Anthony Schwend graduated from Lejeune High School in 2018 and is currently a sophomore at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Schwend is majoring in mechanical engineering and plans to obtain a commission in the Marine Corps following graduation.

Schwend was not originally planning on going to the Citadel, but he says that his unique experience at LHS as part of the JROTC program opened him up to the possibility and has been beneficial during his time at the Citadel.

“People here have a big issue of being scared to talk to higher ranks, but being in JROTC taught me that those ranks are still people; they aren’t out of reach,” said Schwend.

In fact, Schwend owes much of his success to his JROTC days.

“I wouldn’t be where I am, I would not have gotten the scholarship to the Citadel that I did and I wouldn’t be able to take the small leadership positions that I am offered here and step into them,” Schwend said.

Schwend feels the biggest advantage of being a military child going into college is adaptability. He believes some colleges can be a culture shock and the Citadel is meant to be a culture shock. Most kids are not supposed to be able to handle it, but military kids do.

“You spend your whole life constantly changing circumstances and constantly having something going on, so when life throws you a different set of circumstances or situation you just say ‘alright I guess that’s what we are doing now,’” said Schwend.

Overall, Schwend is happy that he was able to attend a high school where his classmates were all going in different directions, both figuratively and literally. He hopes his fellow LHS graduates find success in their lives and take an important role in the world.

“If you did high school right, you miss it,” Schwend said. “The most valuable knowledge I have learned from college is that nothing will get done if you don’t do something. I used to just ignore problems and expect them to go away, but that doesn't work as well in college as it did in high school. If you want something done, go do it.”

Editor’s Note: Catching up with a Pup is a recurring column. Sophia Harding is a student at Lejeune High School. Facts not attributed are the opinion of the writer.