Leaving during Plebe year? Advice from people who left during there plebe year...

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by thatguy, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. thatguy

    thatguy New Member

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    Do you regret it? Can I still be successful? Do people tend to judge you?
    I'm about 95% sure I'm leaving following this semester with the main reason being that I want to go into the dentistry field and thats nearly impossible out of here. I also never wanted to come here, i was pressured by my father after receiving a football scholarship. I have no interest in football...
     
  2. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    Thatguy - you seem to be releasing more and more information about your situation in every new thread that you create. In previous threads, you've gotten advice that you should have something that you are GOING TO, not running away from. It looks like you have that - a goal of going into dentistry. Responses on your other threads seem to be almost unanimous in that those that left the academy of their own volition regretted not sticking it out. However, again, your goal of going into dentistry would argue that your decision to leave is based in the fact that you very probably could not attain your career goal by staying at the academy. So - don't worry about people judging you - you've made a very reasoned and mature decision and explaining that to your family and friends will be enough. If it's not, tough; you will be confident that you've made the decision that is right FOR YOU. Take the education that you've received so far and run to that goal of dentistry school and beyond!
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It certainly doesn't sound like you went to the Academy for the "right" reasons.... but I just felt I had to point out that "nearly impossible" is not
    "impossible". What would you need to do to get into dentistry from the Academy? Do you know? Do you think you can do it? Is it worth sticking it out in the Academy for the opportunity to go that route if you think you could achieve it?

    I expect the academy is not the right place for you but wanted to give you some more food for thought. Good luck whatever your decision.
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    It seems you still haven't made up your mind... nothing wrong with that. Glad to see you are sticking it out while you make up your mind. Just to be 100% honest... I know probably 20 people who left the Academy of their own will... of those, I can only think of 2 that did not regret their decision. The rest regretted it immediately and I can think of 3-4 of those folks who re-applied and graduated with other classes. You are almost to the end of the semester and will have some time off. Recommend you at least ride it out and take that time to really reflect on things. Distance and a clear, rested mind can definitley help. Also, if you are still unsure, stay until it is 100% made up.

    I actually have several friends that are now Navy dentists. They were all commissioned as regular line officers from the Academy and then applied to dental schools using different Navy programs. All of them love their jobs and are glad they went to the fleet first. The great part is they are now full fledge Navy dentists and are totally debt free (not sure on specifics, but the Navy didn't pay everything, they had saved some money from deployments and used their GI Bills). Both of them had wanted to be dentists even when we were Midshipmen, but knew the Academy route was a long way to it. They have no regrets and said they wouldn't change a thing. Not for everyone, but figured I would share their experiences.
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Here's the thing about being a dentist . . . do you want to be one right away or are you willing to do something else for a short time?

    At BGO training a number of years ago, the Senior Medical Officer (MD) for talked to us. He was a USNA grad who'd served on active duty and then went to med school. He advised us to advise candidates wanting to go to med school (when that was discouraged from USNA, which is no longer the case) that they had the rest of their lives to be an MD. Better they go out and do something "fun" for awhile and then go to med school.

    It is quite common for USNA grads to do their 5+ years and then get a professional degree (MD, DDS, DVM, JD, etc.). My personal view is that it makes you better in your next profession. And having that time away from school makes school much more palatable when you return.

    If you truly dislike USNA and the thought of spending 5 yrs as a USN or USMC officer seems like purgatory, then you probably should leave. However, realize that you are ~18 yrs old and in the midst of what will likely be the worst 6 months of your time at USNA. Don't make a rash decision based on the moment.

    You have the next nearly 2 years to quit. Once you've quit, it's a hard road back. So, consider carefully and choose wisely.
     
  6. mademu

    mademu Member

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    My good friends that left regretted it as well. But it's really based off what YOU want to do with your life. If your goal is to be a dentist and not an Officer, then that is up to you. Don't think about quitting because it can be stressful, or there's too much strain. If you leave, make sure you leave for the right reasons.

    Please, talk to a Chaplain, talk to your upperclassmen, hell you can talk to you me if you want. Just shoot me a PM.
     
  7. neugs

    neugs USNA 2015 Appointee

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    I regret leaving. Really think about it before you move on and make sure it's not an impulse decision like mine.
     
  8. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Whatever the reasons, the decision to accept an appointment, take the oath on I Day, and pursue your life as a Plebe are irreversible decisions you've made. My speculation is that no matter the reasons for separating, you will forever be justifying and rationalizing that decision. That does not suggest you should not pursue a different route. But for whatever the reasons, you will forever be, if in none others, in your own mind a quitter. And that is what you'll have to live with. Thre is no free lunch, nor can you divorce yourself from the decisions you've made and will make. They are yours and come with a cost.
    Go carefully if you must.
     
