guidance wanted

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by ckcoup04, May 13, 2009.

  1. ckcoup04

    ckcoup04 New Member

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    Hi, I'm 17 years old and a junior in high school and just got accepted into the AIM summer program. I'm proud of myself for getting in, but I'm a little indifferent on whether to go or not. To help you understand, I'm from a small town north of Pittsburgh, but my school is far from small. I'm very talkative around my friends, but otherwise I am very shy and timid. I know that because I was accepted into this program that I have some worth, but my lack of confidence is getting the best of me. I have wanted to go to a service academy for a long time, but have bounced back and forth between civilian colleges or academies. I have been looking at these forums for just as long as I've wanted to go to a service academy, and all the kids on here are very good at what they do. To get to the point, I'm just really intimidated to go to the program because I feel like I'm going to be the bottom of the barrell when it comes down to it. I know I'm just nervous like every one else will be, but as of right now I feel very alone. Any words of wisdom? Any advice will be greatly appreciated :biggrin:
     
  2. mnolan

    mnolan Parent

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    going to Aim

    My daughter went to AIM 2 years ago and just finished her first year at the academy. I am a college instructor at a public university so I am very familiar with your feelings.

    If you were admitted to AIM and you think you might want to go to the USCGA, you really need to attend AIM. It gives you a VERY good idea of what the academy is like. This isn't a program where they are trying to convince you to attend the Academy, instead they are showing you what life will be like there. And it is a VERY different life than that at a civilian college....not better or worse, just different.

    Only you can decide if this is the type of environment you wish to be in for the next 4 years. And you won't know till you attend AIM. It's the best way to find out. Too many college students (civilian and military) have no idea what they are really getting into when they go to college. The USCGA does a good job, and should be commended, for not sugar coating things......AIM lets you know what it will be like.

    Some people find they don't like the service academy life, just like some students find they don't like civilian college. Others decide then and there that this is the life for them. This is a great chance to find out.

    And don't worry about what everyone else is like and how you compare to them. You got admitted to AIM, so the USCG thinks you have what it takes...and I am sure you do. This is all about you...how you feel, what you want.....your feelings and expectations.

    Getting into a life changing situation like a service academy is a big decision, and you need all the information that you can gather. Books, forums, websites, etc.. are a great way to gather some of that information, but AIM is where you really feel what it is like.

    My daughter really looked forward to going to AIM......but at the end of it she wasn't so sure..... On the long drive home (14 hours), and for the rest of the summer she thought about what was good and bad, and decided for herself that she really wanted to attend the USCGA. She applied and was eventually admitted, (2 medical denials and 2 waivers needed!). She would not have been able to make such an informed decision without attending AIM.

    Her first year was tough, but she knew what to expect (having attended AIM), and learned to fit in. She soon realized that this is where she belonged and where she wanted to spend her college career and beyond......and it all started with AIM. She is now convinced it was the best decision she ever made!

    So realize that you should be nervous, but don't let that stop you. Everyone is nervous when facing the unknown.....and realize that at AIM you aren't really being tested, you aren't being compared to others.....you are learning what it will be like if you choose to attend the USCGA......

    Whether you enjoy it or not, and whether or not you ever attend the Academy, you will learn much about the USCGA and about yourself when you attend AIM. So if you are seriously interested in the Academy, I would suggest you attend AIM. And if you decide not to attend the Academy that's fine too.......you sound like an intelligent student.....you just need to find the college/lifestyle that works for you.
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I say, go for it. It's no worse than Swab Summer, and they do have SOME fun. It's ok to feel intimidated. Some of the biggest guys will cry....


    Go for it and surprise yourself. You might actually like it too.
     
  4. Sedrider

    Sedrider Member

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    I know

    what you mean. I used to drift back and forth between The Citadel and a civilian college and ROTC, since i was offered a 4-year army ROTC scholarship, and my father makes real good money, money wasnt an issue. Just think, (this is what helped me decide) 10-20 years from now, do you want to look back and think"man college was difficult, but it wasnt all THAT hard" or " I busted my *** every second i was at the academy, and i made it through". How many US citizens can say they graduated from an academy? What looks better on your resume? Does the civilian college offer a nice shiny ring? :) You don't want to turn down ur appointment and then regret down the road that u arent putting forth ur 100% Don't you want to see what your made out of, really test yourself,and(no comments) "be all you can be"? I'm glad i made the choice to go to The Citadel, and i cant wait to really test myself this August. I was scared, but now im not. I'm excited, and you should be too.

    Get some:)
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    And with that remember, this is a summer "camp", so you're not committing to anything. You will not be forced down a path, however, this will give you a nice, little taste of what things COULD be like. You may get there and hate it...well, then maybe you won't like 4 years there. On the other hand you may "appreciate" it, and decide the Coast Guard Academy won't "kill" you.
     
  6. Objee

    Objee USCGA Admissions

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    I always follow Mark Twain's advice in situations like this...

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
     
  7. Mindy G

    Mindy G Member

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    If you do not go you run the risk of second guessing yourself. Go, you will be out of your comfort zone but so will many others and there is no future committment. It may also help you make a decision about your senior year application process. My son attended Summer Seminar and it cemented his decision to be a part of class of 2013 at a Service Academy. My advice Go For It and have fun.
     
  8. dqm54

    dqm54 New Member

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    Everyone here has given great advice. You will discover yourself and what you are really made of.

    In '03 my Ensign went to AIM. You remind me very much of her. I left here in the hands of the CGA for that week. I knew that AIM was going to be hard but also a great experience to make an informed decision. She had wanted to go to CGA for years. When we picked her up at the end she talked a mile a minute about everything that happened in a positive way. She sounded like she loved it. Then "don't get me wrong I had a great time but I don't want to go here". I can't explain what she was feeling but I also knew that she really wanted the CGA. We went to see Eagle in port a month later, talked to cadets onboard. My last comment was - "I don't want you to wake up in 10 years and say to yourself - I wish I had tried it". In the end - she applied, was accepted, went for it, worked hard, struggled, loved parts of it, hated others. In the end - many friends, a great education, experiences that most only dream of and now has a great position and a job in this economy.

    My advice as a mom and CGA supporter? GO, try it, see if you find your inner self that you may not know is there and and then make an informed decision. CGA would not have accepted you if you did not show promise in your application. Good luck!
     

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