my opinions on “signs you’re dating a west point cadet”

2 Oct

my first opinion is: she doesn’t even go here.

dear world,

a few days ago, i was alerted by one of the facebook groups i follow, the long gray memes, that a cadet girlfriend had made a youtube video about dating a cadet and they titled it “signs you WERE dating a west point cadet” :

so of course, i watched it, and cringed. and i commented on her video, “I both dated and was a cadet, so I think I can safely say this doesn’t need to be a video.” which in the past 24 hours it was brought to my attention she deleted, along with all of the other “negative” comments on her video. and unfortunately she also took off the thumbs up/down counter, and for the record there were many more down than up thumbs.

ALERT: miss rachel is adorable, and seems like a super sweet person, but this is also the internet and i am entitled to my opinion, which will be shared below:

MY CREDENTIALS (to have a valid opinion on this matter):

i was a cadet at the united states military academy from 2008 until 2012 when i graduated with honors with a bachelors degree in psychology. i was on the crew team for my first two years, and then the sandhurst team my last two. i was in company c-1 as a plebe and yuk:

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at my very first army navy, plebe year in december of 2008, with some class of 2012 crusaders!

and h-3 as a cow and firstie (go hurricanes!):

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hugging one of my professors following graduation in may 2012!

i cherish my time as a cadet. the hudson valley in new york is breathtakingly beautiful, i loved what i studied and wrote my thesis in positive psychology, and living next door to your best friends is amazing and i miss them all dearly. of course, i didn’t exactly feel that way when i was a cadet, because as rachel pointed out – we were on a short leash and were often very very busy. but hey, that’s the cadet life, and the structure of west point has helped me greatly during my time in the army. so there’s step one: i was a cadet. and with that, a lady cadet, which means we had the pleasure of dealing with our classmates’ girlfriends. as you can imagine, it’s a strange dynamic. we spent most of our days side by side with their boyfriends, standing beside them in formation, helping them with problem sets – but the moment it’s a class weekend we were treated like second class citizens by the girlfriends – i mean it’s tough, we actually understood what kind of pressure their boyfriends were under, in a world so strange. they would ask us “do you really have to use this bathroom every day?” yes, we know our bathrooms are disgusting, but they’re all we have, please don’t judge what can only be judged by us. they say, “oh! you’re so pretty… for a cadet.” what does that even mean? “are you even allowed to have your nails done?” “is it hard to keep a boyfriend?” “do you feel like a girl in your uniform?” of course we envied their flowing locks, while ours were trapped in a bun, we envied their clothes, lipstick, all of the things that we could not have… because we were busy serving our nation and living a uniformed life.

the second way in which my opinion is relevant is that shortly after i graduated, i started dating a member of the class of 2013, which means i got to experience a year of “dating a west point cadet.” and for the record, the only camouflaged things i collected were the uniforms and gear in my closet. (fast forward two years, and i am now engaged to that cadet!)

MY OPINIONS:

  1. i understand that it is sad not to hear from your guy/gal every single waking moment of the day, but it is going to be so much worse when they are deployed to a place with shoddy if any wifi or telephone service. that short 1 minute phone call you prided yourself with being enough to get you by, will be the longest and happiest minute of your life when you are separated by oceans and deserts.
  2. don’t even get me started on “army wives.” (another disclaimer: my mom is/was an army wife, and as a family we don’t think it accurately portrays the life of an army family at all)
  3. we didn’t say hooah at west point, it was a joke, and reserved for being sarcastic or condescending at whatever briefing or situation we were in. granted that could have changed in the past few years. (in the real army it has an actual meaning)
  4. i spent over five minutes of my life listening to her hero-worship her fiance/cadet and pride herself for all of the things that she has to deal with just to be in a long distance relationship. in those five minutes i didn’t learn a thing about who this girl actually is. i know a lot about her fiance though. his love of care packages, of using military terminology, him not being deported, etc (yes, yes, i read her newly posted summary of the video on youtube, and this video is, in fact, a joke! shocker!) but this is my second biggest point with this video: i absolutely am not ok with people’s identities being made up of the person that they are with. we are in a time and age where your partner/spouse/fiance is not who you are. you can be your very own person! this youtube channel seems to have been created for the broadcasting of this video (there’s a second video now which is also about dating west point style? i didn’t watch it lol). i would be a lot more comfortable if there were other videos about her hobbies, her accomplishments, her life, but instead i get the feeling that the only accomplishment she has in her eyes is that she is engaged to a west point cadet. great women in the past have fought for our right to be our own person and pursue our own dreams, not be chained to the person we marry and steal their identity!! equality! feminism! come on!!
  5. and here is my main take away from this video: every single person in the world has some sort of cross or burden that they struggle with daily. being in a long distance relationship isn’t one to whine about. people struggle every day trying to find their soul mate and fall in true, lovely love. you should be grateful you have that! yes yes, i read your disclaimers, and i know this is all was a “joke,” but many people have dated west point cadets and they didn’t feel the need to bring attention on themselves. i guess i’m being a hypocrite, bringing attention to myself here, but i’m sure this post will get the solid 30 views my others get and not the 25,000+ that hers did.

