Category Archives: Cadet Chat

Roommates & Friends at NMMI

By: Cadet Hailey Betancourt

Being assigned a roommate is a scary situation. What if I hate her? What if she’s messy? What if we don’t get along? These are all situations I contemplated when I first arrived for matriculation. For my first week at NMMI, I had a room all to myself, which I thoroughly enjoyed because I had always shared a room with my sister at home. Then on a random afternoon, I heard the door knob turn and in walked a complete stranger; my roommate, Juliet.

We said our introductions and she began to unpack her belongings. It was awkward and quiet. I didn’t know what to say, so I sat at my desk and started to read my blue book. For the first few weeks, our conversations were limited to asking for help on making our beds and helping each other braid our hair.

I had established a group of friends in our troop and she was friends with some of them, so we started to hang out more outside of our room. This led to inside jokes, having a “secret” handshake, and building a strong friendship.

Living together was never perfect, especially not in the beginning. I would always complain to our friends that she was messy and never kept her side of the room clean. As our friendship grew, Juliet later told me that she and her mother had a nickname for me, Miss Perfection, because I was so high strung the first month and wanted to make sure that I was doing everything perfectly. That’s not a bad thing, but it was the opposite of Juliet who was a bit more relaxed.

Living with Juliet has taught me that being successful roommates does not mean that you must be the same in every single way, but that you both must compromise and make adjustments so that you both are comfortable in the space that you share.

If someone told me in the beginning that Juliet and I would be each other’s right-hand man and lifelong friends, I would have never believed them. But somehow, we have become like sisters; always supporting each other and never judging one another. NMMI has a way of allowing people to form the strongest of bonds. Each cadet who goes here is experiencing a life that many our age could not fathom, which in turn makes us rely on one another for support and guidance. I will forever be thankful for the Institute and the people I have met here for showing me what truly matters in life: knowledge, friendships, and family.


Gaining Work Experience at NMMI

By: Cadet Alejandro Rojas

I’ve been at NMMI since I was a sophomore in high school, and I am currently a freshman in college. I always knew that here at the institute I had the opportunity to work in different places, such as the ropes course, the admissions office, or being a life guard at the pool in the gym.  I also knew that I could get my first work experience and make some money for my personal expenses throughout my time here.

My third year here, when I was a senior, I decided to apply for a job at the admissions office. I was hired and started working right away. This was one of the best decisions I made during my time at NMMI, and I wish I would’ve done it sooner. I have the opportunity to go into the admissions office during my free periods and do several things in the office. I help the high school and college counselors with whatever they need, as well as assisting the data processors by making and sorting files.

We do plenty of things in the office, like making packages that are sent out to prospective students who are interested in attending the school. We also give tours to families who come to see the campus throughout the school year, so they can hear from the cadets about how life is here at the Institute. Also, we promote the school on social media. I have my own account on Instagram dedicated to posting pictures related to the school and events that we have so others can see what is happing at the school.

I have had the opportunity to work with fellow cadets, as well as faculty members who have been very supportive to all cadets, including myself, who help out in the office. Being able to work here has given me the chance to help my parents back home by letting them save some money, since I don’t always have to ask them for money, aside from the tuition. Like I mentioned, my only regret is not doing it sooner.

I am very grateful towards this school and the people in the admissions office for the opportunity to gain some work experience before and during college, as well as a monthly source of income. This has helped me out quite a bit since I have enough money to go out in Roswell with my friends to enjoy some nice food, as well as to go on road trips on the weekends to visit friends in other places in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas.


Females at a Military School: What Makes Us Special

By: Cadet Kayla Sisneros

Attending an almost all-male boarding school is no easy feat for a young woman. The female cadets of the New Mexico Military Institute are some of the toughest ladies you will ever meet. Standards for us are no different or lesser than those for the males, which makes the women feel equal, and just as determined to strive for excellence. NMMI females are strong, patient, and most of all, one in the same with those around them. Walking into the Hagerman Barracks my first day, I looked around at the girls who would become my family, close friends, and lifeline while going to school here. We are more than just girls who go to military school, we are a sisterhood and a remarkable group of young women reaching for the stars.

Many of us females at NMMI did not plan on attending a predominantly male institution. For the majority of us, this is just one step toward accomplishing some of life’s biggest goals, like an appointment to the Air Force Academy, making the Olympic team, or even a sports scholarship to a Division I program. Sports, ROTC, high school prep, and US Service Academy prep are just a few of the things that brought us to this school. The one thing all of us have in common is that we can and will make the most of our time here. While it may not be easy, we power through struggles like enormous homework loads, long trips across the country for sports, and spending much of the summer training to serve our great nation.

