Current Freshman willing to answer questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by RogersCO'19, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Hello, so the title says it all. I love these forums and really want to help others out. I am currently a freshman and am willing to answer any questions that might be had.
     
  2. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    I have a DS junior in high school. Any general advice you would give to him? For instance what would you have done differently in high school knowing what you know now?

    Also, how difficult are your first year courses? Do the instructor/professors go at a pace faster than you expected? Is there are good academic support network?

    Thank you for providing your insights, and thank you for your willingness to serve our Nation.
     
  3. Graduation2016

    Graduation2016 Member

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    1. What do you and other cadets do in your limited free time? As in, what do you do for fun?

    2. Do you know how common it is for the cadets to be second time applicants? I remember reading somewhere (but cannot find it) that about 1/3 of the Wing is composed of cadets that got in after reapplying (as in they were not accepted the first time). Do you know if there is any truth to that because 1/3 seems like more than I would think.

    Thank you
     
  4. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    How would you compare your academic classes at USAFA to classes you took in HS? Was it a big leap?
    How does training for IC sports fit into the freshman schedule?
    How much sleep so you average?
    How does the cadet squadron system work?
    What classes are you taking for first and second semester?
    Do you have to eat disciplined after bct?
    Do you still get harassed during the academic year like you did in bct?
    I'll stop there lol
     
  5. VarsityNARP

    VarsityNARP Member

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    Not to steal Rogers' thunder but I can answer some IC stuff as well as general info too!

    Jest: ICs will take their classes in the morning and then practice for a few hours in the afternoon, usually getting done around dinner. Classes are at a higher level than your AP classes but still relatively manageable. If you manage time well you should be able to guarantee at least six hours a night (IC Schedule). Freshmen courses are available online (pretty sure). You are technically 'At ease' at meals now which means you can do anything but talk, but most elements actually want to get to know their freshmen so its pretty relaxed. There is still annoying stuff you have to deal with but its nothing like Beast.

    Oh and your Basic Flight corresponds to your Ac year squadron 1-40
     
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  6. VarsityNARP

    VarsityNARP Member

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    2016: We get off base whenever we can lol. Tons of stuff to do in the springs and on the trails. I'd say about a third sounds right, academies like persistence and if you improve your app you're even m0re likely.
     
  7. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    For instance what would you have done differently in high school knowing what you know now?
    -TAKE CALCULUS. I opted out of taking calc in high school and it is my hardest class now because there is so much I am expected to know and have no clue about.
    -Work out more than what you feel is enough. I thought I worked out a good amount before basic and I was exhausted physically to the point where I got injured.

    Also, how difficult are your first year courses?
    -Computer Science is a little challenging if you have no prior background in it. Same thing for calc. As far as my other classes go, it all depends on the effort you put forth. Definitely more effort required than that of high school classes, even advanced, ap or IB classes.
    Do the instructor/professors go at a pace faster than you expected?
    -My teachers teach relatively fast but they offer extra instruction if you miss anything and a lot of them post the power points on their web pages.
    Is there are good academic support network?
    -Oh yea! There are wing tutors, squad tutors, teachers give tutoring and a whole center for tutoring by professors and instructors.

    Thank you, and I hope this helps!
     
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  8. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    1. What do you and other cadets do in your limited free time? As in, what do you do for fun?
    -As far as being an unrecognized freshman, It is squadron dependent on how you can leave. In my squadron, it is based on our Knowledge test that freshman take every week. If you pass you are free to go, If not, you are restricted. I have gone out to the springs a lot, some friends have traveled to Denver and on base there is bowling and hiking.

    2. Do you know how common it is for the cadets to be second time applicants? I remember reading somewhere (but cannot find it) that about 1/3 of the Wing is composed of cadets that got in after reapplying (as in they were not accepted the first time). Do you know if there is any truth to that because 1/3 seems like more than I would think.
    -I do not have a lot of background with this. I know that it is possible but I don't know statistics. Christcorp might know.
     
  9. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    How does training for IC sports fit into the freshman schedule?
    -I am not IC but there are many in my squad. They seem to practice very often and miss out on a lot of freshman training due to practice and games but they work hard. Keeping good grades is possible for ICs because there are a few in my squad with above a 3.0gpa

    How much sleep so you average?
    - I usually get about 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Work ahead and you wont be up cramming all night.

    How does the cadet squadron system work?
    -Freshman are the lowest with no job. Then there are sophomores who have a job and are in charge of one freshman. Then juniors are usually element leaders and are in charge of 4th and 3rd degrees and then seniors are at the top. There are various jobs with officers (seniors) NCOs (Juniors) and clerks (sophomores) If you ever need to communicate things, it always goes up the chain of command starting with the sophomore that coaches you.

