declining appointment/backup plan

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by tallbutshort, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    A word to the wise: pursue other options as wholeheartedly as you pursue the West Point appointment!

    I went to SLS. I loved it. It was seriously one of the best weeks of my life. I got back and I KNEW that's where I'd be going. R-day could not come soon enough. When the LoA came I was ECSTATIC. I live in a relatively uncompetitive district, so I pretty much had it in the bag. I thought about West Point all the time. I didn't want to apply to any other schools, but my mom made me so I applied to a couple UCs and a state school. I mean I was so excited I was literally dreaming about West Point. I got the appointment in late November. I was on cloud 9 for days.

    But about two weeks later, doubt started to creep in. Just enough to make me apply to a few other schools. I am SO grateful I did. Because now, three months later, I have declined my appointment. But I didn't turn in the separate applications for merit scholarships or pursue outside scholarships, and now after not qualifying for need-based aid I cannot afford the two really good schools I got into (Vanderbilt and Rice). I'll either be going to state school (cheaper than the UCs, which would be kind of a stretch) or one of the much less prestigious private schools I got into that automatically gave me a merit scholarship. Don't be me! Pursue multiple options WHOLEHEARTEDLY. It sucks to get into a great school and not be able to afford it.

    I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, ok sucks for that girl, but that won't be me. Yeah, I thought that too. I would have laughed in your face if you told me six months ago that I would decide not to join the Army. I wanted to go to West Point more than anything else I've ever wanted in my entire life. I still really want to go. But I've realized it's not the right thing for me to do for me personally. You're probably thinking you've thought about it plenty and you know it's right for you. Well I thought about it plenty too. And it took a solid three months of thinking about almost nothing other than West Point to go from "hmm i'm not sure" to declining the appointment. I'm sure I haven't convinced you it's possible that you, too, will change your mind, because I know this post wouldn't have convinced me or come anywhere close to it. But PLEASE, do yourself a favor, and actively pursue plan B. And don't obsess about West Point, because a. it's not going to help you if you do go and b. you're going to wish you could have all those hours back if you decide not to go. Actually you'll probably wish you could have all those hours back either way.

    But all that said, good luck seeking those appointments! And thanks you SO MUCH to everyone who posts on these forums, the information you provide is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. equestriangrl93

    equestriangrl93 Member

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    Great advice! I am going to apply for a nomination from my State Senator (PA), but if I don't receive it, I'm not going to be heartbroken. USMA or USNA aren't everything to me, I have my sights set on Drexel University for Army or Navy ROTC. I feel that ROTC may be a better option for because I want a normal college experience.
     
  3. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    Acceptance

    I DO NOT want to seem mean but if you are not 100% sure West Point is the very best place for you PLEASE decline your offer immediately so a deserving person can get your slot.
     
  4. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    I am attending West Point because I want to become the best U.S. Army Officer out there, not JUST because it is a great College.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  5. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    Are you saying I should have declined my appointment in December the second I started having any doubts? Because I have many friends from SLS who seriously considered other schools and ended up accepting their appointments. According to your logic, they should have declined the second they started even considering other schools? Or am I misunderstanding you?
     
  6. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    That's great, that's the way it should be! If you're implying that I wanted to go to West Point because it's a great school and not because I wanted to be an Army officer, you are mistaken. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but if that's what you were getting at I can assure you that wasn't the case.
     
  7. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    Oh that was actually a personal statement (not directed to you or anyone). Honestly, I don't even know why I posted it (as a matter of fact, I was coming here to remove it, since it wasn't helpful to the thread or anyone for that matter). I actually apologize for that post, actual waste of space :frown:
     
  8. classof2015NJ

    classof2015NJ Member

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    Honestly, everyone is going to have a tough time making the decision and thinking about whether or not it is the right decision. As you know, it's not like you go there for four years and you move on. Instead you are committing nine years of your early life when you are only 17-18 years old. Trust me if you don't have second guesses about your decision then this is sincerely your dream (something I would congratulate you for), or you really aren't thinking about what you are doing. It is those people who arrive at West Point and have a couple of bad days only to pack up shop and leave before anything has actually started. I'm not saying that everyone is like this, but I only urge you to make sure you think about the decision you're about to make.
     
  9. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    :thumb:

    I think most of the reason so many drop out is because they don't give it enough thought before they go.
     
  10. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    Oh ok, no worries :smile:
    Good luck with your appointment for next year.
     
