test comes when you have to correct your fellow cadets, or when you have to call someone out in front of everyone. As K.P. Leader, Cadet Christy has stress having the responsibility of a boss in the kitchen. “It’s stressful as K.P. leader for a couple reasons. It’s hard to keep everyone going in their jobs, or at least keeping them motivated to not cut corners.” Christy also comments that making timelines and safety are also high priorities. “Timelines are a great way to motivate cadets to get the job done. It’s hard when people don’t give effort, but it’s a great when we accomplish something as a team.” Being a leader takes strength and determination. We learn not only to be a leader but a team player at OYCP. 

With break only 10 days away, emotions are running high! Everyone is so excited and spirits are going up as the days go by. Our next individual awards is coming up. The next drill and ceremony competition is coming up and with it starts the buildup of pressure for all the Cadet Platoon Leaders. Also, all the platoons will be voting for our new student government today. Really cool to hear from all the cadets and what they are going to do for the platoons. Again only 10 more days until break, so be ready and be planning to hang out with us as much as possible!

By; Cadets Boyce, Kasmeyer, and Holden