One of the sights I tagged to visit in Charleston was The Citadel, one of the largest military colleges in the country. Mostly I was intrigued by the comments on Trip Advisor about the architectural style, statues and an actual fighter jet which was apparently a permanent fixture in the center of the quad. Fortunately, I sat next to a Citadel cadet on the flight out – a bright, well-spoken 20 year old girl who gave me quite the comprehensive rundown of what to see on campus and off. I was under the impression The Citadel was all-male but she was quick to point out that policy was changed in the late 90’s. When I asked how she liked it, I was impressed with her answer.
“I love it! It’s always been my dream to graduate from The Citadel like my dad. I realize I am not your typical southern girl”. Then she giggled like a typical southern girl for emphasis. Irony duly noted.
Typically the campus is very active with a student population of over 3000. Fridays are busier still since they hold a much publicized parade, basically mimicking battlefield drill maneuvers. The Friday I visited the campus was shutdown for holiday break and I was the only person walking the grounds, save a few administrators and guards. Next time I will make the Friday parade but this time I rather liked having the entire Citadel campus to myself.