Am I on the Right Track? I messed up already?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Kensy, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Kensy

    Kensy Member

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    GPA 3.67 I have messed up and got 2 B's in my Freshmen Year

    Honor Roll Student, Awarded Student of the Month For Service, Math Dean's list

    Amnesty International: Secretary

    Fencing Club: Co Founder/ Secretary

    Kendo: 4 years Assistant Coach/ Stopped during 9th grade after money problems

    Key Club- Planning to run for Publicity 10th grade (74 Hours of Community service)

    Model United Nations

    Civil Air Patrol- started during 9th grade

    I am starting Track/field and Cross Country 10th grade

    Here is my Schedule for next Year, it is my dream to go to this school since 8th grade

    Geometry
    English 2 ( not doing Honors I got a B 9th grade) Or maybe Honors
    Korean 2 H
    Cross Country/ Track
    Biology H
    Fun Of Arts

    I go to one of the top Stem Schools in California.
    I messed up in middle school so the low math class hits me hard. I hanged out with the wrong kids and told my self not to give up and follow my dreams.
    My Great Grandpa was in the Korean war wish to follow his footsteps.
     
  2. Kensy

    Kensy Member

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    My goal is to get straight a's in 10th grade and get more leadership. Going to Honor Code Camp soon. Is it worth it?
     
  3. DK6732

    DK6732 USAFA Cadet

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    You are fine. Just try your best. Everyone makes mistakes. I had a couple Bs in high school too, but kept at it and ended up with a 3.9 by senior year. With everything else you are doing, you look on track. Just don't lose sight of your goals. Work hard and it WILL pay off.
     
  4. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Dont be discouraged. I had two B's freshman year..then I kicked it into gear and graduated 16th out of 800 in a highly competitive school. It keeps you from being valedictorian but B's will not keep you from achieving your dream! Believe in yourself and value discipline.
     
  5. Kensy

    Kensy Member

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    It's just that my math is low also....
     
  6. Jacobryan10

    Jacobryan10 Member

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    Well, you have 2 years to work on that. A lot can happen in two years. I know a guy who was overweight and the most unathletic guy you could imagine. He ended up losing 40 pounds and became a triple varsity athlete all within two years. He somehow managed to get into some SAs too. His strength was that he was well rounded, and it looks like you are as well. I would just keep doing what you are doing and try getting everything you can to be as best as possible. It is the only way you can really prepare for something like this. Everyone has their setbacks.
     
  7. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

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    Have you considered getting some tutoring in math? Not only do you want to ace your grades in class, you will be taking the ACT and/or the SAT in the future, and the AFA will definitely want to see a good score in the math portion of either exam. The AFA is primarily an engineering school, and everyone takes Calculus (through Calc 3 I believe, unless you major in math or engineering etc) so you need a solid base if you do get in to the academy.

    You have a good base of extracurriculars--focus on the ones you are involved in already--quality participation is better than quantity--shoot for leadership positions. Definitely follow your plan of running track/CC--sports/team sports are important.

    Good luck to you!

    _________________
    Proud mom of a C3C
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AFAYahoo is 1000% correct regarding Math. It is very important you have a strong foundation in this academic area. Take the time and look at the AFA's curriculum and you will see how many courses are mandatory which are heavily laden in Math.

    It is not only important to get on top of this now for the AFA, but as a HS student starting your jr.yr., your sciences will be built on your math foundation. Chemistry and Physics include Math.

    The AFA is not known among the AFAD world as The Little Engineering School in the Rockies for nothing. Keep that in your mind as you go forward. If your grades start slipping I would suggest you look at the fact you have a lot of ECs on your plate right now. It maybe you need to drop 1 or 2. The key is not to have 1000 EC's and a mediocre cgpa. It is quality over quantity. Having 5 EC's where you have leadership positions, and have illustrated long term time commitment, plus a strong cgpa is a positive thing. The reason why is it illustrates to the AFA that you have accomplished time management successfully in HS.

    Finally, the way the PAR (academic) portion works is it not includes your cgpa, and your rank, but also they look at your course/curriculum rigor and the school profile. A B in honors may look stronger on your profile than an A in standard because you played it safe with std., especially if they are offering AP/IB for the same class. I am not stating that you should take all honors/AP and kill yourself, but I am saying that playing it safe can hurt too. Remember even though the AFA is your dream, in 2 yrs from now you will apply to traditional colleges as your Plan B, those colleges will look at you the same way as the AFA regarding academics. Take the time to start looking at the "dream" college too. If your school has Naviance go and use it to see how you sit against the students that applied in previous yrs to those colleges. If they do not have Naviance go to www.collegeconfidential.com, I am sure the schools you want are there, and under their forum, you will see threads of accepted/declined illustrating their stats.

