Are Mids Happier?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by napjim, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. napjim

    napjim Member

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    My son has appointments to both USMA and USNA. Over the Fall we did a day visit to West Point and a few weeks ago he did a CVW at Navy. His observation was that the Mids seemed happier -- is there any evidence of this?

    I think this may be because his observations were different. During a day tour at West Point, he only "hung out" with the plebe who escorted him and had limited interactions with others at classes and lunch.

    The CVW seems to do a better job at selling candidates on the school. For one, by organizing around specific weekends, rules are relaxed a bit for everyone. Also, the visit lasts through Friday night -- as the weekend begins for upperclassmen after class/6pm on Friday, it may have been a more relaxed atmosphere. Also, being Friday, guys played some board games after class and before dinner, dinner Friday was cafeteria style. Friday night there were different activities -- Semi-finals of the brigade boxing and Spamalot was being performed. Saturday morning, breakfast was eggs cooked to order.

    Certainly it was a longer view of student life and being a Thursday/ Friday/ Saturday weekend, there was an opportunity to view student life without the pressure of studying and so forth.

    So, is there any evidence that mids are happier than cadets?
     
  2. mjm

    mjm Member

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    MY DS did a CVW Spring of his Junior year and then went to NASS. He also did a day visit at West Point in Junior year , a sports camp the summer after junior year and then an overnight in September of Senior year at WP ( He had an LOE). Every time he compared the two he felt happiest at USNA. He said he could not give specifics as to why but his gut was telling him USNA. He felt like the opportunities at USNA after graduation were more in line with what he wanted to do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  3. Classof2018

    Classof2018 Member

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    Well, for me personally it had a lot to do with the environment of the two. In Annapolis the weather is a lot friendlier, the campus felt a bit more 'open' I guess you could say, and you have preppy old Annapolis right next to campus. West Point feels like a castle in the middle of nowhere, with far less forgiving weather.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 to Classof2018. I was going to comment that, having grown up in upstate NY, 265 days a year are overcast, cloudy, gray skies. The weather matches the uniforms it seems. I can't go back there now without getting depressed.
     
  5. BatonRouge2018

    BatonRouge2018 New Member

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    My opinion is that USNA does a better job of recruiting. When I was in middle school, I was only interested in WP, but I got into stem camp at USNA the summer before my sophomore year of high school, and got to see the campus and visit USNA before WP. Then around a year ago I was accepted in NASS and wait listed then eventually rejected for SLE. So last summer I spent a week at USNA instead of WP. But now I'm sitting in March with my BFE from WP (received January 17), but have not accepted yet because I'm waiting to see what USNA comes back with. My original mindset of strictly WP was changed by the opportunities USNA gave me to come visit and feel at home there. Now USNA is tied with WP for my first choice. Do your research too though, the USMA vs. USNA decision (if I have to make one) will also be heavily based on what I want to do after graduation. USNA may be a happier place for your DS's four years of school in his opinion, but maybe he can't stand being on a boat for 6 months... Lots of food for thought, I wouldn't base the decision strictly off happiness of cadets/mids on the random dates of your visits.


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  6. faststreet

    faststreet Member

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    Kinmen, you hit the nail on the head. We live in Syracuse and it is grey a good majority of the year. Most will tell you it does tend to grow on you.
     
  7. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    I think this is key:
    Yes, the weather, distance from home, opportunities available, and how well you adjust are all factors .... My DS visited both last spring/summer and never mentioned one group being happier than the other (although the weather was great for both visits). However, the first thing he said after getting off the plane from SLE was: So Many Hills!

    Even though his mindset switched from USNA to USMA very recently, I keep reminding him of those hills. :shake: He feels the opportunites at USMA are more in line with his goals.
     
  8. batinhand1

    batinhand1 Member

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    Sounds like Hogwarts.
     
  9. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Sounds like home sweet home to us (humidity, snow, tornadoes). I imagine it would be a culture shock to those from the West Coast and Southern states.
     
