Tag Archives: friendship

Friends Who are Like Family at NMMI

By Cadet Carlos Andres Retamoza

My name is Carlos Andres Retamoza, and I am 16 years old. I am from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. At the age of 15, I went to live outside of my country to study at the New Mexico Military Institute. I think I threw myself into the abyss with all of the other students. It was the first time I left the country, and I did not speak the language of my new country of residence. I was going to live with strangers, and within days of arriving, I started classes within a system totally unknown to me. I came to study at the New Mexico Military Institute without knowing it was the best decision I had made in my life. Every day, every activity that I had to carry out was an apprenticeship.  Sometimes apprenticeships were full of pleasant surprises, and other times they were apprenticeships full of frustrations and effort. During this period, one of the things I learned was the importance of the friends I made at the New Mexico Military Institute. Many of these people were international students, like me, who were going through the same experience that I was going through, and they perfectly understood my difficulties. They quickly became an important support network and even more, I discovered that due to the circumstances that bind you, these friends happen to become “your family” while you are away from home. There are many stories that I can tell you about the support, the laughter, the love, and the solutions found together with friends. There are many stories that happen with my friends at the Institute, and I can tell right now the importance of all of them. Having friends and knowing that I am surrounded by so many wonderful people strengthens me.  Every time I have had to go through some difficult situation, I have never felt alone even though I am so far from home. That’s why I consider friends the greatest treasure you can have while living abroad.

Happy Holidays from NMMI!

On behalf of everyone at New Mexico Military Institute, we wish you and your family a very joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Mad Roomie Respect

By Cadet Abigail Valadez

At 0530 two alarms go off at the exact same time, the first is a generic ringing noise meant to be so awful even the heaviest sleepers would be forced to shut it off, and the second is Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”.  At 0532 two individuals almost simultaneously snooze these alarms, roll over, and go back to sleep. This is the start of every single awesome day with my roomie, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

For the past two years I have been “Roommate-less in Roswell,” which sounds great until you realize that it’s a lonely life and scary movies are a million times worse to watch when you have to go sleep in a room all by yourself right after. So, yes it was nice but sometimes you don’t realize what you’re missing out on until you have it.  When a girl who I had known only through small talk knocked on my door spring semester of last year, I never even thought that by opening it, I was letting in a new best friend for life.

Now this best friend is my roommate, and there is no one who I would rather have to spend most of my time with.  Some of the amazing things she does include but are not limited to: buying cookies and letting me eat half of them; using a flash light when she wakes up before me to get around the room even though I have told her multiple times that I don’t mind the light; patiently listening to my issues; and leaving cute little notes on my stuff randomly.  She studies with me when we feel like studying and spends hours talking about pretty much anything with me when we just aren’t in the productive sort of mood.

Having a good roommate is such an important part of an enjoyable NMMI experience.  After all, you must be able to live with this person after meeting them for the first time ever—I mean sometimes I can’t even bear to live with my own siblings, much less a stranger.  Luckily for me, this year that piece has fit in beyond perfectly; yes maybe she has ruined any appreciation I have ever had for the song “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift, but I feel like that is reasonable price to pay for her being the absolute best roomie ever.

SnapChat picture of my roomie and me before the fourteen-mile half marathon we ran together.

True Brothers at NMMI

By Cadet Diego Salido

NMMI Salido BrothersThe first year at NMMI is different for everyone. It is hard because is like nothing we have ever done. It is fun because it is when we find friends in our weakest moments. It is a lot of things, but for me, it was special.

The main reason of why my “RAT” year was special is because I never felt away from home; this was because I literally had family here with me. My older brother was a Sergeant Major, in charge of the discipline of over 200 people– while I was a recruit, the lowest rank in the corps and someone who only had to worry about myself.

My brother taught me everything I needed to know to succeed in this place. He even tried to teach me a lot of things before I came but I just wouldn’t listen to him, and I still regret it. He got me ready for most of the obstacles that I could face here at NMMI. He warned me about RAT week and how challenging it was going to be–omitting some of the details and giving me some surprises. When he refused to help me with something it was only to make me stronger and more independent, because he was trying to guide me rather than carrying me through the whole process of learning at the Institute.

His presence also improved me because he just kept pushing me (or made me push) to perfection. He would not stand catching me doing the wrong thing or wearing my uniform incorrectly. He expected me to set the example for my friends and to have more discipline than the others. I worked hard to prove that I could be the person he expected me to be. The best thing is that our relationship as brothers got stronger. Even if we didn’t talk a lot because of the rules and because of our different schedules, we knew we had each other for whatever we needed.

This year, as a yearling and a Platoon Sergeant, I try to follow his example and I still carry with me all his advice. I work hard every day to make him proud even when he is studying back home.

Changing as a RAT

By Cadet Samantha Rodriguez

 

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The reason why I chose to come to NMMI was a unique one. As a normal 14-year-old girl, I wanted to explore the world. Being home, surrounded by the same people and following the same routine was becoming stressful, since if there is something I like a lot, it is definitely change. It all started when I was in middle school. I would see pictures of people going to schools abroad and I just wanted to be part of it, so I told my parents. Their reaction was probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen. They first thought I was crazy, and then that I was unhappy and wanted to leave my home. No, it had nothing to do with that. I just wanted some change, something new to experience and challenge me. My mom, thinking I was going to back off, told me the only place I would be allowed to go to was NMMI, since she was sure it is a safe place and a healthy environment. So I did it. Three years after, I am still here, getting closer to being successful every single day.

Since I was prepared for change, I really did not struggle too much as a RAT. My main struggle was not homesickness, but having to follow the rules. Not that I had discipline problems, but it just took me a while to get used to everything. Since I had had the same friends for my whole life, making new friends was also a little challenging. Having to do everything for myself was also hard. Usually, if I had any academic problem or any issue with the school, my mom would go to the school and fix it for me. Now, I was on my own.

Although it was challenging at moments, I do not regret anything, and I have learned a lot from all I have been through. I can now face my mistakes and deal with the consequences without my parents having to be there. I also learned how friendships really work. Everyone is waiting for another person to give the first step, the first smile, and the first conversation. I would pack my backpack with candy and walk around offering it to strangers just in exchange of a smile or a simple “hello”. I also learned that loneliness is a decision, since if a person truly wants to find company, it is possible. I learned that if someone yells at you, it is not personal, so I would not overthink everything and letting go became something I did.