    What classes are you taking for first and second semester?
    1st: Calc 1, Portuguese 131, Computer Science, Intro to Engineering, History, Reading Skills, Physical Development, and Study Skills
    2nd: Calc 2, Portuguese 132, Chemistry 100, Physics, Behavorial Science, and Airmenship

    Do you have to eat disciplined after bct?
    -Right now we are allowed to eat at ease during mandatory meals and upper classmen can put us at rest during optional meals. Last year I believe they ate at attention after basic so it might be different for class of 2020.

    Do you still get harassed during the academic year like you did in bct?
    -I wouldn't say we are harassed. The atmosphere is lighter, and not as grueling. We have a special set of rules to follow but as long as you follow them, you will be just fine. I'm sure there may be a few instances here and there where a freshman hasn't been treated fairly but I have yet to see it.
     
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  10. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Hey if you can answer, go for it!
     
  11. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    My DD is a junior and taking college algebra. She has been debating taking calculus or trig or both her senior year. Some have said to take trig because that will help with calculus. Should she just try and take both?
     
  12. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    I think it would benefit her more to take calculus so that she can get the trig and other things. Calculus does encompass a lot of trig but not only trig. If she can, it could put her a step ahead of the game by taking both but if I had to pick between the two, I would take calculus
     
  13. KTMDad

    KTMDad Member

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    We got our DS a Fitbit for his birthday and he averaged just over 5 hours of sleep per night last week. He is not an IC, but I imagine he could be a little more efficient with his time as he is a very social person and is the gym 4-5 days per week. Not that you asked, but I believe he walked just over 98k steps last week which is about 46 miles and burned an average of 3100 calories a day.
     
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  14. KTMDad

    KTMDad Member

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    She should take the most challenging courses offered at her HS. Our DS had to take trig before calc and he is glad he took them.
     
  15. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    Holy crap, dude must be living off coffee or caffeine tablets. Thanks for the info!
    And I've heard trig before calc is good but if you're pressed for time like me, take both. In spring I'll be taking applied calc 1 (supposedly the dumbed down calc 1) and trig at the same time, but it all comes down to the determination of the individual
     
  16. jwest182

    jwest182 USAFA Cadet C/O 2019

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    Hope I'm not intruding, but I am happy to provide my 19 cents as well! I remember having lots of questions at this point last year, so please ask! It was always good for me to hear from actual cadets!
     
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  17. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    How long is a typical class? Class times probably vary but it'd be nice to know, just to understand whether I could get a few minutes of free time to try to pick up my scattered brains after calculus class before I attempt to live through chemistry lol

    What programs are available to those who wish to pursue a career in aviation? I know USAFA has a lot but I've never looked into specifics

    What kind of courses do premed track students take? And if I try to take premed courses, will I be able to apply for an aviation slot and for the medical school scholarship?

    I'm a running addict (about 60 miles per week at the moment) and hope to run under 2 minutes in the 800 and 4:32 in the 1600 (not sure how that translates over to the 1500) but in the event where I do not meet my goals and am not able to walk on to the track and field team, is there like a running club or intramural running sport? Or should I even worry about running because I'd get plenty of it in physical training sessions?
     
  18. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    How long is a typical class?
    -53 Minutes

    Class times probably vary but it'd be nice to know, just to understand whether I could get a few minutes of free time to try to pick up my scattered brains after calculus class before I attempt to live through chemistry lol
    -Nine times out of ten, you will have a few free blocks. There are 7 blocks a day and you have different classes each day. They call it M and Tdays. On Mdays I have 3 free blocks and on Tdays I have 4

    What programs are available to those who wish to pursue a career in aviation?
    -Soaring and jump. I believe all freshman are signed up for airmanship where you can get in a plane like 4 times. There are also some other programs and clubs such as wings of blue and wings of green. Lots of opportunites to get some time in a plane. I don't think you can solo till youre further along though. An upperclassmen can correct me if I am wrong.

    What kind of courses do premed track students take? And if I try to take premed courses, will I be able to apply for an aviation slot and for the medical school scholarship?
    -I believe you can try and apply for both, premed usually takes biology or classes of that nature I believe. It is hard but doable.

    I'm a running addict (about 60 miles per week at the moment) and hope to run under 2 minutes in the 800 and 4:32 in the 1600 (not sure how that translates over to the 1500) but in the event where I do not meet my goals and am not able to walk on to the track and field team, is there like a running club or intramural running sport? Or should I even worry about running because I'd get plenty of it in physical training sessions
    -I don't believe there is a running intramural but there is marathon club. A member from my squad is in the club and they compete long distances
     
  19. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    Checking in to provide the upperclassman perspective.

    Any general advice you would give to him? For instance what would you have done differently in high school knowing what you know now?
    -- This goes without saying but make sure he keeps his nose clean!!

    How difficult are your first year courses? Do the instructor/professors go at a pace faster than you expected? Is there are good academic support network?
    -- First year courses really should not be a struggle. Most freshman take 5 the first semester and 6 the second. The most difficult of these courses will likely be Calc I and Calc II. Also the English Dept has a tendency to give out low grades near the beginning of a semester so don't be discouraged if that is the case. Instructors proceed at a reasonable pace and are available often to help in Extra Instruction. You are also able to get help from other instructors or the Qualitative Reasoning Center and Writing Center.

