Tag Archives: military boarding school

Mandatory Moments

by Cadet Abigail Valadez

There’s some sort of simplicity in being told exactly how to have fun, when and where to be at what time and in what type of clothing, like someone is giving you an excuse to throw stress in the wind for a few hours and just enjoy life.  My favorite example of this simplicity starts when the golden hued leaves first begin to lift off their branches, and ends when the bitter cold of winter comes only in whispers of the breeze—football season.  There’s something about Friday Night Lights that seems to make everything from the paper you left until the night before to whether or not that guy in chemistry caught you staring at him in class today totally irrelevant.  Football games are that touch of high school normalcy that becomes so rare in an environment where bugle calls get you up before your eyelids are ready, classes are meant to prepare you for college, and every second in between opening and closing your eyes has a strict purpose.  Games give you the option of eating whatever you can afford to splurge on from the concession stand—and you will probably do it because it’s definitely the best food you’ll get all week.  Whether you choose to watch the game and join in the chants and cheers or take the time to talk to friends, it’s time well spent, even if you have no other choice but to spend that time at a football game.  Then there’s that moment when everyone, no matter high school or junior college, girl or guy, athlete or non athlete, become one as we all sing the fight song.  In that moment, for me, it is impossible to feel anything but pride. Pride in my team, pride in my school, pride in the legacy I have chosen for myself and all of the people along the way.  It is in that moment that being required to attend the game is no longer a bad thing, there’s nowhere in the world I would rather be actually.  Worries get lost in loud surround sound chants of “Ra, ra, ra” as everyone’s fist punches an invisible enemy in the air, and the only thing that really matters is where that brown leather ball is headed next—hopefully in our running back’s hands and straight into the end zone.

 

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How I Manage My Time at NMMI

By Cadet Marco Varela

It all starts with a mentality. There is little time to stand around and decide what to do next, there is always something to do and it pays to know what it is. NMMI sets you up for success by issuing a planner to write down everything your homework and tasks. However, there are alternatives. I personally prefer Google Calendar because it syncs across any device that I log onto, it sends me reminders, and it gives me a visual representation from which I can create a plan.

When I start the day, I maintain a routine of showering and grooming, cleaning my room, and reviewing my plan for the day. This includes checking my calendar, my email, and any post-it notes on my desk. It is crucial to begin with a direction in mind of how I want to run the day. By knowing due dates and the tasks of the day I know what to focus my valuable free time on. It is important to address that even with a plan and efficiently utilizing free time, some tasks may require even more time to accomplish. For example, my senior year of high school at NMMI I had a portion of my capstone paper, which determines of you graduate, due in the morning. It was 2200 and all I had was my works cited. I decided to go to bed and wake up at 0230 considering that I work better in the “morning.” Fortunately, I did well on that paper and graduated as Salutatorian, but my point is that even with an organized method there is still always room for improvement. Furthermore, sacrifices are necessary to succeed.

NMMI will test your abilities in multiple occasions. It will quite a determined attitude to accomplish tasks successfully. Being organized in the planning of my time helps me be successful and I believe it is worth trying for any cadet.

Top Pieces of Advice for New Cadets

By Cadet David Elias

Everyone who comes to NMMI starts off as a new cadet. Everyone has to go through the same process, which will take some getting used to. Many people’s lives are flipped upside down when they first arrived at NMMI, but all of these changes are for the best. While it may be difficult to become accustomed to this new life style, everything is done for a reason and to better you. These tips will help your transition into NMMI run a little more smoothly.

  • Listen to what the leadership tells you. Everything they tell you is for a reason. Everything you do at NMMI is for a reason. All of the seemingly unnecessary things they make you do as a RAT (Recruit At Training) and New Cadet have a very important purpose behind them. If you can figure this reason out on your own, or aren’t told by your leadership, ask.
  • Don’t talk back. Again, if everything is done for a reason. Don’t be the person that “doesn’t like to be corrected”. Every correction is made not to waste your time, but to make sure that you are following the rules, doing what you are supposed to, and to make you a better cadet. Corrections help you out believe it or not.
  • It is not hard to not get in trouble. There are very few things you have to do or worry about when you are a New Cadet. Your only responsibilities are to show up to formation, clean your room, be in the right uniform, listen to what you are told, be on time, and do your schoolwork. That’s it.
  • It’s also easy to get in trouble. Do the right thing, even when no one is looking. If you’re doing something that you know is against the rules, you will get in trouble, simple as that. Conduct yourself like a young adult and follow the rules, and you’ll avoid any discipline.

