Current cadets college life

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jonafox94, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. jonafox94

    jonafox94 Parent

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    To all current cadets and alumni:
    I am 100% certain that this is the college I want to attend but i was wondering how you guys feel about the college life at west point.
    Do you ever regret not going to a regular 4 year university
    Do you feel as though you missed out on the "College Experience"
    everyone that tries to talk me out of attending west point almost always says "but you are going to miss your whole college experience"
     
  2. lotrjedi13

    lotrjedi13 _

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    I'm pretty sure that every cadet at some point wishes that they'd gone to a normal school. I know I have, and I've only been at WP for a year.

    In the end, though, I may not have the typical "college experience" but I'm still having one - I've met some of the best people, got to do some pretty cool stuff (for free, I might add), and have grown a lot. Yeah, I don't partyevery weekend, get hammered, or have as much freedom as my civilian university counterparts, but you learn pretty quick how to work inside (or outside, covertly :wink:) the system to still enjoy yourself.
     
  3. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Not a cadet or grad. Just a a dad. But here's a slightly different perspective on the comments you are hearing from others:

    It just becomes *your* college experience. As one grad General put it: "You have picked about the hardest way to get a college degree in existence".

    If you are looking for keg parties & hookups, probably need to look elsewhere.

    If you are looking for the premier leadership school and willing to serve your country after you graduate, then it might be for you.

    This does not mean you don't have fun along the way. My son is in BEAST, and is routinely having fun. But is also extremely challenged every day. And it will get harder once the academic year starts.

    But the best way to answer your question is to start thinking about USMA not as a college destination but as the beginning of your adult career. If you cannot see yourself serving as an officer for 5 years (plus three reserve), then you need to reconsider.
     
  4. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    As my SL at SLS said... "A lot of stuff here doesn't make sense", but, "This place grows on you!"
     
  5. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    I know I can't speak for others but I would say that its pretty obvious that thought crosses every cadet's mind at least once at any point or time. There are pros and cons of going to USMA and pros and cons of going to a regular college and its ROTC program. From what I've heard from a ROTC friend of mine, I'm glad I'm at West Point and not ROTC, from a career point of view. Its not about what we feel...its a fact that every cadet gives up the quintessential college experience. No, I don't regret coming here and I'm glad to be here. But there are things that I feel bummed to have given up. For me, I hope grad school will help me experience some of the things I know I'm missing right now. Its up to you to decide whats worth it in the grand scheme of things. Remember to look past the West Point experience and to the profession, where it really matters. Its four years that will fly by (seems to be flying by, at least) and if you decide to go, maybe someday, grad school will help give you an experience of some of the things you missed out on as a cadet.
     
  6. jonafox94

    jonafox94 Parent

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    Thank all of you for your answers, I guess what I was looking for was just some reassurance that I'm not the only one that may feel like he missed out on some things.
    This quote may just be one of best things you can ever tell a cadet or prospective student. it just made me want to get into West Point even worse and I now have a comeback for all of the neysayers. :smile:
     
  7. Stealth

    Stealth Warrior from the Start

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    You will soon have the reassurance of 4000+ fellow battle buddies :)

    I joined the Army right after HS knowing that the Army was going to my career and lifestyle. I look at civilian colleges as having too many unnecessary distractions that will more likely hinder my professional development in the military rather than to nurture. Not to bring down civilian colleges with ROTC programs but if I know I want to continue serving in the Army why would I want to have a four year gap? Of course my inner child wants to live careless and unstructured but the disciplined soldier in me puts that child at a half-right face and smokes him mercilessly!!! :shake:

    Keep motivated Jonafox, we are all in this together and the sacrifice we make now will pay massive dividends in the future for ourselves and the soldiers we will lead!
     
  8. 2BoyzMom

    2BoyzMom Member

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    As a mom of a 2014 cadet who is currently (and finally) home on leave and sleeping like a baby:smile:I always ask him this question to be sure he is confident in his choice. The answer is always a resounding "I am where I am supposed to be."

    Does he miss the freedom of civilian college, sometimes, and as he says "if I was in a regular college my gpa would be higher (his is in the mid 3's, so as a parent I'm happy). But would he have the skills and experiences he has now??...not in a million years. Would he have the tight group of friends he has now....probably not, because literally they have shed blood, sweat and sometime tears together.....all in one year!! Try and get that at a civilian college!! So as a Old Grad told me "West Point....nobody wants to be here.....but everybody wants to be FROM here.":thumb:

    Hooah........Go Army!
     
  9. johnwayne

    johnwayne New Member

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    I guess I'll give you my perspective. I should have been in the Class of 2014 and accepted my appointment but decided against it shortly before I was to report on R-Day for a variety of reasons. I went through my freshman year of college, joined a fraternity, and produced mediocre academic results by my standards (no, it had nothing to do with the fraternity). I haven't been a complete waste of space, but I haven't felt like I've been doing too much with my life either.

    I've been contemplating ROTC at my college for a long time now and am about to do it. It seems to be more intense than your average ROTC program, and it's pretty well-respected nationally. One of my good friends from high school did it for his freshman year and got in to West Point on his second try. He's up there right now, about to finish Beast, and I'm really proud of him. I think about my decision not to go to West Point almost every day and it still bothers me. I've even thought about re-applying, but I doubt USMA lets me back in since I backed out so close to R-Day. Given what I've learned over the past year, I would jump at the opportunity to go, so I may go through the process again.

    My point to you is that West Point isn't for everybody and a lot of people should do ROTC instead. However, if you really are certain it's the right college for you, go for it, and don't look back. I think my personal experience is as good as anyone's in regards to this issue. When you're up there, always remember that most of the things you think you are missing out on don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. If West Point is really something you want, then a lot of that other stuff should rightfully be considered horse**** to you.
     
  10. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Anytime I think about it, I know I made the right choice. You can use the "miss you" argument for everything since all choices have an associated opportunity cost. I don't consider it missing out on a "traditional" college experience because I knew from Day 1 that I wasn't going to settle for a "traditional" life.

    There is plenty of time on weekends (more so on the last 2 years) on leave, and after graduation to do the things you are restricted from doing during academics/training.
     
  11. Stealth

    Stealth Warrior from the Start

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    For me I would be able to be home far more often than I have for the past five years!!:yllol:
     
  12. TheKnight

    TheKnight Class of 2014

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    I would say that most who attend West Point are thinking beyond college and, quite honestly, are not so selfish to be concerned about missing out on the "college experience", whatever that may be. Most who come here want to serve their country and have some kind of commitment to making themselves better everyday. The rest who aren't like that resign or do dumb things that get them kicked out.

    If you're looking to "have fun" at college, then I would say West Point isn't for you because the point isn't to have fun. If you're looking to get a college education, get some military training, and end up as a commissioned leader of character then I'd say West Point is the best option there is for that.
     
  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    What is "college experience?"

    I spent a year at a college before I went to West Point so I cab compare. In terms to normal activites, clubs, sports, volunteering, and etc, not much difference between a regular college and West Point.

    Few things you can't do at West Point - get drunk regularly during weekends (some cadets manage to, but don't recommend it), miss classes regularly, join a faternity, stay up as long as you want to play video games, and etc.

    As other posters stated, whatever you might miss, you get it back.
     
  14. GregMilitary

    GregMilitary Member

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    Can you please give me the meaning of the quote, especially the last part of it!

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me."
     
  15. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    GregMilitary, you asked for the meaning of TheKnight's quote......

    It's from the Bible.....Psalms 23:4 http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Psalms-23-4/

    From The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language: Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.
     

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