So you'll probably be here for 4 years if you don't screw up, though the odds are
against you man, sorry.
You'll be taking a lot of intro courses that introduce you to the terminology and basics of being a mariner. You
tie knots, row boats, play with forklifts, and learn to chip and paint like a pro. At this point, there isn't much theory
or math involved, and the classes will be some of your more memorable ones through your whole career here.
After your first year, you'll set out for two months aboard the Golden Bear with a couple hundred of your closest
buddies. You'll work together, sleep together, visit "fine, respectable establishments" together all around the world,
it's wonderful, just remember to keep it quiet and off of Facebook.
Stuff starts getting tough, though they're changing things around, so you might get off easy. You finally get to
see a chart, you learn the Rules of the Road, and get to play with radios. Not a whole lot of fun, but everything you learn
this year is basically all you'll really have to know to perform as a mate.
Nobody's holding your hand anymore. You get tossed aboard a real working ship with guys who have been doing this
for the last 60 years and are expected to fall in line right away. You'll fax and copy and do little errands, but pay attention and
you'll learn that what you're planning on doing for a living really isn't all that tough. Be sure to work on your project
the whole way through, it's awfully hard to put together in the last few weeks before school starts.
More playing with charts and probably a bit of celestial navigation for you guys, not so bad really, as long as
you're still on track. You'll be getting into tankers and cargo classes as well, so you'll finally get to learn about all
the theory behind that stuff you actually did on commercial.
You're almost there. You get to sit on the bridge and watch the freshmen freeze their bums off on the bow.
You get to direct things, and you'll actually be in charge. Good luck man, you'll need it.
It's all about license man. If you're just starting to study, you're a little late. You'll take the Fourth Mates'
exam just before winter break, and then take Third Mates' just after Christmas. Lousy holiday, but after that, assuming
you pass, you're done, things are easy, just finish up some electives and get ready to head out to sea.