The women of New Mexico Military Institute are above average, and nothing short of hard working. Most teenage girls growing up probably cannot picture themselves dealing with the stress, judgement, and overwhelming responsibility that comes with being an Institute cadet. Those who take this journey are some of the toughest young women in the world. We sacrifice so much to get to where we want to be in this world, and it is not always easy. Just ask any female cadet attending NMMI right now. They will tell you that coming here changed their life and prepared them for real world struggles. While the average teenage girl might spend school nights out with friends or working a job, female cadets spend their evenings doing hours of homework, studying with a group, or receiving tutoring. How many girls can you think of that could do all of that for twelve semesters?

Moreover, Institute ladies are spectacular young people who defeat the odds, never give up, and deal with a lot more stress than most people know. Being held to the same standards as the young men we attend school with, the days here at NMMI are anything but sunshine and rainbows. To have what it takes to be a successful female cadet here at the Institute, one must persevere, be patient, and continue to shoot for the stars.



Etiquette Dinners at NMMI

By: Cadet Jose Robles

At New Mexico Military Institute, they teach us academic, athletic, and military education, but what many do not know is that they also teach etiquette. Once a year, we have a class on etiquette where they teach you how to behave and act when attending a formal event. This class is then followed by a dinner where you get graded on applying etiquette skills that you were just taught. This dinner is a great opportunity for cadets to learn etiquette skills and learn know how to behave in formal situations. Using the etiquette skills that you have learned shows that you understand discipline in a more civilian environment.

For this dinner, we dress up in our fanciest uniform and attend a dinner with great food and entertainment with our troop and squadron peers. This dinner is done twice a year, the first semester on a troop level, and the second semester it is done on a squadron level. This is a NMMI tradition that has been going on for many years. It is a great opportunity to learn the Institute’s traditions, because a lot of the traditions are included in the dinner. We also usually have a guest speaker who gives incredible talks. This year, the Sheriff of the county gave an incredible speech about self-realization.  This is a mandatory activity that every cadet must attend.

This is a unique activity that the Institute offers to help cadets become successful. I recommend this dinner a lot because it has taught me many etiquette skills that I never knew existed. It also has forged me into the leader I am today. I feel like this has given me additional leadership skills that I can use to go out into the world and demonstrate my values, leadership, and education to society and hopefully, improve and address many of society’s problems.

New Mexico Military Institute is a great school that offers cadets the means to develop an infinite number of tools they can use to go out into the world and lead, but most importantly make a change in this world. I came here for an education, and I am graduating from this prestigious Institute with more than just a good GPA or ACT/SAT score. I also have learned moral values, great leadership skills, and an outstanding sense of discipline.

How to Manage Your Time at NMMI

By: Cadet Boyd Kapalamoto

A typical day for Cadets at New Mexico Military Institute begins at 06:30 hours. Cadets clean their rooms, making their rooms ready for inspection at any time during the day, take morning attendance and march to breakfast with their respective troops, and then they prepare for class at 07:50. Time is one of the most precious resources a student has, shaping the outcome of academic and career success. Fortunately, the unique opportunities offered at New Mexico Military Institute begin to shape the skills and habits of a cadet that will stay with him/her for the remainder of his/her life. Perhaps the most crucial steps in time management involve establishing goals and following a schedule. At New Mexico Military Institute, we have a schedule that is carefully laid out for students and designed to give them the best possible results from their education. For instance, NMMI’s daily schedules, including morning tutoring, office hours for instructors, sports, and mandatory study time, offer a supportive environment intended to help students achieve to their full potential. The more Cadets are exposed to this disciplined routine, the more they learn to manage time on their own. NMMI’s daily time schedule helps students to: 

  • Prioritize tasks 
  • Be realistic about their abilities and needs 
  • Procrastinate less 
  • Be more productive 
  • Track progress according to a schedule 
  • Plan for long-term goals 

New Mexico Military Institute’s daily schedules are designed to help students get the most out of their learning experience. Every cadet is issued a daily planner for the whole academic year and instructors also give cadets a syllabus of how a course will be taught throughout the semester. The syllabus lists all assignments and their due dates. However, sometimes sports interfere with the schedule and instructors always want you to make up for the work missed in a designated period. Good time management allows Cadets to accomplish more in shorter spaces of time, allowing them to focus on achieving their goals. There’s no better environment than a military school like NMMI to help students master this skill. Some days will be different than others due to sports or educational travels which will cause shifts in your daily schedule. However, with the right skills, you can conquer any day. And remember, just because something works for someone else does not necessarily mean it will work for you. As a student who will be graduating from NMMI, it was hard to adapt at first, but I developed my own skills to help me overcome stress, procrastination and late work submission to my instructors. I learned to stay disciplined and stick to my schedule, and it has helped me throughout my time here.