    You have a lot of time in front of you, use it wisely to keep you on the right path. Good luck
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  9. Proud mom 2016

    Proud mom 2016 Member

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    Do not give up because of the low math! My sons math is on the low end..again because of situation in middle school and a move changing school districts and different requirements. You can see by my signature line that he overcame that obstacle and got an appointment in spite of it.

    If it's your dream, go for it. You'll never know if you don't try!
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    OP,

    I don't think AFAYahoo or I on saying give up because Math is a weakness, at least I am not. I am saying acknowledge it and do something now to make it into a strength. I believe AFAYahoo is saying the same thing by suggesting a tutor.

    Think of school as a house. When a home is built the integrity strength of the foundation will impact the structure of the home. If the foundation has weak spots, it will be difficult to build the 1st floor, from there the second floor will be in trouble and by the time the roof is placed it is really apparent. Now you can fix the exterior, but the same problems start surface when you get inside the home to place the plumbing, electricity and walls. You will always come back to the same original problem...the foundation!

    You right now as a rising sophomore are in the foundation stage, you can correct it now, but once you become a jr you are the 1st floor. Sr yr hs applying for SA's and colleges you are working on the 2nd floor. Graduation from HS is the roof.

    You can manage to correct everything possible without dealing with the foundation; however, once at an SA or college you are dealing with the plumbing, walls, and electricity which brings you back to the foundation issue. It will always be an issue you will have to deal with until your reinforce it to the proper standards.

    The house is a shell when you enter the AFA the 4 yrs there or at college is when you work on the interior. It is not a home you can live in until you raise your right hand and take the commissioning oath, and honestly it isn't done than either...instead you move onto landscaping and the exterior.:shake:

    Sorry for the analogy, but to me if at 15 you know Math is a weakness, and there will be 7 yrs in front of me with tons of math I would use this time to get on top of it. Your sophomore yr will be unique compared to 11th and 12th because it will be the yr your classes are less Math oriented, and it may place you in a false lull. Next yr when advanced Math (Alg II/Trig) starts up with Chemistry (element weights and equations) will be a night and day difference. Your sr yr with Calc or Stats and Physics will also be tons of Math.

    If there was one class I would drop without a doubt it would be Fun of Arts. Take Psychology, Sociology, another foreign language; better yet maybe Econ, or construction where Math will be part of the academic curriculum. Fun of Arts from a transcript perspective sounds like my favorite elective class in HS Film Study. I want to say that as an AF wife/Mom with 3 kids that attended 3 different HS's in 2 different states I know states may require an elective arts class in HS, but I also know they could take classes like architectural design or drafting for the arts side.

    I would keep going forward and I hope you don't think my post was negative, it was meant to give you the opportunity to strengthen your weaknesses and why it was important to do it now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  11. Proud mom 2016

    Proud mom 2016 Member

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    Pima,
    I didn't think your posts were negative when I posted my cheerleading one...I just wanted to add the encouragement that it is possible. You all offered the great advice on how to to get there and overcome....I was just hoping to dangle the carrot so to speak. I'm sorry if my post made you feel yours was negative.


     
  12. AnotherLeadMom

    AnotherLeadMom Member

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    Fun of Arts

    Fun of Arts may in fact be a graduation requirement that is school-specific. If he is in a STEM school this may be their way of covering a comprehensive education.

    My son who is headed to the Prep school enrolled in more than the minimum number of classes while in HS because those pesky 'graduation requirement classes" took up periods!

    Start talking with your HS school counselor now about your plans.


    Some say that the PSAT (used to be given in 10th grade) is a predictor of how you'll do on the SAT (add a 0 to your PSAT scores.)

    The important advice has already been stated: get help now, stay focused, and develop plans B and C!
     
  13. Kensy

    Kensy Member

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    Fun of arts is a graduation requirement and also I will be able to take Math Analysis Calculus Honors in Senior. I want to major in the social sciences section.
     
  14. Kensy

    Kensy Member

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    Also we do not have a specific ranking. You have to apply to get in top 10. Our school they look at your extra curricular and classes, GPA then they grade you. Also I do not even want to think of other colleges just Air force academy in my first priority.
     
  15. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

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    Its understandable that your goal is the AFA, but realistically, realize that there are plenty of very well-qualified candidates that do not get in to the Academy. Its a very competitive school, just like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, the other service academies, etc. I would venture a guess that 99.999% of the new appointees for the Class of 2016 had a backup plan B, C and probably D just in case. Since you are a rising sophomore, you don't have to have a defined backup plan YET, but you will need to be thinking along those lines by the time you are a junior so you can get info, make visits, etc. The Academy isn't the only way into the Air Force--many officers come from the ROTC ranks from colleges around the country. Your ultimate goal should be commissioning in the Air Force--and sometimes the route there is something other than the Academy. Nothing wrong with that. Shoot for the academy, but be prepared if it doesn't work the way you hope.

