Lifestyle simply refers to a way of living. I, however, feel that I have three different lifestyles due to my unique set of circumstances.
I am currently a cadet at one of five service academies in the U.S. I am therefore a part of the active military force while also receiving training/education to eventually graduate as a commissioned officer along with a Bachelor of Science. I had to adjust to a completely different lifestyle, being under a strict set of rules while in uniform. I realize that my actions do not only reflect myself, but also the service academy and the service branch itself. I am much more aware of my presence, my words, and my actions. In short, being in a military service academy has made me ‘grow up’ a lot faster as I do not have the freedom as civilian college students do (no partying/drinking/frats/sororities here).
Service academies are extremely competitive to get into. Not only do you have to have a stellar GPA, but you also have to be
1) physically fit (~90% of cadets have high school varsity letters, ~70% were varsity sports captains, and at least 30% of my classmates play at a college level).
2) involved in leadership positions (such as being president of a club, boys scout/girls scout, sports, etc).
It makes sense that the requirements are so stringent. Service academies pay for your entire four years of a first-class education (no college debt!), provide you with a guaranteed career as an officer (which makes pretty good bucks), and you get all the military service benefits (car/house loans, free healthcare, pension, store discounts, etc.).
That being said, being a student at a service academy can be challenging! Everyone is intelligent, talented in something, and has great leadership potential. You are also given a class rank where you know exactly who is #1 and who is at the bottom. It is very transparent here, which is helpful for me because I get competitive!
Lastly, during the six weeks of break I get (three weeks for winter break, three weeks for summer break), I get to (somewhat) revert back to my old self. I will never be that same person I was before I entered into a military service academy, but, still, it is nice to just relax with my family and friends. When I am at home, it is like a safe haven. It is funny how quickly I adjust to the home lifestyle once I drop my luggage and bags and just sit at the dining table with my family. I pick back up where I left off, and there’s no better feeling than spending quality time with the family that I cherish so much. Being away for the vast majority of the year makes me value them even more than I already did.