Is the academy right for me?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by madison, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. madison

    madison Member

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    First off, I know I'm the only one who can decide if it is or not, but I thought some of you could maybe give me advice.

    I'm not going to pretend I've wanted to go to the academy my whole life, because I haven't. I just started thinking about it about a year ago. I know I need challenge, and I want to be part of something bigger than myself, and I'd be honored to serve my country. I absolutely love learning and I apply myself towards everything I do. I'm one of the hardest working people I know, and I know for a fact I wouldn't have a problem with keeping up at the academy; I have great grades, I'm a good athlete, plenty of extra curriculars, yada yada. I always thought I would love it there except for a few problems:

    I don't like taking orders from people. I like to do things my way and I don't take criticism all that well. I know that the military is all about order, and I think I could change, but I don't know. Also, I'm a complete slob! I haven't been able to see the ground in my room in ages and I lose things constantly. I'm really laid back too. Lastly, I'm not sure if I'm willing to make that long of a commitment to something that I may not even like wholeheartedly.

    Okay well I actually do want it really bad, but I'm just so conflicted right now and I don't know what to do! Oh and I got accepted to the summer seminar and I was wondering if it's actually a good portrayal of what life would be like there because I don't want to go and get the wrong idea and get into something I don't even want.

    Please give me some honest advice here everything will be appreciated!!!
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    You want HONEST advice? No problem.

    If you TRULY believe this; and are as smart and capable as you claim to be, then there is no reason that you couldn't do 4 years of school at the academy and a 5 year commitment in the air force.

    You'd have no choice. They WILL BREAK YOU DOWN, and you WILL be rebuilt.

    The first objective of military basic training; whether it's the air force academy, or it's Basic Military Training for enlisted folks; is to take "Individuals" from all of the country; different backgrounds, different personalities, different needs, etc... and break you down. Then; they rebuild you. Give you all something in common that you can build a team on. Teach you that in military life, EVERYTHING depends on "Teamwork". You work as a team; or you fail..... And people POSSIBLY DIE!!! That is the basic premise of the military. You said you wanted to be part of something that was "Bigger than Myself". If you TRULY BELIEVE that; then you will understand that you MUST take orders; be broken; be criticized; and be willing to change. If you don't want to do these things, then you're lying to yourself. You DON'T want to be part of something bigger than yourself. You can't be PART of something BIGGER, until you realize that YOUR PART is equal to the other parts. And that only combined can the WHOLE be equal to the sum of it's PARTS.

    So; you have to decide if you really want to be PART of this BIGGER WHOLE; or are you kidding yourself and simply saying you want the glory of being IN CHARGE of the WHOLE.

    Is the military for everyone? Nope; not at all. Whether your a cadet or an airman basic, it doesn't matter. It takes a special person. Not only a person who wants to be part of something bigger; but understand true physical math. Which means, to be "Part" of something means that "OTHERS" are "PART" of it too. You can't do it all by yourself. If you could, you wouldn't be PART of anything bigger than YOURSELF.

    So I'm not going to tell you if the academy is right for you or not. You have the opportunity to go to summer seminar. That's a great opportunity. You'll actually spend at least one day where you'll be treated JUST LIKE A REAL CADET. See how that goes. Then; you'll have one of 2 different impressions of the way you're treated.

    1. That was stupid; they treated us like a child; it's just a game; they think they can control me; etc.... "Any of these negative individualist thoughts, is a good indication that you probably aren't military caliber."

    2. What the hell was that? I wonder what they were trying to do? How does this make me a better person? How does this improve teamwork? I'm sure there's some method to their madness? "Any of these responses means you're seeking an answer. You want to know how it can improve you as an individual. You may not know the answer, but you're willing to TRUST those over you". This is the right attitude. It means you probably have what it takes.

    You say you're a good athlete. Is that in "TEAM SPORTS"? Ever wonder why 86% of all cadets were varsity letter high school sport athletes? Ever wonder why 97% of all cadets played high school sports? Too many applicants believe that TEAM SPORTS are REQUIRED TO BE A CADET. It's the other way around. The Academies tend to attract those who play team sports. "Chicken or the Egg; which came first". A team sport athlete, who's been doing team sports for a while, is use to being PART of something bigger. They KNOW they can't win the game by themself. They know that they need a coach to tell them what to do. They know the true value of teamwork. If this is you..... then the military may be for you too. If your idea of being a good athlete is doing individual sports, and competitions that don't require other's contributions, then I'd rethink my position. Best of luck to you. You wanted the truth, and that's about as honest as I can be without knowing you personally. Later... mike....
     
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  3. jerrykemic99

    jerrykemic99 New Member

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    I think this is the top way to earning honestly and I like most the Airforce.
     
  4. madison

    madison Member

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    Thanks so much, Mike!
     
  5. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    Will you accept waking early every day, not having every weekend to yourself having to take classes that you wouldn't if in a regular collage.

    My oldest
    Son was built for an academy rigid discipline and organized. His brother sounds like you. Independent and imaginative. Undisciplined but flexible in life.

    Both are talented and will succeed. But I will steer each to universities that build on their talents while pushing their weakness. But change no Way. That leads to frustration and a diminished self worth.

    Your honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses means you have the integrity to be an officer. Now use it to choose the right path to success.
     
  6. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Go to summer seminar. It isn't a perfect look at the academy, but it's better than most. If you walk away from summer seminar saying, "I HAVE to apply" or "I would NEVER do that" you'll know. If you walk away saying, "Meh" you'll have some searching to do (and I would probably say that searching will likely end somewhere other than USAFA).
     
  7. F15

    F15 Member

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    Your not different from many of the kids that go to the USAFA. Give it a shot.
     
  8. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    I second raimius on summer seminar being a decent look at the academy. It is probably the closest you can come without actually being a cadet. However, as far as your reaction to summer seminar, be sure you give it time. I walked out of summer seminar thinking I hate the Academy and I will NEVER go there. But then I went to visit a civilian college right after, and I missed what I had seen at USAFA. I thought a lot about it and eventually chose to come here. To make a long story short, i am now a 2 degree, finishing up my junior year and I couldn't picture myself anywhere else. Also, I was/am a complete slob, always losing things...you learn to not lose the important stuff and to be neat when you have to be.
     
  9. madison

    madison Member

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    Thank you guys all so much... I'm planning on going to the summer seminar and seeing how everything goes from there.
     

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