  9. thatguy

    thatguy New Member

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    neugs did you leave this year? i see under your name it says 2015 appointee. Why do you regret leaving?
     
  10. neugs

    neugs USNA 2015 Appointee

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    I left at the end ofI-Day. It was an impulse and rash decision and I just wanted to get out of there. I know at the moment it probably feels terrible. Of course it will though. You know the saying 20,000 people apply but 1,000 regret it? I hate that saying because in reality, those 1,000 will be 1,000 light years ahead of everyone other college graduate. I didn't think of the future when I wated to leave. I only thought to myself that I wanteto get out and that I was the only one who felt scared and lost, when in reality, everyone else was in the same position as me. If you are still there and are thinking about leaving, wait until the end of the year. Sure civilian college would be so much more fun. But is that what you really want? Going to the academy you have a pride instilled in you. Nowhere else can you wake up and be proud of where you are going and what you are you are doing for this country. At civilian college, I wake up, look at the clock, and then say, looks like I can still sleep some more. Whereas at the academy, you wake up, perform your duties to set you up for the real life. I should have never left. It was such an immature decision. Not a day goes by that I don't think about it. To be honest, the feeling was terrible when I went back to my hometown. I didn't even make it pas the first day! And to go back to a town where they were so proud of my achievement (very few people have been accepted over the years from my town). And for my parents, I felt like a failure to them. There is no greater feeling than saying "My son/daughter attends an Academy.". I'm just putting it in reality that for te first couple weeks you will keep questioning yourself. Hell, I'm still questioning myself. I want to know what I really want to do with my life. It sucks. I feel like a I have a load of guilt on me all the time. In class, in my form, talking with my friends; all of those somehow relate back to Annapolis and haunt me. I feel like each and very way I turn, something relates to the Navy. But that's just the way it is. I remember my Dad saying to me prior to me leaving to Annaplis that, "Think about it, all the stories you will have for your kids, grand kids, friends. There will be no greater feeling than going to this place." He was right. Now I'm at a private catholic school and yea, the life is fun. But it will never beat the pride and feeling of being at the Naval Academy.

    However, if you still do decide to leave. I believe that eventually, you will overcome the feeling of leaving. At least that's what I hope. Hope you
    got somethin out of this.
     
    Socnorb and USANavy like this.
  11. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    neugs,
    Thanks for your honest account. I think that will help so many. My son had that same feeling of shock and awe on I Day--he was totally lost and shell shocked. No amount of first hand accounts from us, his parents/USAFA grads, could prepare him for what he experienced that day. Luckily we had been thru it, and could reassure him on Iday that it was a normal feeling, and everyone was in the same boat, so to speak. Thru out his Plebe year he often spoke of wanting to leave, (usually just before going back after a break). We pretty much told him that we expected him to make it thru the first two years, quitting was not an option, at that time he should take a good look at the options and make a decision, after a year of being a Plebe and a year of "Plebe no More". That way he has lived both sides of the coin, and would have 2 yrs of paid college under his belt, putting him in a much better position to leave. Toward end of Plebe year he said he was Thankful we didn't make quitting easy for him, and that he is proud to be there and he wants to stay and WILL graduate from USNA. He then told us that no matter how much he complains and vents to us, to promise him we won't let him quit! As a Mom, I always tell him, if I can make it thru a Service Academy, you can too!
     
  12. neugs

    neugs USNA 2015 Appointee

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    Sorry about the mistypes but I was on my iPhone and was basically half-asleep. But to add to some of what I was saying, really make sure you want to leave. I have thought about reapplying but I feel like my parents won't be supportive and people would think I was crazy. Plus I do not even think they would accept me again. But please, please, please, don't make the same mistake I did. Unless you really, really do not want to be there and have VALID AND SUPPORTIVE reasoning, then leave. I basically had no reason to leave besides being scared and somehow they let me leave. That is something that still surprises me and I wish they never let me leave.

    Take time to think about this though.
     
  13. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I believe the process is a bit more involved after you take your oath on I-Day then if you want to quit before that time. (I could be wrong about this and I'm sure someone will correct me if I am).

    Before you take your oath, you're a civilian. If you want to walk out the front gate, they really can't/won't stop you. Maybe they should but . . . they won't. Once you've taken your oath, I believe it takes about 2 weeks to outprocess. In order to do so, you have to speak with your chain of command -- up through the officer heading up plebe summer -- and usually a Chaplain as well. They try to make sure you are making the right decision; however, I don't believe they will try to "talk you out of it." Rather, they want to make sure it's not a knee-jerk reaction.

