I have an academic concern/issue.

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by DTRapture, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. DTRapture

    DTRapture Member

    Jul 15, 2015
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    Good morning/afternoon/evening, depending on whenever you're reading this. For my first year in college, I decided to embark a challenge and enroll in AFROTC. And honestly, I absolutely love it. Apart from the "getting up at 3 AM to shave for inspection" part, I love how the program is beginning to change my outlook on life and the emphasis it has on caring for other wingmen.

    Unfortunately however, one pesky habit from high school I carry to this day continues to be a huge burden -- procrastination. The commander of the ROTC program at my school heavily stresses the importance of academics and grades; if your grades drop below the pass/fail threshold, you are cut from the program with no exceptions. And no matter how much academics is emphasized in our ROTC briefings, I always have the urge to procrastinate on homework and studying, and it's truly awful. I have two midterms next week, one on Tuesday and one on Friday, in which I'm likely to get a low grade on both of them. My question is, are you immediately cut from ROTC the instant your grades drop? Or do the cadre members check every semester/trimester to check who's failing, and who's ever failing is cut from the program at the end of the academic quarter? Hopefully the latter.

    I take full blame for putting myself in this situation, but procrastination is a serious issue for me. Inspirational quotes like "Just do it" or "Yesterday, you said tomorrow" are ineffective for me, and any attempt to motivate myself to do my work is difficult to do. My brain, by instinct, is programmed to put aside studying for leisure activities. It's a hard thing to admit that I have a chronic problem that may look petty to another's perspective, but admitting that I succumb to such a petty problem every single time is harder to do.

    If anyone's curious or if needed, I attend the University of Washington in Seattle, and the school runs on a three quarter academic year -- Autumn, Winter, and Spring. Thank you all so much.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  2. Midwest

    Midwest Member

    Nov 29, 2014
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    OP, ah, procrastination seems to be a universal challenge. If you figure it out, please teach it to the rest of us and your fellow cadets. I have some financial projects I need to get done today, and here I am procrastinating (or maybe just warming up) with the forums. ;)

    What works for me is to bump into my projects throughout the day. Rather than set aside long periods of time, I do ten minutes or so at a time and "chunk it." My phone has become a handy tool for reminding me on a regular basis to get things done. Create some self-imposed deadlines rather than the class deadline. Sometimes you can get an endorphin rush just getting it done early.

    Perhaps you can do your assignments in conjunction with your leisure activities. I attended the University of Hawaii.... and there were plenty of students cramming on the beach. My textbooks always had sand in them. :rolleyes:

    Since I'm not an ROTC Commander, I can't answer your question. But my thoughts are, if you have to ask, then your goals should change to having good grades all the time.
  3. afrotc16

    afrotc16 Member

    Dec 11, 2013
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    I'm pretty sure that AFROTC commanders and cadre only receive your grades at the end of every term, they may receive midterm grades, but my school is on a quarter system so there aren't midterm grades. Anyhow, if your GPA drops to below the minimum 2.0 required to continue in the program, you will most likely be disenrolled. However, it remains at your commander's discretion, especially if you are going up for field training selection soon and your GPA is quite low, but not below the minimum, the commander could(after talking to you, of course) recommend that you leave the program. Since you're a freshman, he may also recommend that you take a semester off from ROTC and come back in as an AS25o in sophomore year. I am a senior this year, and I saw this with a lot of freshman last year - their grades were low after the first semester so they were dismissed from the program to focus on grades, and although they could return if they wanted or their grades were better, I haven't seen any come back to ROTC for sophomore year. These were also the cadets who didn't seem involved and invested in ROTC.

    In any circumstance, I recommend you go seek out whoever your ROTC adviser is (whether your commander or your AS class instructor) and tell them about how well you're doing and what your worries are. If your commander sees that you're invested in the program and want to continue, despite worries about grades, he may be more likely to have you remain in the program.

    Yes, I know the feeling of being a procrastinator, but you really need to force yourself to overcome it. Whether it means locking yourself in the library without internet, just homework and a book, or finding a friend to make you focused, you really need to work on this, because it just gets harder every year. Notice what gets you distracted, and try to avoid it when you need to do homework.