    Concerning classes, Fun. of Arts may be required, but you only list 5 classes for next year. Is that considered a full schedule? I would think 6 or 7 classes per semeseter would be more typical. That would give you the opportunity to take a social studies class, which you say is the direction you want to go with your major. The AFA will want to see you can handle a rigorous schedule (and get great grades), be involved in leadership positions in extracurriculars and sports, and be physically fit and participating in sports.

    Good luck to you!

    _________________
    Proud mom of a C3C
     
  16. Dad

    Dad Member

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    I agree with AFAYahoo 100%. Don't sweat the ranking. AFA has been selecting for years and accounts for the wide variety of high schools and how they rank. Just do your best, actively participate in ECs, lead where you can, and get decent grades. Best wishes. :thumb:
     
  17. AnotherLeadMom

    AnotherLeadMom Member

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    social sciences?

    Check into a class in statistics at some point. Some HS offer AP Stats.
    Good luck to you!
     
  18. Kensy

    Kensy Member

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    So my schedule is planned like this. There is no Geometry Honors. I am not weak in math it is just that I messed up in middle school.

    Geometry
    Business Math or integrated Lab Science or any kind of STEM courses if I can
    Biology Honors
    Korean 2 Honors
    English 2 Honors
    Cross Country/ Track
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Kensy I think you still missing one class which would be a history class. Also I was thinking originally track was your sport, are you running track competitively or is this your PE class? Two different things.

    Just curious on how that works, because theoretically than someone actually might not really be in the top 10, granted I know everyone would apply, but I am just not following why a school would make a student apply.

    I agree with AFAYahoo and every other poster regarding applying to other colleges. I know you are only a sophomore right now, but next spring you should start thinking about plan B. You will read over and over again for the next 2 yrs to have a plan B in place when you apply for any and all SA's. Nobody is trying to quash a dream, instead we are trying to insure the real dream, which as it has been said is to be an AF officer. The AFA or college will only be 4 yrs of your life, if you go for UPT it will be a total of 11 more on top of those 4 yrs. as an officer.

    OBTW one of the biggest reasons to have that Plan B college in place is due to the fact that even if you get an appointment something might happen to you physically (injury) that will not allow you to report for BCT. Plan B allows you to move on with your life for that one year as a medical turnback. About 3 yrs ago on this site there was an appointee that at I-Day twisted their knee walking off the bus, he was immediately sent back home. He went to his plan B college for a yr. He returned the next summer and the AFA medically said it was still a no go for a second time. His Plan B became Plan A.

    Keep doing what you are doing, you will be fine. You are in a much better place than any of your peers right now, many will not ever find this site, and many will not even think about after HS plans until their spring sophomore/fall jr yr. which can place them behind the 8 ball.

    Good luck
     
  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I would like to piggyback and emphasize what Yahoo said. There's nothing wrong with having a particular school as your first priority, but you can't think only about one school. And you definitely can't WAIT until you find out if you get the academy before you start looking at other schools. If you do, it will be too late to apply to those other schools. You won't find out about the academy normally until about march-april of your senior year.

    Now; if you're satisfied with attending a local community college or your state university has no real application process and residents are automatically accepted, and you're happy with that, then I guess you could not think of any other school. But let me say with conviction, that if you truly believe you are the type of student/person that can get into the academies, then you are the type of student/person who can get accepted to most of the best schools in the country. The academies are at the level of the Ivy League type schools. They are in line with the Stanfords, Purdues, W&M, or any other top school. So if you or anyone else thinks that the normal backup plan to the academies is the local state university of community college, then you are doing yourself a big disservice. Not to say that there aren't plenty of very good state universities; just that if you aren't applying to the top end schools too, then something is wrong. Put it this way: "If you don't think you're good enough to be applying to harvard, yale, princeton, brown, stanford, cornell, georgetown, michigan state, USC, etc... then you aren't good enough to be applying to the academies". I'm talking about quality, not desire. If you don't like Gerogetown, you shouldn't be applying there. But if you aren't applying because you don't think you are good enough, then you aren't good enough for the academies. They are academically in the same class.

    And remember; as good as you think you might be, LESS than 10% of initial applicants or interested individuals will receive an appointment to the academies. The air force had OVER 12,000 interested and only about 1070 received appointments. Believe it or not, there are 4.0gpa students who DON'T receive appointments. So when you start the application process for the academy, you need to start the application process for AT LEAST 4-5 other schools. Of those, at least 3 should be equal in quality of the academies and the other 2 can be "Safety Schools". And don't believe for a second that you can't afford a particular school and therefor won't apply to it. Apply first and get accepted; the money will work itself out if you get accepted. But definitely apply to other schools; including top notch universities.
     

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