Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by grtkidmom, Feb 28, 2010.
Excellent experience and confirmed USNA is #1 school choice. Hope Mids enjoyed the cookies!!!!!!
That's great! I've been wondering how the weekend went for those going to CVW. RascalFlatts, did you make it OK?
I just got back last night from the February CVW and it's definitely cemented my decision to attend the school. It was a lot of what I expected - I've been looking up all the info I can about it and the life of the students - but there were also a few things I did not expect.
I was surprised by how much some of the mids tried to get away with things such as listening to music or partying...and I was in one of the stricter companies supposedly. It also seemed as if the upperclass didn't really care too much - as long as the violations weren't blatant, nothing happened to them.
A lot of my roommates were NAPSters, and from what I heard basically all people did at NAPS was party and screw around for a year.
But anyways, I liked the food, the lifestyle, the school spirit, and everything else there. I made some friends there, and am proud to be in the class of 2014!
Its so funny that that is what they say about the NAPSTERS my son said the same thing an now his sister is going to NAPS it will be interesting to see what the truth is. Napsters have a lot more freedom and I think that is why it looks that way to the kids at USNA.
It's a common complaint that one hears about the state of honor and accountability at the USNA these days.
Your observations confirm what many current Mids see as well, and most of them are not happy with it either.
Cynicism reigns, according to the Mids I speak with on a regular basis.
I hear things are changing, I'll believe it when I see it.
Maybe someone from USNA will see this thread.
Oh, come now! These are kids boasting about what they supposedly got away with, most of which is probably exagerrated. Let's get real - this is nothing like what goes on freshman year or any other year at a civilian college. Mids should be able to let off a little steam given the academic and physical pressures they live everyday.
All I can say is my son is expecting more from the Academy, and will hopefully not be disappointed.
Perhaps you need to speak with some of the mids who are on the honor committee/honor staff and get their opinions about what is really happening there.
All is not well, but that's a topic for another thread, not this one.
This is I honestly don't know how to reply to this. Let me try to provide a little perspective.
There's a saying at USNA that "You rate what you get away with." It's true.
At USNA as in real life, there are the serious rules and the . . . well, not so serious ones. While there are consequences for both, the severity of the consequences obviously increases with the severity of the activity.
Murder and exceeding the speed limit are both laws. I think most people have exceeded the speed limit at some point in their lives and many of us do it routinely, even though we know we shouldn't. Not saying it's right, just that we do it and the penalties for getting caught reflect that. DUI is much more serious. Murder -- really serious.
Ditto for USNA. They have rules that are really important and it's made clear to the mids what those are. You violate one of those (e.g., DUI or drugs) and the consequences are usually immediate and severe. Things like music, etc. are not that important on the vast scheme of things and many mids try to get away with that stuff. They have for years. I was probably one of the most compliant mids and I still had a pocket TV. Other folks climbed the wall after taps. And on and on.
You get caught, you fess up (do NOT lie) and take your licks.
If you enter USNA thinking you're with a bunch of choirboys/girls, you not only will be disappointed, you'll have a really tough time staying there. That doesn't mean mids routinely flaunt the rules; rather, they tweak them around the edges. And, the upperclass know what's important and what's not. Leaders know that, sometimes, you have to look the other way -- the trick is understand when you can and can't do it, and that's all part of leadership.
Don't fear -- the SAs are filled with a great bunch of men & women; but they're human beings, not angels.
singaporemom, I don't think your son will be disappointed. I think your son can get out of it what he wants. There will always be mids trying to pust the envelope and see what they can get away with, I don't think one example of a cvw can accurately describe the overall environment at USNA.
Great post USNA1985, thats just what I meant to say.
Fishbowl --Agreed. Son's hosts were very respectful of USNA traditions, policies and rules. With that said, they are also very resourceful, bright and motivated kids which leads to the occasional stretching the limits of the rules. After all they are 18 year old college kids who want to have a little fun....of course within the rules. I don’t think it is too uncommon for 18 year olds to embellish, exaggerate and boast about their stories of almost stepping over the line once in awhile.
My son did not witness or hear of any major rule violation during his visit. He was excited to see he was very similar to his host Mids; motivated, disciplined, respectful and driven to succeed.
My son is no 'choir boy', has friends in all groups, relates well to most, and has been around the world many, many times over. He has seen alot.
But the bloggers on the one side who insist that these candidates be honorable, etc and then dismiss violations as if it's nothing is a bit confusing for someone trying to grasp what my kid will be put through.
