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Surviving In A Military School

Updated on August 9, 2012

Should I quit throughout trials and tribulations?


Since the beginning of matriculation day, Knobs are expected to devote the majority of their time to doing chores for Upperclassmen. This deed is notorious to The Citadel because of The Citadel’s traditional military policies of organization and cleanliness, which are particularly strict on room inspections. Nevertheless, this tradition is exclusively known to completely obliterate the time Knobs have to accomplish their priorities. Due to the fact that Upperclassmen have more control over their time management, they should be more considerate of all the important priorities that Knobs may have and do their own chores.

Some of the deeds done for Upperclassmen by Knobs include: Taking out the trash, making trash circles, Folding their bed comforters, helping to clean their rooms, helping to transport things to or from their vehicles, and filling their igloos with ice for them. Deeds done for Upperclassmen by Knobs at The Citadel are usually done voluntarily, but most Knobs are too afraid to say no to the Upperclassman requesting their help. For the most part, Knobs are usually chosen to work together so that the company as a whole looks good for a very important inspection called Saturday Morning Inspection, which is usually inspected by the TAC or Commandant.

The Saturday Morning Inspection is a very important inspection which involves paying attention to details while cleaning in order to avoid having “gross rooms.” The benefit of working together as a company to make sure all rooms are in good standard for the Saturday Morning Inspection is the likelihood of having most of the rooms be inspected as “outstanding rooms."

Other benefits for doing Upperclassmen’s chores are the fact that Knobs will learn the correct way to clean, shine, and organize certain objects in the room from suitable experience. Therefore, Knobs have each other to rely on for good information. They will also have enough knowledge to inspect each other and then tell what needs to be fixed and how to fix it.

While it is certainly true that there is some good involved with Knobs helping Upperclassmen on their chores, unfortunately there are an ample number of draw backs to it. Knobs, just like the Upperclassmen, have chores that they need to complete. Knobs frequently iron new uniforms, shine shoes and brass, and do the things that the Upperclassmen tell them need to be done. This type of schedule usually requires an abundant amount of time management skills which can be hindered by an urgent meeting with the cadres, the Upperclassmen that are responsible for the Knobs in their company. Meetings usually range from thirty minutes to an hour depending on what issue or issues the meeting is about. So when the Knob gets back to his/her room, he/she still has to finish whatever military tasks are required by the cadre. Furthermore, the Knob may have homework and studying to be done.

Knobs also have to focus on their academics if they want to take the full advantage of The Citadel’s educational system. If Knobs do not focus enough on their academics, their grades will fluctuate, which can cause the Knob to develop stress from trying to juggle their military duties and school work simultaneously. If the Knob continues to lose the time that he could spend studying or doing homework, then the Knob’s main reason for going to college to get a degree will not be achieved. Though you may argue that the Knob should just stay up late and finish their task, if this was the case, then Knobs would not get an adequate amount of sleep, thus leading to falling asleep in class and not learning anything whatsoever. Falling asleep in class will only cause the Knob to need more time studying, and the time they need is already too short for normal study hours. With this in mind, Knobs have to debate on which school work is more important and whether or not they should do both with no sleep or just do one and leave the other. Because of this appalling situation, Knobs may develop stress from feeling so overwhelmed with so much work in so little time.

I believe that the best way to enforce the policy that no Knob should have to do Upperclassmen’s chores is to develop a new rank position for other Upperclassmen to uphold and enforce the rule to prevent the predicament. Another tip for a healthy academic year for Knobs is to make Evening Study Period an hour longer. Although there is a Morning Study Period, many Knobs do not have the time to effectively study because they have to use it to either get from one class to the other, or to get shined up and ready for their next formation.

In order to have a successful year, Knobs work very hard academically and militarily which makes it hard for them to effectively show their full academic potential on their Grade Point Average. If the problem continues to take place, the college’s dropout rate will increase, or The Citadel will have to lower their academic standards to accumulate more students. If a really good solution is made to resolve the problem, the Knobs improve their grades in class, and make The Citadel more reputable in the terms of academics. Although Knobs endure so much stress, they are presented with quotes by leaders of The Citadel to help them stay motivated. This quote from The Regimental Commander, Matthew C. Collier, says, “Always remember why you chose The Citadel. Embrace each challenge that comes before you, and NEVER give up (2011-2012 Guidon Staff).”

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      mariadavids 5 years ago

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