top of page

FOW: A Freshman's Perspective

Freshman Orientation Week (FOW) is a freshman’s first exposure to cadet life in the Corps at Texas A&M. The purpose is to acquaint the incoming fish with the structure, expectations, and lifestyle that comes as being a cadet in the Corps Texas A&M. For me personally, Freshman Orientation Week was one of the most rewarding and memorable parts of my fish year. The environment at FOW is fast paced and intense, but it was incorporated with experiences that prepared me for my academic future at A&M and my future in the Corps. Coming into FOW I had the expectation that it would be challenging, but beyond that, I was unsure of what was in store for me. I remember in the weeks before FOW being overwhelmed with packing, nervous about leaving my family for an extended period, making sure that I was physically fit, and ultimately afraid of the unknown which awaited me in the Corps and in the Texas A&M academia setting. Although, it was difficult to wrap my head around these feelings it was interesting to see how quickly they were eased as I went through my FOW experience.

As I stated earlier one aspect that I found to be overwhelming before starting FOW was ensuring that I had packed everything I needed. With my limited knowledge of Corps I was worried that something I had bought on the packing list would turn out to be wrong, or that I would be left without the items I needed. I remember

standing in Walmart with my mom freaking out because the only white bathrobe I could find had a tiny bit of navy lining on the edges. Turns out that this was not a problem at all, and that in actuality there were multiple opportunities during FOW to acquire anything I had forgotten on my list. In addition, I was lucky to be surrounded by my new fish buddies who were willing to let me borrow anything from a Band-Aid to an iron.

On that note, this brings me to my next concern coming into FOW. Being the oldest child in a large family, I was dreading the idea of leaving my brothers and sisters. While this was difficult, the same day they dropped me off for college, I walked into a room that evening with 19 other people that were experiencing the same thing. Those people composed my fish class, and together during FOW, we worked through the challenges that were presented to us. Ultimately, they were the key to helping me get though leaving my family, and they often motivated me to complete FOW. Throughout every training period, meal, and outing my buddies were next to me to help through the experience. Their friendship was the key to starting my college experience well, and luckily they were around the rest of the year for all the other times I needed support.

Coming into FOW I did not know much of what we would be doing, but I was sure that we would be doing physical training (PT). Over the summer, I did my best to run when I could, but I was not sure what to expect for PT during FOW. It was challenging, but my upperclassmen set up an environment in which I was able to challenge and develop myself. Throughout the year, I was able to improve and found that I really enjoyed physical fitness.

With this in mind, I am brought to the final concern I had before I came to FOW, what awaited me at A&M? I was right in the sense that it was challenging, but what I did not realize is how much I would truly appreciate those challenges. Ultimately, everyone’s experience will be different, but in my case, I found that my experiences during FOW prepared me and gave me the motivation to be the best student and cadet I could be at A&M throughout the rest of my fish year. FOW was one of the happiest times (most beneficial experiences) in my life, and I will never forget the memories that I made there my freshman year.

Hope Carter is a member of the fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2018, and is an international studies major studying politics and diplomacy with a focus on the Middle East. She is studying Arabic and is getting a minor in geography as well. She hopes to commission into the military at the end of her college career, and later on in life work for a non-profit organization or the United Nations. Hope enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her dogs, and thanks to the Corps she now enjoys running. She hopes to complete a marathon in the next few years.

We always love to hear what you think about our blog posts. In order to leave a comment or send a suggestion please send us a message through our CONTACT US system on our website.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
bottom of page