Back-up motivation issues

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jlwilkes101, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. jlwilkes101

    jlwilkes101 Member

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    USMA is by far my number one school. My number two is...i dont know. If I don't find out about West Point before the deadlines at the beginning of january, I'll basically be applying to about 12 schools because I'm not sure exactly where else I'd want to go. And right there is my problem. I spent so much time working on the essays for West Point. I can't do that for other schools. Sometimes I can. If its an essay like "where do you like to get lost", I can handle it. But if the question's "why do you want to go to our school"...I've got nothing. They have ROTC. But all the schools im applying to have ROTC. So basically I have to make up a reason why that particular school is a perfect fit for me, when I know its not. Has anyone else had this problem? How do you motivate yourself to get excited for a plan B that you hope will never actually happen?
     
  2. aheadau2

    aheadau2 New Member

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    jlwilkes101 I'm sending you a PM.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You have to find something you like about each school, otherwise why apply at all? Key in on that. You also need to think longer term. Is it all really about the DS for you or is it education, commissioning and serving? If its the former you should probably reflect a bit. If its the latter there ate many fine schools out there that can meet your needs

    Supposedly my son is majoring in history but he's really majoring in ROTC and there's something to be said for a more normal college experience vs DS. Each has pros and cons. Use the ROTC pros to motivate yourself.
     
  4. jlwilkes101

    jlwilkes101 Member

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    It's definately for the educating, commissioning, and serving. And if ROTC is the route I end up in, I'm sure I'll be perfectly happy with it; after all, it takes me to the same place. What I especially like about the service academies is the environment. Outside of the SMCs (which I did apply to), I can't seem to find a regular college with an environment i can get excited about. And even though I'm sure I'd be happy anywhere with ROTC...the problem im having is getting excited enough about those places to write a good enough essay to get in.
     
  5. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    My son had the same issue - West Point was his clear first choice but he applied (and was accepted) at several good schools including two Ivy League schools. Fortunately he was selected for and is a proud member of the Class of 2015 - half way thru Plebe year!!

    He also had been approved for a 4-Year ROTC scholorship. I am sure that if he had attended a ROTC university he would have made the best of it. However, I think he would have tried for WP again as it was "in his blood'.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I don't mean this to be harsh though it will probably come across that way. We all face tasks we would rather not do as you also would at the academy. But they need to be done. So get over it and get those applications done. You know how to sell yourself and you know you would be a good catch for any school. Just sell yourself on the application the same way you've done on the others. All colleges are interested in developing leaders. They all like duty, honor, service to country. OK. Maybe not USC Berkeley. I'm sure you can adapt the essays you've already done to any school.. Truth be told, they would be accurate reflections of why you want to go there. Get over it and get on with it soldier! :thumb:
     
  7. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Just think about living at home with nothing to do except be nagged by your parents to take the garbage out and get a job as you wait for the applications to open. Oh, but wait, some schools only take new freshman for Fall semester, so it's a full year.

    You'll get motivated.

    My suggestion: Start with a safety. One that you are comfortable you can get in, and afford.

    Then add your favorite stretch.

    Once you do the two, you'll have enough material you can cut & paste.

    Or just do the unique essays for schools in the "Common Appl" system.

    But you need a plan B, even if it's the local state school
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I hope you realize that many things in life you have to "motivate" yourself to do it regardless of the exciting factor, especailly in the military.

    You answered the question already - education, commission, and service. As I interviewed candidates and asked "Why West Point," many times the answer is "just because . . ."

    I know many candidates are fixated on writing awarding winning essays, but essay itself won't get you accepted to any school. Just don't say this is school is my back up school to West Point.
     
  9. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    One of the many questions that the nomination committe of the senator who selected my cadet asked: "What is your back-up plan if you don't get into West Point?" He was able to tell them that he had applied to 2 great state universities, VMI, and had applied for an ROTC scholarship and would go into the Army by that route if necessary. They are ultimately trying to gauge your level of commitment to seving in the US Army.
     
  10. CGBear87

    CGBear87 Member

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    Well said, Kinnem. You need a Plan B so get a Plan B. You don't have to be in love with it, it just has to work! It better be one you can live with too, at least for a year, because chances are you are going to need it. If there is no other school out there that interests you, why not enlist for a year? At one congressional academy night I attended with DD this year, 8 of the 9 academy grads who presented did not get in directly out of high school. I was impressed by that. Let's not overthink this evolution... just lean into it and get it done.

    Having said all that, JWLikes101... I feel your pain. I got in off the alternate list and I found out near the end of April. We all know how you feel. Good Luck.
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Have you explored some of the prep schools out there? They are also a great way to get the academic prep for the SAs. Also reapplying after your first year in college is a great way to enter a SA. Understand your desire, but as said a solid plan B is needed. Remember a plan B might only need to be a one year option also. The thought of a plan B was a nightmare for me also, but you know you have to have one.

    Take a different look at it and think of it as great future training... as an officer, especially in the Army and Marines on the ground side, you always have a plan and analyze and tear it apart as much as possible, that way when something doesn't go your way and you have to change course of action you are prepared for it. I always heard when I was Marine, "What now Lt?" This was to make you think and prepare as much possible. it sounds corny, but just think of your Plan B as the start of your Army training!
     
  12. Blake3348

    Blake3348 USMA Appointee 2016

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    Thats only the deadline for the application, not the deadline for when you are to find out about your appointment or not. In some cases, people don't find out until as late as June.
     
  13. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I think the OP meant deadlines to apply to civilian schools. Nearly all the ones my son is applying to have a deadline of either Jan 1 or 2. He's also waiting to hear from several EA schools in December before submitting some Plan B applications (might as well save the application fees if possible!). But I agree - answering "Why I want to go to X" is getting old, particularly when his answer for them is pretty much "I really don't!"

    I will add though that at least for our region for WP, we've been told that due to the reduction in slots this year that most candidates won't find out until at least March. So unless you have a principal or Presidential nom, or an LOA, I'd probably say it's safe to assume you'll be waiting longer than early January, so you may want to plan on doing at least a couple of those applications!
     
  14. jlwilkes101

    jlwilkes101 Member

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    I like that. It's not so much that I don't have a plan B (I have about 12 actually haha), its just that I couldn't get myself to pursue them as much as I needed to, so I decided to post here because I knew someone could give me the kick to suck it up and do it. Which I'll be doing tonight. I have applied to a few safety schools already; its the ones with the personal applications i was having trouble with. But now I'm not going to look at the applications as personal; they're just essays. Essays I need to do, whether my heart's in them or not. So thank you, all of you. I appreciate it.
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Good! Keep us posted. Report back here when the assignment is complete! I'm sure we'll find something else for you to do by then! :thumb:
     
  16. jlwilkes101

    jlwilkes101 Member

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    Claremont McKenna=submitted
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    YAY! One down.... Keep it up!
     
  18. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Good job. Now if you really do have 12 schools that you are interested in and can not pare it down any further then carry on. I would suggest trying to pare it down to 5 or so and do a good job on those. It will probably cost you around $1000 to apply to 12 schools.
     

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