    Feel free to PM me if you have more questions, I'm an AS400 currently and happy to help.
  4. Voyager20

    Voyager20 Member

    Sep 27, 2011
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    DTRapture, there is a possible solution for you that is fairly quick. If you think you can spend 5 minutes each morning on a calendar and carry a single, small sheet of paper with you during the day then this plan may work for you. I am not going to explain it here, but go to your local Barnes and Noble bookstore and find the book "How to Become a Straight A Student" by Cal Newport. Don't need to buy the book but there are 2 or 3 chapters that explains the process of managing your time and getting work done. Grab a coffee and enjoy the next 20 minutes. Actually, read the 1st chapter as well...it talks about fake studying which you will find a lot of your fellow classmates utilize. Also, remember that after studying the material take as Many practice problems as possible...it is the problems that help define what you don't know and narrow the areas you should focus on. It sounds so simple, but students just stop at only a few practice problems...go overboard. (Understand the whys of the answer...not just what the answer is.)

    Good Luck. You can do this!
    Midwest likes this.
  5. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

    Mar 2, 2015
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    Cross posting with Midwest - you can do anything for 15 minutes, so get yourself a good timer and set it for 15 minutes and do what you need to do, then take a break. You would be surprised how much you can get done if you know you only have to work on it for 15 minutes before you can reward yourself with something fun for 10 or so and then get back to it. If you do that in increments for a couple of hours, you can accomplish much and eventually, it will become habit. I think you have to set your mind to "I can and I will" and do it for 15 minutes. It's a small start with huge payload if you stick to it. I also think you should examine why you are such a procrastinator; are you lazy? fear of failure? a perfectionist? If you can figure that out, it will help immensely in solving your problem. Agree with Voyager, you can do this!
    Ace Mom likes this.
  6. DTRapture

    DTRapture Member

    Jul 15, 2015
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    That's a relief. But let's say my GPA drops below 2.0 in the middle of the quarter. Will I get cut from the program immediately? Because if this occurs, then I have an ample amount of time to raise that GPA before the quarter ends. I really, really, hope that's the way it works.

    And when it comes to talking to the higher-ranking cadets or cadre members, I tend to refrain from doing so. Being passive-aggressive, I will always stray away from potential conflict; if a cadre member knew about my issues, there would be a chance that they would scold and cut me from the program. It's my paranoia acting up, but it sucks to stress about the negative outcomes of the situation. If it helps in my issue, I'm a non-contracted cadet; I didn't enter with a scholarship, and I've noticed that the cadets with the scholarships are placed with immense academic pressure.

    Oh man, automatically, I easily consider myself a perfectionist who's afraid of failure. I try so dang hard to be close to perfect so I cannot fail, but then the opposite happens and I actually do fail. I structure my notes in a "perfect" and organized manner, I "struggle" between using pens versus pencils, use color-coding highlighters that corresponds a color scheme, and even organize my room so my mind is cleansed of clutter -- all because I'm afraid of failure, and maybe a little bit of OCD. And this is where the guilt factor sets in; my parents pay thousands of dollars every three months just so I can fail? I feel awful for even considering an expensive 4-year college, since it puts so much financial pressure on my family.


    And again, thanks for all the very helpful and resourceful responses!
  7. gstudent99

    gstudent99 Member

    Aug 29, 2011
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    I don't mean to be harsh but your question is basically: "I will continue to procrastinate, how long do I have before I am cut from the program?"

    Procrastination is a continuous choice, not some innate characteristic. You have to decide to change. It really doesn't matter when the cadre review your grades if you choose to continue your current attitude.
    payitforward likes this.
  8. k2rider

    k2rider Member

    Jan 31, 2010
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    I can tell you that at my daughters school, if your grades dropped below a certain point, you were placed on MANDATORY study hall for two hours per night at the ROTC offices. That would surely end your leisure activities since you wouldn't have a choice.
    payitforward likes this.
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Oct 21, 2010
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    I agree with k2rider. I was going to suggest if your unit has such a program should enroll yourself now... rather than wait.
  10. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

    May 7, 2010
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    Do you attend 100% of your classes?
  11. Zero

    Zero Member

    Jul 23, 2014
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    Usually academics are a case by case. They are normally not a 1 strike and out. (Seen this happen). But yea, stop procrastinating. The first thing that can end your AF dreams are grades. Literally the easiest thing to control other than your PFA.
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Nov 28, 2007
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    I am going to take a totally different approach than anyone else here, SFT selection. Be prepared this might read very harsh, but I think you should bear through it for the good of your future as an AFROTC cadet.

