Freaking Out

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by dubsup, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. dubsup

    dubsup New Member

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    So I just recently accepted my appointment to USNA, class of 2016. I applied last year but was waitlisted and then not admitted. So as of now I attend UMD, not ROTC or anything, just living the civilian student life.

    I'm freaking out now and having all these second thoughts as if USNA won't be for me or if I'll hate it. I honestly have no clue what to do. When I went to my CVW I didn't really like it, but I didn't really hate it either. But I still thought about USNA, even at college this year. That's why I re-applied in the first place.

    Any guidance would really be appreciated, I'm really worried
     
  2. dubsup

    dubsup New Member

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    I haven't mailed in the acceptance yet, I just signed it
     
  3. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    It is not uncommon to have second doubts. In fact you should have a full appreciation for what you are undertaking. That said, you need to consider how your doubts will impact you when you are at basic training, during your plebe year, when you are getting the full "benefit" of the fourth class cadet experience. Those periods will magnify any doubts you had many fold. You have to want to go to a service academy for the right reasons, someone else's desires/expectations, pride or simply the challenge of being appointed will not be good enough reasons to keep you there when things start to get challenging during your first year. But if in your heart this is the career you want and the academy is route you feel bests suits you - go for it. Opportunities like this do not often present themselves. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  4. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I think it is very normal to have second thoughts. My advice is to just do it!! Attend USNA and don't ever look back. You've worked very, very hard to get to this point, and your persistence is about to pay off big time. You will chuckle at yourself once you graduate that you ever doubted yourself.

    And don't freak out once you arrive at USNA and have second thoughts when the challenges seem insurmountable. That's normal, too.

    Good luck!!!
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It would be ABNORMAL not to have doubts/concerns.

    Life is not easy as a Plebe, but when you want to throw the towel in, remember ONE THING:
    You didn't want to live life as a what if? USNA saw that dedication in you. They believe in you.

    You'll do great, just BELIEVE!
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    SOunds like the "pre-marriage" jitters to me. If you were still thinking about going there after the CVW then I would say you were OK. Besides, what's the worse that could happen? Seems to me it would be you drop out of USNA and go back to a civvie school. That wouldn't be the end of the world and you wouldn't be the first person to do that. Quit worrying about it.
     
  7. sgtpenn

    sgtpenn Member

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    The question is, Do you want to be a Naval Officer? The USNA is just a means to that end. If you are not committed to at least 9 years of being in the Navy (4 USNA and 5 Active Duty) maybe you re-evaluate your motivation.

    What inspired you to apply? Why didn't you go NROTC but you did re-apply to USNA?

    Again, unless you are committed to being a Naval Officer, it doesn't make sense to even consider attending USNA, but like Kinnem said, you could just drop out if it isn't right.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    sgtpenn,

    DS attends UMDCP, UMDCP is not a host college for NROTC, mids must go to Georgetown, and I am not making excuses for the OP, but that is not an easy commute. 45 minutes at 5:30 a.m.. By car in the DC area it could be 1 hr+.

    Plus the way NROTC scholarships work it could have been a factor that for his major it was smarter to adjust to a 40K student population as a freshman than adding additional stress with the commute and NROTC.

    I get your perspective about NROTC, but xtown for him is not 15-30 minutes on a bad day. Bad day could be 2 hrs.
     
  9. sgtpenn

    sgtpenn Member

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    Pima, Thanks for the clarification and I understand the difficulty for the OP. For one of my own children, the lack of an NROTC unit at a particular plan B school is a deal breaker. He wants to be a Naval Officer, so if there was not NROTC unit he wouldn't even consider going there if not accepted to USNA. However, being accepted to a great school that doesn't have a NROTC unit would be problematic and apparently funding is not an issue for the OP.

    I should also note, that in my opinion, the opportunity to attend the USNA is just too good to pass up. My son has very worked hard to prepare himself to be a good Naval Officer and the kind of candidate that USNA wants. My son has not heard anything and is stalking the mailman daily...being offered an appointment and declining...there are not words to describe how utterly incomprehensible that would be in my son's mind! There is only one way of knowing if it is the right decision..try it! On the other hand, I'm sure there would be a few volunteers here if you wanted to raffle off your appointment!