  11. armystrong2015

    armystrong2015 Member

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    At the moment, I am having extreme difficulties deciding between USMA and USNA. This is because I am not sure whether or not I want to be an Army or Marine Corps officer... I have doubts on how I would do in the Army or USMC, how I would like the lifestyle, etc. I'm 17, and I'm not entirely sure about what I want to do. Ironically, it's stressing me out. I feel like I will make the wrong decision. I don't want to look back four years from now and regret everything. I want to love what I do. But I've never been in the Army or Marine Corps. How do I know I can handle it?
    There's also a lot of emotional things involved, which is part of what's stressing me out (regarding family and such).
    I was thinking about doing a year at USNA first, and then if I find that I don't want to be in the Navy/Marine Corps, I would somehow switch to West Point. I have doubts about that though because 1) I've never really heard of someone doing that 2) I don't know how I would do it 3) I wonder if others would look at me the wrong way if they know I did it (they'd question my commitment and such). Can I somehow go from one Academy to another? Would I have to repeat the entire application process?
    I need to make a decision in the next day or so, I know... I can't be waiting like this haha.... :(
     
  12. RLTW

    RLTW Member

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    50/50 ? either way you win, no loss

    I don't mean to trivialize this, so don't take it that way. To help you destress in the decision process, consider this: if it really is a 50/50 decision, you cannot lose, you win/lose the same (50/50) either way.

    Take a bit of time and think about both opportunities from the perspective of "will I really regret NOT doing xyz", and if you still don't have a 51/49 or greater winner, make your pick and don't look back, just drive on and enjoy the journey.

    From what I understand, changing from one academy to another is pretty near impossible, so I would really scale down the likelihood of thinking that will be a reasonably reliable solution. Ask yourself "if I can't change, which would be the one I would regret less?" if you have to, but you'll go bonkers if you are stressing over this while at an academy, I haven't attended one but I expect there will be stress enough without that on your mind.

    Best wishes, either way will be good!

    My two cents,
    RLTW
     
  13. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    yES - i DID NOT MEAN YOU HAD TO DO IT IMMEDIATELY. hOWEVER, WHEN YOU ARE SURE YOU HAVE LOST YOUR GREAT DESIRE TO ATTEND YOU SHOULD DECLINE YOUR APPOINTMENT - i THINK EVERYONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO THINK ABOUT IT AND LOOK AT OTHER OPTIONS.
     
  14. breadcrumbs

    breadcrumbs Member

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    You must have missed this part in the OP's initial post:
    Tallbutshort- you have made a very mature and well thought out decision for you. It's generous of you to share your experience with others. Wishing you all the best wherever life takes you!
     
  15. Spanky58ggpt

    Spanky58ggpt Member

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    Armystrong- not sure if this will help you but here is some experience relating to your decision making process. There are exchange programs between the academies, but I don't believe there are full transfers. There is also the possibility (very few actually happen) of cross commissioning. I personally know two Marine officers who cross commissioned. One is a Major, Harrier pilot, career Marine, whom I work with, who graduated from USAFA. Another was a H-53 pilot, his dad and I coached baseball together, he recently completed his obligation and landed a fantastic job. He graduated from USMA. I am told this happens in very few cases. The reason I have seen/heard of it is because I work and live in a military community. I don't think it would be wise to attend an academy with the goal of cross commissioning but you should know that it is an option. If I am not mistaken the USNA agreement to serve even mentions the possibility of an Air Force Commision. The bottom line is this a decision that will have great impact on your future and you should consider all options, make the best decision you can and live with the outcome. There will be several times in your life where the decisions available will both seem right for whatever reasons, but you must decide, and move on. You are in a fortunate situation, both options offer wonderful opportunities, but you must also realize that both options have enormous responsibilities. Either SA will prepare you for the responsibilities, they have both deemed you qualified to take the challenge. Best of luck and share your experience so that others may benefit from it.
     
  16. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    Armystrong-I know there is a football player (Jared Hassin) who originally went to USAFA and then started over the next year at West Point, but he had the benefit of the football coach helping him get in.

    breadcrumbs-thanks, I appreciate that!
     
  17. condor17

    condor17 Class of 2015

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    armystrong2015,
    I was in approx. the same boat as you last year. I went to UMSA SLS and Navy Summer Seminar, and I couldn't decide between Army officer or Marine Officer. The way I made my decision is I looked at the different services and how they compare, according to my preferences. Ever since I was like 10 years old, I've wanted to become a Special Operations Soldier. I researched the special operations opportunities in the Army, Navy, and USMC, and concluded that Army was the best option for me. So, my advice is to find out what YOU want to do in the military, research to see where you can get the best opportunity for that, and then go full steam ahead with your decision.
    Good Luck! Hope this helps.
     
  18. rayquad

    rayquad Member

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    tallbutshort-So you just got cold feet after working so hard to get in? I guess i don't fully understand why you declined...
    And I would be willing to bet a lot that even General Patton and General Eisenhower and the like had doubts about going in, and look where they went?
    Patton even had to stay an extra year because he failed math during his plebe year!
     
  19. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    Patton also applied three times and did a prep year at VMI.

    Tallbutshort, I respect your decision a lot. You followed what you truly feel about your future and that is exactly what is expressed throughout the admissions process. Good luck in your future endeavors. Don't be a stranger to us next year! Let us know how all works out.
     
  20. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    No, it wasn't cold feet. PM me if you want to hear the reasons, I'm willing to share.
     

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