Advice from cadets?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by akammes1997, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. akammes1997

    akammes1997 Member

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    Hey everyone! I'm looking for some advice on how to make my application stand out, when I comes time for me to fill it out. I'm looking for suggestions on what I could do improve my application and what you think of my chances of getting into this amazing school. I am a sophomore at a small rural high school, there isn't a lot of extra curricular activities offered, but I am in almost everything they do offer. Here's my stats
    -1/18 class rank
    - 3.99 unweighted GPA
    -Activities include- FFA, FBLA, library club, book club, Spanish club, forensics
    - extremely active in 4-H, I have taken many leadership opportunities through 4-H, I've held every office and am currently secretary
    -This year I made it to state in forensics, solo and ensemble, and senior dairy judging (bet you can't guess what state I'm from)
    - I've been in band since 3rd grade, I am first chair Bari sax in my school band, and I made first chair Bari sax in my district honor band along with first chair Bari in jazz bando
    - my freshman year I did a little bit of NBHA barrel racing, and worked about 15-20 hours a week milking cows after school to pay for my rodeo habits :)
    - my sophomore year I have not done any sports, but I chose to work instead, I work about 20 hours a week during the winter, but during the summer that goes up substantially because of field work
    - and on top of all this, I take a full class load, 9 classes in a regular 8 period day, and I doubled on math classes, so that I will be able to take upper level AP classes next year and my senior year
    - in what little free time I do have, I like to volunteer at my library and last fall I helped my school fair board get ready for my school fair

    So now that you know what I've done, what can I do to improve?!
    My ideas are-
    - planning on volleyball and track next year and my senior year
    - running for class president my senior year and student council next year
    - I am planning on doing more volunteering, and hopefully a mission trip next summer

    Athletics? As of current, I am working on getting back into great shape. A severe concussion that affected me for many months kinda set me back physically, I used to be a great distance runner, so I'm working hard on getting back Into that shape, I have no doubt I will be by the end if this summer.

    I am planning on visiting an Air Force base that a close family member lives on to see the Air Force environment, and to talk to some academy graduates. I am also planning on applying for th summer seminar.
    I am just one of those people who can't sit at home, I love to be active and doing things. I am a natural leader and I love helping others, plus I love a challenge.
    No heat please, and sorry for the book, I know it's a lot, but I would love to hear from some academy cadets! Doesn't matter which academy either! Thanks much!!
     
  2. afacademychic

    afacademychic Member

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    Seems like you have tons of extracurriculars and activities. Overall a good package. The only thing I would suggest would be to try for more leadership positions. The academy looks for people that are not only members but leaders as well. See if you can go for captain of the volleyball team or an officer of another club. Other than that it looks great! Good luck!



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  3. NathanClassOf18

    NathanClassOf18 New Member

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    You've got a pretty good record so far, just keep aiming for more leadership positions. The question now falls on your physical abilities. You'll need to work on your athletic appeal for the Academy. On top of that, you'll need to be good with social interaction. Based on the numerous leadership positions, I don't think you should have too much difficulty, but the main concern with your comfort in social interaction comes from the interview you'll have with your ALO. Don't stress too much, because they're not there to find all of your flaws to hurt your application, but quite the opposite.

    So here's a quick recap:
    -Keep working for leadership positions
    -Work on your athletic ability
    -Social skills aren't a deal breaker, but will help with any interviews you'll have

    Good luck!
     
  4. Dad

    Dad Member

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    Not a cadet, but...

    The best advise I ever heard on this issue is to find a few things you enjoy and do them well. Don't take up a sport or volunteer merely to improve your application. Do it because it brings you joy and fulfillment. Excel at a few activities versus participating at many. Push out of your comfort zone to lead others. ALOs and the selection board will see through attempts to 'pimp your app'. Be yourself to your maximum abilities. If you are not who you present yourself to be, it will be a very long 4 years at USAFA. Of course it will be a long 4 years even if you do. Just be yourself and push yourself to be the best 'you' you can be. Best wishes. :thumb:
     
  5. Enlisted_Programmer

    Enlisted_Programmer 323rd Mustangs

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    +1 :thumb: I couldn't agree with this more. As enlisted and anywhere else that I've seen, when you truly care for something is when you truly shine. Often even more than what you might think.
     
  6. jgale95

    jgale95 Member

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    The Academy really stresses academics. Basically the idea is that they can make someone stronger, faster, but not much smarter. Do your absolute best academically, and then just make sure you are in good shape.


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  7. pobyrne96

    pobyrne96 New Member

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    What I think really helped for both my Academy Application and the Nomination, was emphasizing how i was a leader in the activities I did. I think they would rather see a strong leader in a a few extra-curriculars, that a bystander in many


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  8. NargleSlayer

    NargleSlayer Member

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    Try doing Boys & Girls State, it shows your getting involved on a state level in politics. Even if you're not into politics, it shows that you are branching out even to the State (and possibly national) level of community involvement.

    Also begin tutoring for ACT & SAT if you need it.

    Always make sure you are enjoying what you're doing and not doing it to put it on a resume.
     
  9. Kapunui

    Kapunui Member

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    I disagree sometimes you have to do the things you don't want to do to achieve the things you do want to do. Its what you make off the things that you don't want to do that define what you'll be able to do.
     
  10. Dad

    Dad Member

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    I totally get that you have to eat your vegetables even if you don't like them. Just don't try to pass yourself off as a great vegetable eater if you're not. I agree that you have to do some things you don't like to do. If you have a chance to stretch yourself and lead a club or team, certainly do it. However, don't take up a sport you have no interest in just to 'pimp' your application. The point is you should excel at all you can do. Just try not to do too much.

    While people who are the varsity team captain, club founder, valedictorian, class president, Girls State/Girls Nation, Gold Award Girl Scout, homecoming queen with 2000 volunteer hours and CEO of their own company do exist, most mere mortals need to focus on doing several things well as opposed to many things with mediocrity. USAFA is looking for 'well-rounded' people and consider the 'whole person'. Find things you're interested in and do them extremely well.

    Best wishes. :thumb:
     

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