Life as a CU NROTC midshipmen can be very challenging, but it is very professionally and personally rewarding. Whether you are studying for classes, preparing for ROTC functions, recovering from an intense workout, or finding time to relax in between life's demands, the CU NROTC spaces play host to something to help you. Amenities include a kitchen space, refrigerator, microwave, snack bar, wrap-around lounge couch, 75" television, foosball table, community study tables, and more! As one of our midshipmen puts it, "having access to the exclusive amenities in the unit spaces are extremely helpful in the day to day life of a student. The unit spaces are very accessible and centralized in relation to classes and the gym. Having a place to study, do homework, hangout, or change between classes is something that only the university athletes also have! It makes balancing fitness, mental health and grades ten times easier!"


In addition, below are a few important topics quoted from current midshipmen to help with the transition into life in NROTC:

  • Time and stress management: The number one reason why students struggle in ROTC is the inability to manage their time, balance ROTC requirements with school demands, and difficulty managing stress. ROTC is a marathon, not a sprint, so preparation is key if you want the greatest probability of success. Before starting college and ROTC, you should take steps to try and think of methods that will work to be more efficient and to streamline your day. Get in the habit of preparing a day ahead of time (e.g. setting out uniforms or other required items the night prior so nothing is forgotten early in the morning). Set timers to complete tasks so that you remain disciplined in a time crunch or when school gets really busy. Stress management is also key. The most effective way to manage stress is to have some sort of healthy outlet whether this includes going to the gym, going skiing, hiking, rock climbing, journaling, or something else entirely. Having an outlet for stress is crucial. At the end of the day, manage your time well so that you have a healthy balance between academics, ROTC requirements, and relaxing. Each of these is going to make you successful in this program. 


  • Mindset: This is another area where students struggle. Maintaining a negative mindset or a victim mentality can really drain your energy and hinder your efficiency. If you find yourself regularly thinking negatively, remind yourself why you volunteered for this program, remind yourself of your goals, and try to focus and engage with who share your struggles. Always remember, this is a voluntary program that you decided to join, there is a lot of money, time, and energy being invested into you by others, and, commissioning is an accomplishment very few ever achieve! 


  • Commuting: If you are living off campus you need to have a plan, other than the bus route, to get to morning training. The bus system is great, and free to students, but they don't run early enough to get to training on time. This means that you need to consider carpooling, owning a car, or living within walking distance to campus. For any other time of day, the bus is a great option to get to school. The "Transit" app is helpful in getting arrival and departure times for all kinds of transportation in Boulder including the campus shuttles. 


  • Support Network: There is a built-in support network within the unit for you, take advantage of it! Challenges with balancing work, academics, ROTC, and down time are expected, and no one makes it to commissioning alone. Make sure you rely on your classmates for help and reach out to the staff if you are struggling. Both the University and the NROTC staff are here to support, mentor, and guide you towards your goals, but they cannot help if they don't know you are struggling. Be your own advocate and seek assistance from any of the many resources available to you. Everyone here wants to see you succeed and will do everything in their ability to help you, so, stay connected with others, and build relationships that will last a lifetime.


Life as an NROTC midshipmen comes with many challenges, but you are also afforded the resources and support to overcome these challenges. Of course, starting something new can be intimidating and, often, the best way to ensure you persevere is through the relationships and support network you create. At CU NROTC, we are proud to train, mentor, and develop some of the finest future officers in the Naval service; but even more, we are proud to develop supportive, healthy, and long-lasting relationships that support successful future Naval officer careers!