    What do you and other cadets do in your limited free time? As in, what do you do for fun?
    -- I play a little guitar, rock climb, surf the web, watch movies and play video games. During the winter I make it a point to get up to the mountains to ski as much as possible (usually ends up being about 7 times a season). Over the weekend there is usually time to go out to eat or do something fun in the springs. Depending on how you structure your week, you can usually get at least one day where you pretty much don't do any HW. For me this is saturday.

    Do you know how common it is for the cadets to be second time applicants? I remember reading somewhere (but cannot find it) that about 1/3 of the Wing is composed of cadets that got in after reapplying (as in they were not accepted the first time). Do you know if there is any truth to that because 1/3 seems like more than I would think.
    -- About 180ish come from AF Prep each year and then there are cadets who come from various other civilian prep schools or colleges. I'd estimate it to be about 230 second time applicants overall, translating to about 1/5 of an incoming class.

    How would you compare your academic classes at USAFA to classes you took in HS? Was it a big leap?
    -- I had a break in between high school and USAFA. These classes do seem more rigorous and I often wonder why I didn't apply myself in HS like I do here at USAFA.

    How does training for IC sports fit into the freshman schedule?
    -- ICs have morning classes and sport practice in the afternoon. I am not an IC but I have many friends that are and maintain very tough schedules. Some of them decide that their real priority is to become an AF officer and quit their IC sport to focus on academics

    How much sleep so you average?
    -- I average about 6 hrs during the week and 10 hrs over the weekends.

    How does the cadet squadron system work?
    -- Roughly 100 cadets to a squadron, about 25 coming from each class (although usually there are more freshman and then decreasing numbers of upperclassmen from there). Seniors are cadet officers, juniors are cadet NCOs, sophomores are cadet ssgts, and frosh are frosh. A sophomore will coach usually 1 maybe 2 cadets for a semester. A junior may hold an element leader position and supervise 3 sophomores, 3-4 frosh and have some attached seniors. Seniors hold flight commander positions (supervise 3 elements of roughly 10 people), squad commander, or various squad staff jobs. Some Seniors and juniors work at the group (comprised of 10 squads) or the wind level (all 4 groups).

    What classes are you taking for first and second semester?
    -- Eng 101, Calc 1, Calc 2, Chem 100, English 111, CompSci 110, History 100, Beh Sci 110, Physics 110, two language courses.

    Do you have to eat disciplined after bct?
    -- This changes year to year. If there were a meal where you would eat at attention it would be lunch. However, it seems like the training pendulum has swung to a more relaxed mode across the wing right now.

    Do you still get harassed during the academic year like you did in bct?
    -- You should never be harassed but rather trained. During the normal day it would be rare to be treated like a basic cadet. Your squad may have training sessions which somewhat resemble the BCT environment.

    My DD is a junior and taking college algebra. She has been debating taking calculus or trig or both her senior year. Some have said to take trig because that will help with calculus. Should she just try and take both?
    -- Trig and Calc together might be difficult. Ultimately it is your daughter's call.

    How long is a typical class?
    -- 53 minutes as mentioned earlier. Some classes are double period and go for. . . about 106 minutes. Double period classes do not always use the entire class time. For example, phys 110 is a double period course but only 8 or so lessons are actually double periods for labs. Many students stay during the extra period because the instructors hang around and help with hw questions.

    What programs are available to those who wish to pursue a career in aviation?
    -- It is my understanding that every incoming cadet will step into a plane at some point during their cadet career. There is a soaring (gliders) intro class for frosh during the frosh academic year. There is soaring (gliders) available during the summer in between freshman and sophomore year. Cadets have the opportunity to apply to become a glider instructor pilot during their cadet career after the summer between frosh and sophomore year. Cadets interested in a pilot slot are required to take Powered Flight sometime during their junior year/summer. Powered flight is a half-semester program. I am not PQ so I am not as familiar with these programs.

    What kind of courses do premed track students take? And if I try to take premed courses, will I be able to apply for an aviation slot and for the medical school scholarship?
    -- I'm not so sure about this one. I think cadets usually major in Bio or BioChem (although they may have just gotten rid of the latter). You are still required to complete all pre-reqs for med school as a civilian would. I'd imagine one could be a pilot and a doctor (those of the flight surgeons of the AF) but I'm not actually sure how this works at all. Try running some searches for old threads.

    I'm a running addict (about 60 miles per week at the moment) and hope to run under 2 minutes in the 800 and 4:32 in the 1600 (not sure how that translates over to the 1500) but in the event where I do not meet my goals and am not able to walk on to the track and field team, is there like a running club or intramural running sport?
    -- The marathon team will keep you busy if you love running. There is no intramural running sport as of now but there has been in the past. You won't run an awfully lot during official squad training sessions.

    I typed these out quickly so there are probably more than a few typos!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  20. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Thanks for that, You answered some of these questions better than I could
     

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