First Year

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Ambition, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Ambition

    Ambition USAFA Class of 2017

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    Hello veteran cadets,

    I've heard things about the first year at the Academy. Most talking about general challenges, and then some which relate what seems like the true academy experience.

    (Apologies for the long quote, I was not able to post the link to where I copied this from.)

    Don't get me wrong, nothing I could read at this point could ever deter me from going to the Academy if I get appointed. But is this true? Is the entire length of our first year that difficult?

    If you ask me, the answer of that question should not be candy-coated because anyone who wants to go to the Academy should certainly already have the resolve to stick through the thick and thin.

    Feel free to PM or email me if you would feel the answer would be better stated in private, but I think my real goal is to just know if I should practice eating with only 5 chews :shake:

    Thank you!
     
  2. bsa07eagle

    bsa07eagle Member

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    Well, until recognition in March (so about 9 months total) things are tough, but the environment changes a lot from basic to the academic year. You are given the time you need and many upperclassmen are far too easy now days in my opinion. Your training staff will probably be the only ones making your life more difficult than it already is. Thousands of people get through it and surprisingly you get quite used to it to the point of it being little challenge and more of an annoyance.

    Later,

    Brian
     
  3. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Hi -- I'm not a cadet, but was present at a grassroots seminar last night where my daughter and another C4C responded to pretty much the same question. They did say that if you take the rigors of BCT out of the equation, the daily lives of a C4C are not that bad. Yes, they get up early and have knowledge tests and inspections and are scrutinized at meals, but if you maintain a positive attitude towards everything, the upperclassmen will respond and treat you fairly and you will have fun. My daughter is fortunate to be in a squadron where she really respects her leadership and where they go out of their way to help her succeed and correct her when she needs to be corrected, not because it's a power trip to them. So if you approach your day with a positive mental outlook and accept that the rules and standards are there to make professionalism second nature to you, then you'll be fine. There are many who dwell on the negative, but she is not one of them and is really enjoying her experience thus far. I'm basically paraphrasing what my daughter told prospective candidates. My daughter had zero military experience when she entered (no JROTC or anything like it) and she has managed pretty well.
    And they will NOT let you starve; they will always make sure you are healthy and are allowed to eat enough to be healthy. I was so thankful that when she had the flu she was confined to quarters and made to rest and everyone understood and made sure she was okay and got meals brought to her.
    In sum, my daughter has had a tough but positive experience so far. She did say that when they get back after break the dark days before Recognition will be hard, but she is looking forward to the challenge and proving to her leadership that she is worthy.
     
  4. iflylow

    iflylow Member

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    Its all attitude and perspective. My son (C4C) admits to having to deal with the hardships (games) of being a cadet, but he also admits to meeting good friends who are there through the good and not so good times. If it was easy then it wouldn't be worth it.
     
  5. whatajoke

    whatajoke New Member

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    ...

    its not that hard, honestly.
     
  6. curious808

    curious808 New Member

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    My C4C was given great advice. "Figure out the rules and make sure you play by them." It's hard, but doable. Some people make it harder on themselves.
     
  7. usafamomma

    usafamomma Member

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    I think the difficulty of freshman year is clear. It is one of the most difficult things these kids will do in their lives and they will earn a great sense of pride and confidence upon completion.
    Some cadets have a harder time than others. If you gel with your squad, have a good roommate situation, and click with your professors and classmates, you'll have a much better experience than the cadet who doesn't like their roommates, doesn't respect the upperclassmen in their squad, and struggles in the classroom.
    A lot of cadets become sarcastic and develop a "them against us" attitude. I expect that this is expected to some extent, and a small amount of this helps bring the freshman class together. Just be careful of toxic cadets...the ones with really bad attitudes. It is easy to jump on the band wagon of negativity but doing so will not serve you. Position yourself with those on the right track and with the right attitude.
     
  8. whatajoke

    whatajoke New Member

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    yeah ... right

    to quote an instructor of mine from last year who I think nailed it: “freshman year is, at worst, a giant inconvenience.”

    some will find it to be the most difficult thing they have ever done in their lives, others will find it rather disappointing
     
  9. batmom

    batmom Member

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    I agree with USAFAMOMMA

    Just be careful of toxic cadets...the ones with really bad attitudes. It is easy to jump on the band wagon of negativity but doing so will not serve you. Position yourself with those on the right track and with the right attitude.[/QUOTE]

    My son is a C4C who is still really happy that he is attending USAFA. He says "YES it has been hard, but I am exactly where I am meant to be..." He said that BCT was hard- but not harder than he expected. The classes are really demanding, and I think that has been the hardest part. He has had great roommates and made great friends. He likes his professors and said (over Christmas) that he has never ever wanted to quit... I thank God for this and for the joy and pride I see when he discusses USAFA. I could not be happier than I am to see him so content with his decision to pursue his goal of becoming an officer in the Air Force.
     
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    +1 :thumb: Well said. Our DS has had the same experience.
     
  11. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Good advice in general.
     
  12. the tone

    the tone Member

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    I agree with all the posts. My son knew what he was getting into and on the worst of days I told him to just look around because there's 1000 others getting treated the same way. If you take it personally, you'll probably be frustrated. He's keeping a "low profile", getting the most out of it that he can, and would tell you that it's the best place to be!
     

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