    Isn't the accept 1 May? If so, you have some time. Can you try to do some sort of a "Cadet for a day" program? 28 April is the time to freak out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    dubsup, first off congrats! Going back through the application process a second time is definitely admirable. I do not think your jitters are anything to be afraid of. I think they are totally natural. You created a life at the UMD and have enjoyed it, nothing wrong with that. Now you are a year older, wiser and more mature and thinking to yourself am I willing to give that all up? I think first off you need to think again about why you went through that pain to apply a second time? Do you want to be a Naval Officer? If the bottom line is you still want to serve, then absolutely you made the right choice. Since you are so close I recommend you drive up to Annapolis on one of these gorgeous spring days and walk around the Yard, watch formation, take a tour again. It will help center you as to why you wanted to go down this path, or maybe why that path has changed. I think more than anything you are just nervous, but so is every single kid who sent in that acceptance of appointment (everyone is excited, anxious and nervous all at once). Although you may be starting over in some sense, you will end up graduating with most of the guys you started out with at UMD, if not before them, and have one of the greatest professions ever.
     
  11. dubsup

    dubsup New Member

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    Thank you all for the prompt and helpful responses. They all make a lot of sense. I guess my only question to myself is, do I truly want to be a Naval Officer.

    While this may seem like a no brainer considering I was admitted to USNA, I have only thought about attending in the first place for a little over a year now. I feel as though many applicants know that they want to serve in the military from the start. For me, I haven't had that. I still really don't... What I mean is, I don't know what I want to do with my life. I love leading others, that was what attracted me to USNA. I am dedicated, motivated, and a leader.

    You bring up a great point when you say to think about what made me apply to USNA. The answer to that off the top of my head now would be this: It's the Naval Academy, it's an elite institution, I want to be the best, I want a challenge, and I want a great career, which will open many doors and many opportunities. My family is not military at all and no one is pushing me to do this. I didn't do ROTC or NROTC because I wanted to see what normal college was like, I wanted to have that fun, the normal experience. I was involved with a frat, I've done it all and yet I still think about USNA. Being a Naval Officer seems like a great career, but it was never what I always thought of, if that makes sense.

    This is an unbelievable opportunity that I know I need to do. I owe it to myself to go and experience everything USNA has to offer. It's just difficult to think about life and thinking "is this what I really want to do?" With the amount of opportunities that USNA comes with, it's a no brainer that I should do it. Like you all said though, it's only human to feel as I do.

    If anyone else could just say anything, I'd really appreciate it. Your replies help me more than you know.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Sometimes once someone gets the appointment, they come face-to-face with themselves and realize:
    1. This whole effort was about my ego and getting the appointment, or
    2. This whole thing was about pleasing Mom and Dad. I never thought I would get the appointment! or
    3. This is a really big commitment. Am I really sure I'm up to this? Do I want to give up this reLatively carefree college life.

    Certainly someone in the first two categories (and others) shouldn't accept. The last are certainly legitimate questions. OP is right to ask himself these questions now because you can be assured they will come up while at the Academy. Things are designed to raise these very questions. Who knows? These very things may come up for your DS when he receives an appointment. They'll certainly come up at some point.
     
  13. balloonattack911

    balloonattack911 Member

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    Dubsup--

    I'm in the same situation as you are. I go to a state university and am not involved in ROTC, have almost no military in my family, and have not always wanted to be a military officer. I received an appointment to USNA a couple months ago and have it signed, but have not sent it in. I'm going to a CVW this week and will most likely mail in my acceptance letter after.

    The way I see it is that I want to lead people and I want to have a career that makes a difference, and what better way to do that than attending an elite university and become a Marine or Naval officer? It may be tough and I may wonder whether I made the right decision along the way, but I feel like after it's all said and done I will be fully happy I attended USNA -- I cannot say I would be as confident with my decision if I decided to stay at my university. There would be so many opportunities I would be giving up!

    I also heard another person say that if you decide no to attend, make sure you are running towards something and not away from USNA. I have no idea what I would do with my life if I don't attend USNA. If I made the decision not to go, it would be because I would be running from the idea of a military life and strict college rules. Because I have nothing to run towards, I feel that if I chose not to go to the Naval Academy it would not be a wise decision.

    I definitely wouldn't make your decision without thinking long and hard about it, but qualms are definitely natural! That's my two cents. If all goes well I hope to see you there June 28th!
     