Of course if a mid is reading in bed after lights out, I wouldn't expect them to be marching the yard....but so far the partying part of the last set of posts is not being disputed. Actually is confirmed.
"Your observations confirm what many current Mids see as well, and most of them are not happy with it either."
Sounds as if some Mids are not pleased with parts of the atmosphere. Another lesson learned and more information to help kids attending on how to get through their 4 years. I'm not expecting everyone to be perfect, but a candidates visit without parental filter can be very eye opening.
There are some bad apples in every class -- and you're right, they annoy those who are generally following the rules. But there are bad apples in the military itself; those who continue to flaunt authority typically don't last long.
Also, I would say there is less emphasis on the "partying" rules and much more on the "serious" rules, such as DUI, fraternization, drugs -- not to mention the honor concept. Based on my experience, you can also get away with a lot more in March than in September.
You should enter a SA expecting to follow all rules at all times, just like most people typically obey the speed limit the first few days they have their driver's licencse. During your time at USNA, you'll have to determine for yourself what type of person you want to be when it comes to the rules. For example, how breaking them will affect you or your subordinates (an upperclass issue). It's part of growing and and part of leading and being led.
Finally, I agree that, on CVWs, mids often want to embellish their rule-breaking b/c they think it makes them look "cool" (or whatever moniker is used today). They don't want to look like angels or choirboys to the visiting h.s. students. So, things may not be quite as "bad" as they seemed.
First of all I wanted to say usna1985's posts were right on - great posts and insights! I fully agree that there are the "real" rules - honor/frat/drugs/DUI that people will not overlook and then the "regs" rules - at any academy. It doesn't sound like anyone's talking about seeing any real rules violated at CVW. My son was there in January and also found it a lot more "lax" than he was expecting - the plebes from the company he stayed at were having scooter races in the hallways on Friday night and most were playing "illegal" games on their computers (meaning that they weren't supposed to have). My son spent much of the weekend playing Call of Duty - just like at home!
But these kids work hard all week, and still have plenty of homework, responsibilities, and duties. It is late in the year and probably a whole lot different than visiting at the first CVW in October. Plus, most likely this was on Friday night when many/most of the upperclass were gone. I think it's kind of unrealistic to expect that they won't be trying to "get around" some of the small things to relax and actually have some fun after 6-8 months of stress! Yes, they realize if they get caught, they will pay the price. usna's analogy to a new driver is a good one - I have a 16 year old with a new license who is paranoid about everything still ("Is everyone buckled?!") and an almost 18 year old who I know (yes, siblings are great spies) drives with his knees while texting his girlfriend at well over the speed limit. They'd both have the same penalty if they were caught speeding or in an accident but the attitudes relax a lot (maybe too much!) over time.
I haven't read a lot of posts on these boards about anyone leaving any academy because it was too "lax" or they saw too many people breaking rules or it wasn't as strict as they were expecting it to be!
Oh my, listening to music and playing video games on the sly, what is the world coming too?
As all of the previous posters have more eloquently stated, these kids (plebes) need some way to blow off steam. They are restricted to the yard 6days a week, the right to listen to music or use media is an earned privileged and when the rest of the east coast was snowed in on and off for the last few weeks, the plebes (at least in my daughters company) were snowed in without media privileges.
I think having to do without media may be one of the harder things this generation has to adjust to when attending USNA. They have grown up with TVs, computers, cell phones, etc. and it is ingrained into their daily lives.
If the worst thing these kids do, is sneak a peek or a listen, as parents, we are still well ahead of the game compared to what freshmen at a regular college maybe sneaking.
I think the best advice is to go into the Academy with an open mind, keep what you were told during CVW as a point of reference and learn to make decisions for yourself about what you can and can't do once you are there.
The CVW was AWESOME, and has made USNA my goal! This was the first time that I was able to see the midshipmen, and it was an eyeopening experience! Instead of listening to an admissions brief, actually SEEING the mids personally and how they lived put everything into a realistic perspective.
True, my mids had movies, games and music, but who cares?? After seeing the complete structure that he lives in outside of his room - from just walking down the hall to going to classes - I can competely understand why anyone would want to relax.
All in all, CVW was a great break from this endless winter, and gave me some much needed push to make it through this month of waiting! Still need to hear from USNA, but staying optimistic!!
I was glad to hear that some of this stuff goes on!! I wanted to hear that some of these kids are normal......this makes me alittle more at ease if my daughter gets in!
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