Senior’s compass points West

Colin Weidmann’s ’08 first day of college will go something like this: He will be woken up at 5 a.m. He will have half an hour to prepare for over an hour of physical training. Breakfast will be at 7:30. He will have more training and classes from 8:30 to 12:45 followed by lunch and another hour and forty five minutes of classes and training. Organized athletics will begin at 4 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m. he will have another two hours of training. The day will end at 10 p.m. with the singing of “Taps” and the flag ceremony. Weidmann’s first day will be unlike any of his classmates. This is not a typical liberal arts college. This is West Point Military Academy.

West Point is in Weidmann’s blood.

“My dad went there and I’ve seen what he has done with his life and I like it and I like what you get out of West Point,” he said. “I have grown up with it and my dad having gone to West Point has had a big impact on my life.”

Prior to applying Weidmann spent one week over the summer at West Point to get a taste of what being at student there would be like. He did physical training in morning, went to some classes, had more training, and went to briefings.

“It is one of those things where you really have to know you want to do it, so I went and I loved it. It doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun but I had a blast,” he said enthusiastically.

After deciding to apply, Weidmann had to take part in a complicated application process. He had to have a physical, pass a physical training test, be academically qualified, and show his leadership qualities. In addition, he needed to get a nomination from a congressman or general. Weidmann was nominated by Congressman Howard Berman, and in October he got a letter of assurance, essentially guaranteeing him admission as long as he is medically qualified and his academics are good enough.

Weidmann will report to BEAST, or basic training, on June 30 for seven weeks before the school year starts.

“Excited is not the right word but I’m ready to do it; it won’t be fun but it will be an adventure,” he said calmly.

At West Point, Weidmann hopes to continue playing baseball, which is his most important activity at Harvard-Westlake. While he is still undecided on his major, he is leaning towards something in the political science realm. After graduating from West Point, Weidmann will be required to do five years of military service.

“I’m not really nervous,” he said. “I just look at it as something that you need to do. I do feel duty to the country but at the same time I’m not ‘America all the way,’ take everything without questioning. I do think I feel more of a duty to fight for out country than other people.”

While as of now he does not plan to make a career of military life after graduating, Weidmann is still content with his decision.

“I really want to do something unique in college and I have a chance to do something different and special. It is an opportunity that I really couldn’t pass up,” he said. “A lot of people couldn’t handle it or couldn’t deal with it, but it is something that I really wanted to do.”