NEW ALBANY —
Imagine being one year removed from high school and after finishing your first year of college, have 84 credit hours — more than three-quarters of the way toward a bachelor’s degree.
Now imagine giving all of that up and starting all over again.
Some may call that a bit crazy, but not Major Ricke. He gladly is giving up his completed college hours to start college again at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. It’s all about the desire to be a Navy man and to fulfill a dream that has been burning inside of him for several years.
“I always wanted to do this,” Ricke said. “School has always been a big thing for me and I always wanted to go to the best school. My grandpa was in the Navy and we have his medals on our wall.
“He always talked to me about his travels. This is what I want.”
Ricke leaves for the Naval Academy June 26 and Induction Day is slated for the next day. He knows from that point on, his life will never be the same.
“I will only get to make three phone calls all summer,” he said. “I know I will be at the bottom of the barrel.”
Ricke, a 2012 honor graduate at New Albany High School, and his freshmen classmates will be known as plebes. And when one of the plebes is asked something by an upperclassman, they better have the answer or be prepared for some physical activity. He has been studying the “Ref Book,” which has answers to some of the questions he may be asked.
The summer program, which lasts for seven weeks for the incoming freshmen, is both physically and mentally demanding. They will be introduced to military routine and their day will begin at dawn. According to the Naval Academy’s website, “the frantic, exhausting pace of Plebe Summer leads you somewhere. It gets you ready for your responsibilities when the brigade returns from summer training and the academic year begins.”