in closing, rachel, if you’re reading this, i hope i didn’t hurt your feelings, i was just a little upset you deleted my comment, and also wanted to share with you how i felt about your video, and i’m sure i’m not the only one!

xoxo,
annie

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5 Responses to “my opinions on “signs you’re dating a west point cadet””

  1. Kelley October 3, 2014 at 1:45 am #

    YEP. Oh Annie, you classy, classy soul. You said this so much more kindly than I ever could have.

  2. Ashley Liggett November 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    I’m not sure how I came across this, but I watched the video. You and I share similar sentiments in the sense that I watched her video, and the only thing I learned about her was that her significant other went to West Point. Don’t get me wrong, my husband went to WP. So I understand the pride she much feel. (Disclaimer: my husband and I did not meet until after he graduated, so I have no idea what dating a cadet actually entails). We’ve also been married for 5 years, so the new “oh, look at my fancy boo thang!” Has totally worn off. But also, I sense insecurity there. Is she not proud of her own accomplishments? That makes me kind of sad. She seems young. Hopefully she will grow out of it. And develop her own identity. Id much rather watch a YouTube video with her own experiences in college than those of her boyfriend!
    As for army wives, I’ve never met a crazy one. Then again, I live 30 minutes from ft. Campbell. I’m sure the closer to base you get, the more crazies there are. Anyhow, I feel confident that she will outgrow this thing. Kind of confident.
    Also, the fact that she deleted negative comments allows her maturity level to show. So I tried to not judge her too harshly. Though, judge her I did. Shit. And now, somehow, I feel horrible. Dagnabbit.

    • Anastasia Kristina November 9, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

      ashley, i’m glad i’m not the only one to feel this way about her post. and i really do hope she outgrows this stage as well! also, i work on campbell! and i also live like 30 minutes from base haha it’s nice to be out in the country a little and away from it all. anyway, don’t feel horrible! but thanks for reading!

  3. rkw10 December 10, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    Well it took a couple months but I came across your post. You are obviously entitled to your own opinion, but maybe if you watched my other videos you would have a different opinion. My identity is not at all made up of being a west point girlfriend, although it is something that I do deal with. I very much have my own life and want to accomplish my own goals. But I am getting married to someone in the army so it does affect my life and personally I just felt like there wasn’t a voice for the family members or spouses of people in the military. Not at all saying that I am qualified to be that voice, but despite the negative comments a lot of girls who were struggling in their relationships reached out to me and I have been able to support and encourage some people I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to help otherwise. I also write a blog if my videos don’t give you a different perspective of my life. If you choose not to read it or watch my other videos then that is fine, but I think you got the wrong impression. Best of luck to you and your fiance.

    • Anastasia Kristina December 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      thanks so much for replying! and as i stated, my post was just about your video – you’re right i haven’t watched any other of your videos, nor do i intend on it. i’m glad you’re able to help others! i think your video just struck a chord since i’m in the weird situation of being in the army and also my then boyfriend, now fiance being at west point, and now being in the army as well. so i see both sides! all of us girls from school have a very strong opinion on this sort of thing. but anyway, i hope you’re well and are having a lovely holiday season!

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