Summertime was my favorite season as a kid. The sun would shine, the colors were vibrant, and school was out until Labor Day! However, in 2009 I found myself enrolled in the Randolph-Macon Academy summer school program.
For the next four weeks I would be retaking Spanish II and Chemistry while my friends back home were enjoying their summer breaks. It was a decision strongly encouraged by my parents that I, like any teenager in love with summer, reluctantly obliged.
Summer school at a military academy? Could my life get any worse? As a matter of fact, my life got better and my preconceived notions of summer school at R-MA began to fade.
The Student Life Supervisors in the dorms were friendly, the teachers provided much needed clarity towards their subjects, there was a complete absence of a military environment, and the weekend activities were a blast. They took us to water parks, swimming pools, bowling alleys, movie theatres, and amusement parks. Anything that could keep a teenager in their formidable years entertained.
The end of July told a different story than the beginning. I had made a complete turnaround in my attitude and more importantly my studies. I developed a new group of friends who I keep in touch with to this day and received A’s in both Spanish II and Chemistry. As a result, R-MA invited me to join their corps of cadets for the fall of 2009.
I was hesitant to accept their invitation. Was this school the right fit for me? Could I handle the military component and being away from home? Well, my curiosity got the best of me, so I enrolled and became a Yellow Jacket my junior year of high school.
I was more than able to handle the transition. Living in the dorms with my new classmates was, to my surprise, a lot of fun. The amount of memories and inside jokes we shared together were too many to count. In fact, my junior went so well I decided to come back to R-MA for my senior year.
Twenty-two months after a rough beginning on the R-MA campus, I found myself walking across the stage of their gymnasium with a diploma and five college acceptances.