Able to find balance during USNA?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by jomass, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. jomass

    jomass Member

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    I realize attending a SA is unlike the 'traditional' 4 yr college experience. But still, these are 18-22 yr olds for the most part, that need/want to enjoy themselves at times. I'm not talking about Animal House type frat parties, but it seems like the entire plebe year, you are 'owned', other than X-mas break and perhaps Saturday afternoons. Other than that what other free time do you have? The traditional college student has the flexibility, outside of class and studying, to maybe go to the student union for a while; visit a buddy in another dorm room; head off campus for a bite to eat rather then eat the same cafetaria food; get together with the guys to watch NCAA March Madness; go away for a weekend to visit a buddy at another college or head home for a weekend, you know what I mean, etc. Even maybe even meet and begin a relationship with a new girlfriend.
    Do plebes and even upper classmen have ANY of these opportunities during there 4 years? It just seems that the "be here/be there obligations" are SO stifling. Does one just forget about actually having a girlfriend/boyfriend for 4 yrs? And what leave flexibility do you have during each of your 4 years?
     
  2. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Your Plebe Summer Squad will become your new immediate family. Your Company along with the Brigade will become your extended family. This is not your traditional college. Opportunites increase as you progress through the four years. They still "enjoy" just listen to the stories of the Ho Chi Minh Trail for a Slurpy and other maniac things like climbing the light poles out toward the stadium to hang banners before a football game and the Annapolis Police arrive with spotlights.:thumb: I would have seen an Article 15 for some of the stuff they pull.
     
  3. Knarf

    Knarf Member

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    During my daughters CVW, they dressed her in camos and snuck out of Bancroft Hall at midnight for a spirit mission. They made & hung banners and then snuck out the gate & went to 7-11 for a coffee. The photos are hilarious. They find ways to have their fun.
     
  4. FeartheGoat

    FeartheGoat Member

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    You have to realize that if you are accepted and attend a SA it is not going to be totally like any other college experience. You are committing yourself to a higher standard. You have to be willing to give up some of the freedoms that you might have in a traditional college. But all of this is not to say that you won't have fun. After your freshman year you are allowed more freedoms such as weekend liberty. Bottom line if you want to attend a SA you have to be willing to make sacrifices. And as far as the girlfriend thing, I have a girlfriend I have been dating for two years but we aren't giving up, its gonna be hard but it is possible.
     
  5. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    Leave is standard dates during the academic year, and depending on your summer training during the summer.

    You can meet women and have a girlfriend, even as a plebe.

    Every year you get a little more freedom to do all those other things.
     
  6. OnceAMarine

    OnceAMarine New Member

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    My sons occassionally complain about the lack of free time, the lack of women, the lack of ....etc. etc. I then remind them of the 18-22 yr olds living, fighting, and sometimes dying in the Hindu Kush. I remind them of all the 18-22 yr olds that are standing post all over the world. I remind them of all the 18-22 yr olds that never survived Verdun or Belleau Wood, or made it off the beaches of Tarawa, Iwo Jima, or Normandy; never made it back from the Chosin Reservoir, or Khe Sanh, Beirut, or Iraq. Sacrifices made again and again so we can live as we wish in comfort and plenty. At this point they usually STFU, lock on, and refocus on the mission.

    A Service Academy is not "college". Think long and hard, gather all the information, and finally take an honest look into your own soul before making a decision. What's your mission - and is it compatible with the mission of the Academy?
     
  7. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Good post, Onceamarine. Candidates, read it and think!
     
  8. Wickler908

    Wickler908 Member

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    Plebes got 3 weekends this semester one of which was a long 3 day weekend. Besides your 12 hours on saturday, you will not be having much college like fun.
    Your free time varies significantly depending on what extracurriculars you do. If you are a varsity athlete you will get out of many plebe activities such as morning workouts and chow calls but you will have much less freetime. If you do intramurals, you will have 2 or 3 sports periods off per week. Thats 2 free hours to chill, sneak a nap or get some homework done. Otherwise, you have any free periods and study time which is 2000-2300. It is important to not shut yourself in your room but go hang out with your new family for a healthy amount of time.
    In short, the free time that you have doesn't seem like a lot but after plebe summer it will be an immense amount compared to your 0 minutes of legitimate freedom during those first 6 weeks. If you are successful during plebe summer, don't chit surf, gain the respect of your classmates, and have a good head on your shoulders, you will handle the rest of the academy just fine. Focus on plebe summer, not the academic year.
     