Why I Came to NMMI–And Why I’ve Stayed

By Cadet Diego Salido

One of the most repetitive questions I have been asked as a cadet is “Why are you at NMMI?”

Most people assume that I am a troublemaker and my parents sent me here to fix me, which is something that you will not find very often here at the Institute. Most of the people come here because of their own choice and because they are looking for a challenge. In my case, I came here following my brother’s example and his advice. He told me that it was the best choice I could make and that I would not regret it. I had to think about it for more than a year, and finally I decided that I wanted to accept the challenge. After my first year, the question became “Why did you stay” and the answer is really simple: I stayed because of the people–the family I found here, and the opportunity to be someone better. I do not regret a single thing since I got here and I have enjoyed my ride. I still have a year left until I graduate and I know that I will miss everything and everyone when I leave.

Salido

Financing the Education of Your Dreams

By: Kalith Smith, Director of Admission New Mexico Military Institute

Last year I celebrated the arrival of the entering class of 2016 with a day at the Living Desert State Park in Carlsbad, NM. The Office of Admission had worked hard to bring in the class, but I had my phone forwarded to me just in case. I didn’t expect anything too earth shattering to happen. Then my phone rang. As I helped my kids understand the history that carved out Carlsbad Caverns, the voice on the other end asked a few simple questions, “My nephew was supposed to come to NMMI for matriculation, but we had a funeral. Can he still come? What would he need to have pulled together?” I explained to his Aunt that based on his Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which all high school seniors should fill out online at fafsa.ed.gov, the student was getting an incredible value. He was receiving aid and scholarships based on his admission, his academic ability and his financial need, but the student did not understand. This student had started his journey to NMMI during an annual trip with the Pinon, Arizona JROTC Cadets to NMMI as part of the Navajo Nation Reservation. But when thinking about NMMI for college—he saw Roswell, NM as a bridge too far. But when his Aunt found out that the pieces for his future—especially financially could come together–he was on the road to NMMI! His family went all out to make sure he didn’t miss the opportunity.

Fast forward to December when his mom and grandmother picked him up for winter break. I had asked to meet them, so he brought them to my office. I saw his Best New Cadet (BNC) Boards and asked if they knew what that meant. These boards are highly prized and point to a rising star in the Corps of Cadets. Once I explained the boards, they were beaming. What had almost ended before it got started had a wonderful end to the first chapter of his story at NMMI. His performance at NMMI brought pride to him, his family and the entire Navajo Nation. His Aunt stepped in at just the right moment, asked just the right questions and made the effort to drive him to Roswell and ensure that he took advantage of this opportunity.

At NMMI, we work very hard to create opportunities for students that cannot be achieved anywhere else. Each accredited institution you are considering will have unique things to offer and you are left to make a decision on which road to choose. However, sometimes students stop themselves before they are able to find out what is possible. This happens all the time when students and families see the initial price tag for education and shy away, not taking the time to go through the process that would allow us to process the file for admission. Once a student is admitted, they are automatically considered for scholarships. At NMMI we don’t only look at your GPA and test score, we are also considering your past behavior, your leadership and any special ability as we award scholarships. In each situation we can’t tell you what you might be eligible for if you don’t complete your application! So, whatever school you are considering move through their process and find out what is possible before you declare it to be impossible. Now is the time, apply online, send in the necessary documents and see what might be possible. My student who almost stopped himself is up for a big promotion in the Corps of Cadets in the fall. He is incredible, but he needed to take a step out of his comfort zone (and he needed a little push from his family) to find out just how incredible he really is!

As Dr. Seuss wrote:

You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting! So…get on your way!