Just a few months ago, I was living the good life at my home, eating Takis and playing GTA. School wasn’t really a high priority. Before coming to TCA, I had been in a school that had an ROTC program once, but the new one I was in did not. Therefore, chips and GTA become my priority.
All of that changed when my parents found the Texas ChalleNGe Academy. They let me know that it was military based, and that it was the closest thing I could do that would be similar to ROTC. I decided to make the 154-day commitment and leave behind Takis and video games, and give this a try.
On day one at TCA, I knew this was going to be 154 days of changes. The first thing that happened when I arrived was I sat down in a barber’s chair, and in just a few seconds, they spun me around and I discovered I had no hair! Little did I know, that this was just the start. We had two weeks of acclimation to prepare us mentally for the challenge, and now at the end of week four, so much has happened.
Team two has become the Delta Demons. We march and sing cadences and have friendly competitions between the other platoons, Charlie and Echo. The food is pretty good and we eat three times a day. We don’t have Takis, but it does fill us up.
We get up every morning at 4:30 a.m., and our TLs (team leaders) love to push us to do our best and motivate us. I’m pretty sure we would all agree that seeing the sunrise each morning is not something we had seen before. Most of us in Delta would also agree that sharing a bay with 35 others can also be a challenge, but we are learning to get along.
School has started, and is self-paced for much of the time. We complete courses on Oddyseyware and get help and other lessons from teachers. We are getting ready to start small units and do service projects in the community.
So far, I have to say that I love TCA and the obstacles and fun that it provides. With 130 days left, I am ready to see what the next weeks have in store.