  10. KeriMarean

    KeriMarean New Member

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    Yeah NY is a very bipolar state and is nothing like NYC, prepare for heavy snow, bitter cold, humid summers, and lots of cloudy rainy days, with that being said I absolutely love this state and would not change a thing! Especially in the fall with the color change. Best of luck with whatever you choose!


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  11. #armystrong

    #armystrong Member

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    Especially when we are wearing our parkas. Everytime, it feels and looks like we are at Hogwarts and I personally think its awesome and it makes me crack up.
     
  12. COmom

    COmom Member

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    ^^^ Yep, I grew up in upstate NY too and didn't notice it was grey that often because that was just life. DS grew up in Colorado (300 days of sunshine) and is having a hard time adjusting to the MD weather; hot and humid, cold and bitter, grey skies for days on end, spring lasts approximately 1 week. :smile:

    I'll bet that mids are no "happier" than cadets. Keep the end goal in mind--what do you want to do when you're commissioned?
     
  13. momva

    momva New Member

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    2017 experience

    It is important to emphasize which school has the studies that most interest a candidate, and which branch of the service they are really willing to commit to. I assume he is OK (even more than OK really) with being on a ship, in a sub or flying. Having said that, in talking to USMA grad parents with plebes at USNA, BatonRouge2018 is correct, they seem to do a much better job of recruiting at USNA. When they bring students in for CVW they work very hard to sell all the benefits, whereas USMA doesn't really seem to try to "sell". As Class2018 said, you have Annapolis for liberty, but they also go to DC and Baltimore. The Academy takes them to DC once or twice by bus, and they stay and look around. But they get used to getting a cab together, getting a ride with another MID's family or taking the metro. And while the weather at Annapolis is overall more pleasant, don't minimize plebe summer. Candidates should understand that it will be a hot and humid time.
     
  14. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    Don't forget the option to go Marine Ground at USNA if ships or subs are not your cup of tea. You still have to go through the training cruises while at USNA, but selecting Marine Ground puts you pretty close to an infantry officer.
     
  15. allaheadfull

    allaheadfull Member

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    Disagree

    If I may, I would like to disagree with the general consensus. I took a visit to the AFA last march (I don't remember when, but it was definitely after Recognition), and went to NASS this summer. Although they are two different scinarios and are by no means comparable, I felt like the AFA cadets seemed like more normal college kids (I have taken a couple of visits to various colleges). The USNA cadets did not seem miserable by any means, just slightly more... reserved.
     
  16. COmom

    COmom Member

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    AFA tends to be more relaxed in it's expectations of cadets regarding liberty, cars, uniform expectations, etc. I think OP was asking about USMA and USNA. `
     
  17. StayingPositive

    StayingPositive Member

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    Yeah I have a friend at AFA right now and he said AFA is the most lenient of all the academies when it comes to being strict. Not by much, but regardless.


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  18. futuremid2018

    futuremid2018 Member

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    I think this is somewhat of an asinine thread. No offense to ANYONE in particular, I just think the whole discussion is invalid.

    I want to go to USNA because of certain career fields I have always wanted to be a part of. There is no difference between a cadet and a mid. The differences lie in the outcome of the school. Is one group happier? That is an absolutely impossible question. USNA has Annapolis, but USMA has NYC close by. I would say USNA is a bit more relaxed; USMA has some very serious and strenuous summer training programs that all cadets must go through; the USNA doesn't really offer things like that until later on to most Mids. I would say that there are pros and cons to both environments. USNA is definitely the winner when it comes to location. USMA has much more academic opportunity, that is just a fact; does this contribute to "happiness"? Who knows, again it is an impossible question to answer. I know mids and cadets and am the son of a graduate, and have met countless grads from both schools. There really isn't any difference between the people at the schools themselves.
     
  19. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    USMA is not upstate NY:biggrin: It is forty miles north of New York City. It is isolated but not considered up state. Ask the 10th at Fort Drum.
     
  20. Spull34

    Spull34 Member

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    USMA has much more academic opportunity, that is just a fact;

    Really?
     

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