You Know You Go To VMI When...

You Know You Go To VMI When...

Virginia Military Institute: A place filled with integrity, uniformity and these 7 things you just don’t get at a normal college.

To all of the Virginia Military Institute cadets both present and past — these are the things we all know to be true. You can try to explain VMI to outsiders, but at the end of the day, they just won't understand what our college life is like. And how it is so different from the typical college student. If you go to VMI, you know these seven things to be true.

1.) You Dread The Return

Whether it’s coming back from summer furlough, an enjoyable Thanksgiving break or a quick trip to JMU for the weekend, VMI has a unique way of making our stomach’s churn as we approach the castle like barracks. Yes, there always seems to be a pit deep in our stomach that lasts from the first view of house mountain all the way until we make it back to our room and then, poof, it dissipates as if we had never left. It doesn’t matter whether you are a rat or a first; each and every one of us has felt the shear anxiety of returning to The Mother I.

2.) You Are Rudely Awoken From Your Naps

While most college students take naps, at VMI it is both a rarity and a commonality to take a nap. You see, it’s very common to see people sleeping throughout the day in various, and rather unique places. However, the naps you see are rarely more than twenty minutes. We almost are at the point where we are drooling and then our door swings open and our inspector walks in the door. We are sitting at our desk taking detailed notes and then our notes on plant biodiversity turn into scribbles all down the page. Our minds begin playing a dream and suddenly we hear loud counting echoing into our rooms- “1, 2,3… one for F-Troop.”

3.) You See A Piece Of Paper On Your Desk And Get Instant Anxiety

There’s nothing worse than coming back from your class, walking in your door and spotting that white piece of paper just lying on your desk. “See me,” is written on it just to make your heart beat a little bit harder. Now instead of taking that useless nap, you have to throw on your Gray Blouse and make the walk to Com Staff’s Office, each step making you realize that instead of taking that trip to Tech, you will be making several trips in circles holding a rifle.

4.) A Weekend Is Actually Only 24 Hours, Or Less

Most college students finish their classes at 12 p.m. Friday afternoon, but not VMI cadets. We finish our classes, play dress up and walk across the parade deck, eagerly wait two hours for Tongs to deliver our food and then endure a painful 4-hour football game on Saturday afternoon before we are able to enjoy what’s left of our weekend. To most, it wouldn’t seem like it would be worth it to leave just for that short amount of time, but to us it is the only thing motivating us to make it through that week. Sure it may be 24 hours or less, but we can certainly say that we make the most of that time.

5.) The Only Partying You Do Involves A Lot Of Sweat And A Lot Of Yelling

Sweat parties, a long time tradition at VMI. Yes, these fifteen-minute workouts are both dreadful and exciting. While every other college student is gaining 15 pounds in alcohol, we are losing fifteen pounds of water weight. Whether they are thrown in Cocke Hall or in the Courtyard, at 5 a.m or 11:15 p.m., VMI by far throws the most unique parties.

6.) The Best Week Of The Semester Is Exam Week

For most, it’s the most stressful time of the year, but not on the hill. With a weeklong haydown, form-up, fall-out formations, no inspections, cheap pizza, unlimited study hours and Krispy Kreme deliveries, exam week is by far a fan favorite. Of course there is a little bit of panic about passing your exams, but at the end of the day, everyone can take it easy and focus solely on academics for once in that semester. Besides, exam week means that you are less than a week away from being away from school for a long while, so that in itself is motivation. Oh and did I mention Krispy Kreme deliveries?

7.) You Love Your Brother Rats More Than Anything

Sure, it’s hard going back to school; sure, it’s impossible to take a rejuvenating nap; sure, two-day weekends are basically unheard of, but no matter what, we have the absolute best group of people surrounding us all the time. The bond we make together is a bond that can never be broken and our BR's are our family. Each one of us has found at least one person here who has changed our lives for the better. And at the end of the day, no matter how tired we are or how hard our day was we all can look around and agree that we wouldn’t change it for anything.

Cover Image Credit: dpayne

Popular Right Now

The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.

When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.


Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!


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