What do you usually do at 0540 on a Monday morning?
When I was a cadet-student-athlete I was on my way to my first practice of the day. By 0745 I already had some miles on my
legs, went to an accountability formation, mandatory breakfast, and was getting myself prepared for my first class of the day. By 2300 I will have went through another practice, a full day of classes, another accountability formation at lunch, and would be finishing up studying for the night. What is the point im trying to make? As a cadet-student-athlete you have to be dedicated and commited.The point of this blog is not to instill a fear or hardship with being an academy athlete, but to inform you of what i have taken away from this amazing experience.
Now, as an alumni, I couldn’t be more grateful for the value and meaning I took from these early mornings and late nights. Although it is a rigorous lifestyle with plenty of ups and down’s, I learned to appreciate everything from my college education to a simple cup of coffee.My fondest memories and most hellish nightmares have come from these days. I made lifelong friends, was a leader, a role model, and most of all a student in the class room and out. For any aspiring cadet-student-athlete or current, I would give one simple piece of advice…learn something from anyone. It will add that much more value and understanding to yourself as a person and the world around you.Even as a leader you are a student, you can always learn from those around you, which can make you that much more of an effective leader and individual. Your experience (and this is for any athleader) is based on how much elbow grease you are willing to give to your team and the program you represent.
I heard a quote once, during one of my officer’s meetings…”you should judge your career by how much better you make the people around you…not just how much better you make yourself.” I suppose this is a good note to end on as some more of my blogs will be more recruiting specific. However, I just wanted to share with all the athleaders out there what I learned as a student athlete at the Citadel.
-Paul “P.J.” Wasilchak
Paul graduated from the Citadel Military College in May, as a Bulldog he was a four year letter winner in cross country, Southern Conference Academic All-Conference Team, Team Captain his senior year and competed in the 2008 NCAA Division I regional cross country championships…he held the ranks of cadet corporal, cadet sergeant, and cadet captain during his career at The Citadel