One of the questions I most commonly get asked is, "What's it like being a woman at USNA?" Inspired by this, I asked my fellow ladies about their Naval Academy experiences, specifically, what they felt you'd only understand if you were a woman. Their responses to this question are as follows. Welcome to our world.
1. Never being comfortable when flying home on leave or traveling in uniform because your bun is constantly in the way.
2. When someone accidentally bumps you in King Hall and they hit your bun
3. General lack of pockets in every single uniform
4. People from home constantly bringing up that you're "surrounded by soooooo many hot guys" but not understanding that, after you do plebe summer with them, you'll never ever look at them like that
5. Periods in whites
6. Walking down Stribling and hearing a group of tourists shout, "Oh look, it's a girl one!"
7. Going to BMU for a cold and being told it's most likely because you're pregnant
8. Mandatory STD tests that void your prescriptions if you don't take them
9. Guys inviting themselves to stick their finger in your bun if you're wearing a sock bun
10. The drama that is room assignments
11. Wearing civvies and then suddenly everyone remembers you're actually a girl
12. When your family says you look cute in your uniform but you actually look like a 12-year-old boy
13. When you take your bra off at night but still have to sign taps, so you have to sign taps and have to somehow hide your boobs on the way there
14. Having to wear your hair up so often that you suffer from permanent headaches
15. When you're a plebe and the biggest compliment anyone can tell you is that your hair is looking longer
16. Hearing "I didn't recognize you with your hair down"
17. Having to thaw your hair out in class because you just got done swimming and it froze on the way there
18. Getting mistaken for a flight attendant if you wear your SDB skirt in an airport
19. Skirt or slacks: the eternal battle
20. When your hair's too long to keep down, but too short to keep up
21. Uniforms that assume you're a flat square
22. Needing help getting sports bras on during plebe summer because there's never enough time and there's always too much sweat
23. Going to the midstore for tampons and they give you a clear bag for them so everyone can see what you've got going on this week
24. Picking what you think is a very light pink for your nails, but it turns out way darker so you have to hide yourself from officers for a week
25. Walking around the mall as a plebe or youngster with a Starbucks cup in one hand and a Victoria's Secret bag in the other
26. Putting on your whites and then realizing ten minutes later that your underwear aren't skin toned and praying that nobody will notice
27. Discovering new ways to leave class while carrying a tampon because literally nothing fits in those tiny napkin pockets
28. When your bright phone case sticks out of those tiny napkin pockets during NMF
29. Catching the heel of your SDB shoes in the Stribling bricks
30. Sitting at a table full of guys in King Hall and never getting any food
31. Being asked a million times if you're almost done with the squat rack in MacD
32. Going out in DTA with your guy friends and having people ask them to take pictures with them and not you
SEE ALSO: To The Female Youth Of America
33. Being issued uniform trousers that are essentially the equivalent of mom jeans but without any decent pocket space
34. That god-awful haircut you have to get for plebe summer that is captured permanently in your CAC photo
35. When old grads write negative comments every time a photo of a woman/women gets posted on the Naval Academy's Facebook page, but when a photo of a man doing the same thing gets posted, they're all positive
36. Having awesome friends and a great network of strong and incredible women both at the Academy and in the fleet
A big big thank you to all the ladies who answered my questions on Facebook. Without you, this article wouldn't have been possible.
"The views expressed, [in this article] reflect personal opinions of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Naval Academy, the United States Navy, any federal agency, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.”