  9. wannabe2013

    wannabe2013 Member

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    I agree on the chit surfing part. But intramurals had max 2 days off/week this semester and that was only two times during the season. However, intramurals do get every friday off.
    That being said, if you want to do the things you sound like you want to do you better hope to be in a good company and have a good football team. If you don't have both of those life will not be fun.
     
  10. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Okay - sorry, clueless here! Chit surf? :confused:
     
  11. wannabe2013

    wannabe2013 Member

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    Riding a medical excuse chit to get out of work.
     
  12. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Ah - okay, thanks! I think of a chit as a positive thing - like something you'd earn for good performance/behavior, or similar so I was confused!
     
  13. J Collins

    J Collins Founding Member

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    :beer1::thumb:
     
  14. MIDNDAD

    MIDNDAD Member

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    Even with the blizzard hitting the Annapolis area Mids were still taking finals and working hard to finish the semester but...........

    My mid cracked me up today with pictures of friends and mids in general having a ball in the snow. Snow ball fights and "snowboarding" on mattresses down the staircase by King Hall were the order of the day. Yes these are amazing driven kids but when given the chance to act like any college kid with a snow day they are having an absolute blast. Probably more so since the pressure is off for a brief time and mother nature has gven them a rare opportunity to act like 5 year olds again. They work hard but play hard too.

    Yes, there is a balance in the life of a MIdshipman but it's different from any other college experience.
     
  15. gbo3

    gbo3 Member

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    Knarf,

    Funny, thats the same thing my daughter did last year on her CVW. She thought that was pretty cool.
     
  16. Miidaangg

    Miidaangg Member

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    The life of a plebe isn't that bad. I find a lot of balance between being a midshipman and being myself and having fun. It really all depends on you. Being open and making friends is the way to go. There will never be a dull moment in your life. I also have an awesome company.
    Some people may hate it here, but I personally love it. There's only one more semester of plebe year and I'm looking forward to it.
    Plebe year is soo funny. It's really all you make it to be.
    But the boyfriend/girlfriend thing: I broke up with my high school bf during plebe summer. It's not a big deal to have a bf/gf here at the academy but it's definitely doable.
    My roommate is so funny. She says she loves the academy cause it's stress free. IDK how she does it but I wish I could be completely stress free lol.
    Oh yeah. And try to be roommates with someone you like. It'll make life a helluva lot easier.
     
  17. popeyesmom

    popeyesmom Member

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    I agree - USNA is not college. My son actually relayed to us last night that he would go crazy with the free time at a civilian college. He said it was crazy thinking up things to do during finals week because the pool was closed. Remember why these young men and women are at the Academy.
     
  18. marvin7794

    marvin7794 Member

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    Finding balance is important. Spend time with people you like in company. If you are easy to get along with things will be easier for all involved. If your company hates you, things will be harder but only for you and not the rest of your peer group. Don't be that guy. Once you turn 21, things get a lot more interesting. Downtown is pretty awesome. Crawling down West Street is a good way to find balance, and lose your balance. That will make places like Normandy or Fallujah seem like they are on another planet. Or it will just make the room spin. Bottom line, balance is easy to find if you take the right approach. Don't take yourself or the academy anymore seriously than you have to, and focus on the end goal. Graduate and service select something you are happy with. Everyone over thinks the zoo when they just need to go do it.
     
  19. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    In my day, you got demerits for throwing a snowball in uniform. It was enforced, too! You rarely saw it.

    But that's back when men were men. :shake:
     
  20. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    "And dinosaurs roamed the plain." Oh, wait, no, that's a West Point saying! Wrong board! :wink:
     

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