However, as soon as the end of senior year hit-- I realized something... I found the idea of going into a top tier college and working my butt of there and then having to go to graduate school having to work my butt of there... and having to work and work and work for the rest of my life-- completely... just BLAH. I just did not and refused to do it. My life was not like that. I was lost. I decided to take the year off. What a waste... Still having reservations about college-- I went to an Air Force recruiter. My paperwork was in the process when an Army recruiter contacted me and I realized the Army was something I was looking for.
I enlisted and then freaked out. Will I survive Basic Training? Don't get me wrong, I had a hard time with the running and the PT. But after a while I realized it was fun. I remember one day-- we were going to do the gas chamber. It was raining so hard. We were soaking wet, uniforms all mudddy, and I was freezing. We were standing under a roof that barely shielded us from the rain, and I remember thinking to myself-- wow, I could be at home sleeping right now... warm. I look back now and I realize that no-- if I had to do it again I would. Remembering the times spent with my battle buddies being "smoked," road marching, conducting "barracks maintenance," I realize I would not trade it for a seat in my dream college (Brown University).
I can barely remember how civilian life felt like-- I barely remember my old self. But what I do remember myself-- I remember someone who took everything for granted, someone who had no back bone, someone who didn't think she could make anything, or do anything. Someone who didn't believe in herself. Having come out of Basic Training-- I realize that I CAN do everything and anything I want. I still cannot believe I made it through Basic, but I remember my Drill Sergeant telling me that if I really want it-- I can have it. Before I can barely run 1/8 of a mile... now I can run 1, 2, 3, 4, 5-- I can keep going.
It's an experience that is out of the ordinary. Not everyone will have a chance to live what I have... but I did. And if anyone is thinking about it... why not try?