  14. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Good advice balloonattack. I hope you enjoy your CVW. Always a great time of year to visit. Plebes see the light at the end of the tunnel and know they will make it. Firsties are excited to graduate. Spring is in the air and everyone is pretty happy now that they are out of the dark ages. Recommend you try and talk to a Plebe who spent a year or so at another university. Your host should be able to find you a few to talk to on the best way to adjust. Trust me, high school, prep school, NAPS, university, fleet... doesn't matter... plebe summer levels you all out and very few remember where you came from when it is all done with! Ok, so the when I ran detail I had a plebe with a SEAL Trident, so everyone remembered where he came from, but other than that, no.

    It sounds like both of you are looking for the same thing... a challenge, surrounded by great people, leadership... then USNA is the place to be. You will be surrounded day in and day out by people who you trust, admire and want to be like. And just as importantly, you will know what you don't want to be also. You can make the military a career or do 5 years and get out. Your call. Even if you get out after 5 you will be 28 or so and still have a full life ahead with more options than you know what to do with.
     
  15. afmom1

    afmom1 Member

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    There is a really great video, link posted on USAFA where General addresses cadets

    My DS wanted to be a part of something that was bigger than himself. He wanted to give something to his country and wanted to do something worthwhile with his life. Hard to articulate, but seemed to be the foundation of his application.

    I think he has had many second thoughts - we are also not a military family.

    Of course the thought of jumping out of planes and flying a very expensive piece of machinery seems to have also had a lot of appeal:shake::shake::shake:
     
  16. afmom1

    afmom1 Member

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    General Walsh addresses cadets

    This is Air Force - but I thought this was helpful at showing potential careers in the military and talking about the commitment you make attending the academy. Link below


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRgNVpCi6rY
     
  17. sgtpenn

    sgtpenn Member

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    I couldn't agree more. I have spent many years in the military and have gone to great lengths to make sure that my son understands the decision making, and the costs and benefits of that decision. If he is given an appointment I will council him to think long and hard about his decision to accept.

    I really like the idea of running toward something as opposed to running away from something. Great advice!
     
  18. ameveritt

    ameveritt Member

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    On the other hand, if you are having doubts and could possibly quit, is it fair to take that spot from someone who is positive that they want to attend the USNA? I think you need to visit again since you said, "When I went to my CVW I didn't really like it, but I didn't really hate it either."

    Bottom line is - Do what is best for you!!!! Time for some soul searching!

    Good luck and congratulations!!!
     
  19. BOA

    BOA Member

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    I agree. Make sure it is what you really want to do. I hear of so many who accept their appointments, only to quit. Those slots cannot be refilled. And my heart breaks for those who get the dreaded TWE that would give anything to have that slot. Congratulations on your appointment. But make sure it is what you want.
     
  20. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    dubsup,

    Congrats on your appointment, the Admissions Board has determined you have the skills necessary to handle the rigors of USNA and have potential to become a commissioned officer. For some appointees, committing to the next 9 years (MINIMUM) of their life is no easy decision. It sounds like you haven't sat down and thought out what you would like to do (life long goals), I'd recommend doing that -- take some time to think of what you want to do in your life.

    I'd ask why was it that you did not like CVW? (You can PM or post here depending on your comfort level). What you saw/experienced over one weekend could have been an anomaly or it might be something that actually goes on at USNA/Fleet/USMC on a constant basis. Remember the LONG GOAL is a commission; I think I can speak for the numerous alumni and current MIDN on this board -- there are MANY things that USNA makes you do that you won't like or agree with, but MIDN stick it out (as grumpy and cynical as some might get) because they see the light at the end of the tunnel. As I posted in an a previous thread, some of these events are what you will remember with your classmates forever.

    What I recommend you (and others in similar situations) reconcile:
    -Define life long goals (have a blueprint of what you want to do, it doesn't need to be fixed)
    -Are you comfortable giving up about a decade+ of your life to being a military leader?
    -Are you comfortable giving up freedoms, having to deploy for long amounts of times, and managing the sacrifices you could be confronted with (from starting a family to giving up your own life)?

    These are things to consider -- in conjunction with a lot of informative posts in this thread. You have a whole month to decide what you would like to do -- set aside some serious time to think about this "life changing" decision.
     

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