The Deep Breath Before the Plunge

Photo Credit OCdt Khalypenko

The Sprint Becomes the Marathon

Article by 25366 Anna-Michelle Shewfelt 

One of the things I noticed being back for my first Reunion Weekend in six years is that there still comes a moment, early Sunday afternoon, when the College as a whole seems to take a deep breath. RMC is naturally a very high-energy environment and FYOP (the First Year Orientation Period) only makes it more so. Reunion Weekend, with all the family and friends who come to visit, takes that energy to another level entirely. And then come Sunday, not long after the morning parade, all those people are just…gone. FYOP is over.

While the First Year Orientation Period, as the name implies, is primarily concerned with the new First Years, it impacts pretty much everyone on the peninsula in one way or another. If you’re one of those lucky enough to room anywhere near the First Years in the Squadron lines, for example, you’ve been waking up with them whether you want to or not. And if you happen to sleep with your window open, as most will do in Kingston this time of year, you’ve likely been woken up early at least once by the sound of pounding feet and drill commands as the First Years went through their morning routine.

One of the College chaplains mentioned it over Reunion Weekend, that while FYOP is a sprint an RMC career is a marathon. FYOP is, for lack of a better word, disruptive. I remember not really being able to settle into a routine until it was over. But now that it is over, Cadets can settle into that routine, a routine which will remain more or less the same from one week to the next until the end of the Winter semester next year. And that’s not to say things get any easier from here on out. For the Class of 2022 in particular the “marathon” will mean having to adapt and adjust to a pace of life that is likely still beyond anything they’ve ever experienced. And it won’t slow down anytime soon.