    1. In your case it would appear to include 4 quarters, maybe 5, if the marking period ends in Jan. 3 for your freshmen year nd 1 or 2 your sophomore year.
    ~ I do not know, nor do I care what your major is for this example. The point is if you carry a 2.0 this semester, than you need to do the math and figure out what your avg cgpa will need to be to make the avg for selection. Typically non-tech cadets selected pull 3.3/3.4 cgpa. Tech carry a 3.0/3.1

    2. A very nice chunk of that SFT score includes your CoCs ranking. Good dets. will sit down every cadet at the end of semester and give a review of how they are performing.
    ~ As a freshmen, with you saying that you might fall below 2.0, than that is going to leave an impression your 1st semester fall freshmen year and not in a good way. You will be on their radar.
    ~~ Below a 2.0 at midterm is going to be hard to pull up to a 2.5, which is bare bones for academics. You need to buckle down a lot. I get it some classes are maybe a paper or two for 30%, 35% for midterm and 35% for final. That means you can pull it out. I have had children call me midterm in fear that they were near the bottom of a C, and they managed to pull out a B for the semester, but it came with a fire under their arse!

    3. This comment raised an immense fear in me for you from a career perspective
    Part of being a good leader is not to stray away from potential conflict. I am not saying be a Bull in a china shop.
    Additionally, you will be scolded in the AF for F*ing up, even as an O5. That is also true for the corporate world. That is life.

    For many AFROTC scholarship cadets their stats were also strong enough to earn merit scholarships from their schools too. At least for my DS he was under immense academic pressure every semester, not from AFROTC, but his college's min. cgpa for the merit. His college required a 3.2, AFROTC required 2.5. He needed the merit just as much as the AFROTC scholarship.
    ~ 1 semester he had a 3.193. The college stated he needed to maintain a 3.2. One would think a 3.193 would = 3.2, but to them that .003 meant he was a 3.19 and the school placed him on academic probation. His cgpa was 3.34, and AFROTC was happy with that cgpa as a non-tech.

    Just saying don't assume that the pressure is tied only to the ROTC scholarship. Honestly, in my 7 years here I don;t know of a poster here on AFROTC scholarship that carried the 2.5 cgpa picked up for SFT, tech included. 2.8 is pushing the limit.
    ~ Again the % selection rate changes annually, because the pool size changes annually. What I have not seen changed in +/- percentage aspect are the numbers going (10% differential attending...high 2100 and change, low, 1800 and change), nor have I seen the national cgpa change. 3.0/3.1 avg for tech, and 3.3./3.4 for non tech.

    FYI, SFT board does not know or care if the cadet is on scholarship. It is what in the AF they called "masked". The board does not know if they are or are not. They will cut that scholarship cadet just as fast as a non-scholarship if their score doesn't make it.

    I have to ask this one question:
    What is your intended career field?
    If you want rated, than this is an unrealistic goal. You will fail! That is to be expected.

    It is what you do after you fail that will be your make or break point. You will have your arse chewed out.

    Finally, your post, in a way, illustrated that you are a procrastinator.
    ~ Please take this from a Mom, but, you are worried about your gpa, and state you are procrastinator, yet you post here. Wouldn't that be you procrastinating buckling down and doing your classwork to raise your gpa? Your post to me, in a way is procrastination. You had a choice...hit the books, or post here.

    I wish you the very best, and I believe you can do it, but you just can't talk out of both sides of your mouth.
    I think you know the answer to this, and if not, I will give you the answer as a parent. Did you give 110% to school? If the answer is yes, than there should be no guilt. If the answer is no, than, yes, feel the guilt. Your job is to go to school and earn a degree.
    ~ Freshmen year is the hardest, you deal with living on your own, making social contacts, and you have ROTC too. They will get it if they too went to college.

    As harsh as this might seem, it is my experience that after Thanksgiving break it just clicks and everything changes.

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