    I give Neugs a lot of credit for his honesty and his willingness to share his experience. It's easy for those of us who stayed to talk about leaving. But we've never walked in those shoes.
     
  14. tedsnyder63

    tedsnyder63 Member

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    Yes, neugs, thanks for your openness. I have a plebe now, and its hard and yes I believe most had those emotions you had. Neugs, I believe you will be very successful, your words show you have much honor and honesty. The same qualities the Academy recognized in you to offer you the appointment are still there. There are far more successful folks making a difference who did not attend an academy that attended one. Separating, not getting an appointment, not trying for an appointment does not make one a failure. Best of luck, however, I really don't think you will need it.
     
  15. Voyager20

    Voyager20 Member

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    neugs, thank you so much for your words. It was like a flare shooting through the fog for me. I am going to print a copy of this post and save it for my son. Your words ring true not only for the academy, but many other circumstances in life.

    It is often easier to forgive others than ourselves. neugs, forgive yourself; don't be solely defined by this event. I have seen previous posts that mentioned plebes who left and then returned - so don't let that option pass you by.

    Thank you again for your heartfelt words.

    thatguy - hang in there.
     
  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Thanks nuegs. I'm sure that will be helpful to folks.

    My son wasn't fortunate enough to go to the Academy (I always knew that would be a stretch). Nor did he get a NROTC scholarship (which was much more realistic). However he IS in NROTC as a MO College Progammer.

    Your story brought to mind his tale to me that on the second day of his Orientation he was at the same point you were on I Day.. lost confused and ready to get out of the place. But he stuck it out. He discovered two days later, when he could finally chat with the other midshipmen, that they were all in that same place at that point in time.

    It's the same in all the services and at all levels. Even enlisted feel lost and think they made a mistake before 24 hours have elapsed in boot camp. They "tear you down in order to build you up". And it's probably harder to tear down the outstanding material at the Academies, because they've been so successful doing it their way. That's how they got there, right?

    I think one thing I've learned watching my son's experience is that they'll never ask you do something that can't physically be done.

    Thanks again nuegs.
     
  17. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Maybe I'm the voice in the wilderness here, but if you want to leave...leave.

    Obviously, talk to your squad leader, talk to any youngsters or upperclass you trust, talk to a chaplain, whatever helps. But if you feel this place isn't for you now, that's probably not going to change before you sign your 2 for 7. Staying motivated to be here and to perform only gets harder.
    If your heart's not in it now, I doubt it'll change. It's a different situation than it was for neugs. You've seen how the ac year Academy runs and not just the shock-and-awe of I-day. Four years is a long time to be miserable, and if you're on the fence about service, five years after that is a damn long time too.

    Whether you want to be an officer or a dentist is your call. You've given the Academy a fair shake. It's nine years of your life. Don't stay for the sake of staying.
     
  18. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    neugs, yours is among the most candid, courageous insights I've seen on this forum. Thank you for your openess, your insights, your maturity, and your willingness to expose your feelings and lessons learned the hard way. Sadly, YOU are precisely the type of candidate who should be at our SAs and leading others. You've grown up since I Day!

    It's not popular to share so openly. Keep growing, going, and working to develop your own character. Seems you're well on your way. Best wishes and God's guidance to you as you move ahead now.
     
  19. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Leaving during Plebe year? Advise from people

    neugs,

    Let me say, I have a lot of respect and admiration for a people who have stood up and admitted they made a mistake. You have done this. I am hopeful, that young men and women are in this situation and thinking about leaving their respective SA's, REALLY read this post.



    Respectfully,



    RGK
     
  20. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    When I read through this thread, I simply can't shake the image of that popular Christmas time show "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (narrated by Burl Ives) where the elf didn't want to make toys like the other elves - he wanted to be a dentist. :)

    Before I ever try to get into the heads of those contemplating leaving - I always want to know, "How are you doing at the Naval Academy?"

    What are your grades like?

    How well do you get along with your classmates?

    What do the upperclassmen think of you?

    How have your PRTs (Physical Readiness Test) been going?

    Oftentimes, one's desire to quit is motivated by the fact that they do not think they will survive the experience; consequently, they convince themselves to "quit" before they get "fired". Or, sometimes it's just the shock of being "below average" when they have spent their entire life, up to this point, being the BEST at everything. Or, they see how much harder they have to work just to survive the daily grind (compared to everybody else) and it makes them feel like they don't belong.

    My question is this: WHEN and WHY have you had this epiphany to become a dentist when you knew all along that that was never a realistic option when attending the United States Naval Academy?

    The answer usually lies deeper than, "The Navy is just not for me." That's both a platitude and cliché. It's usually the exterior answer to a deeper issue that most do not publicly share.
     

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