leaving the academy one year in

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by zampstamp, May 17, 2015.

  1. zampstamp

    zampstamp Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
    I am not on Dean's List, and struggling academically. I put out in academics and stay up all hours of the night to get my work done, but the math based classes don't come to me easy (sadly that entails most classes at USAFA). I am in the process of contacting colleges for a late transfer and go ROTC, and most all are very very helpful. I already have one offer for the fall of 2015, and I started last week. I love the academy, well parts of it, but academically it isn't for me, and I would rather go out on my own, rather than have them kick me out for deficient grades, especially once I committed. The military is for me, and I plan on continuing, just not through USAFA. The only thing is that I don't know how to feel about it. I put in over 70 hours this semester with my teachers for extra help, barely slept for the weeks leading up to finals, managed to pull my grades up a little bit, but I just can't seem to get myself out of the danger zone of getting kicked out. Anyone have any advice or comments on any of this?
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    2,434
    Zampstamp, are you finishing 4/C or 3/C year? Maybe you mentioned that but I missed it.
     
  3. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    167
    I guess the biggest question I'd have is just how bad your grades are...if you've survived one or more hard ARCs and are still struggling to keep your GPA above 2.0, then the threat of being kicked out academically is a lot more real.

    There's a hugeee difference between not being on Dean's List and being on the verge of disenrollment. I will say that this past year classes have been a lot easier for me-probably as a result of having a lot more time since 4-dig year is over. I can't really give you advice if I don't know ballpark where you're actually at academically.
     
  4. zampstamp

    zampstamp Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm currently a C4C with a GPA of roughly 1.73
     
  5. zampstamp

    zampstamp Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
    Basically I'm in the bottom 20 people in our class
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    2,434
    zampstamp... ok here is my opinion. I did not attend USAFA, but did go to USNA. I would stay. Here is why. You aren't obligated yet. Life gets so much easier next year as a 3/C. I know you guys have been recognized for a little now, but its not the same. Give it a shot next year and if it doesn't work, then you gave it your best shot. You appear to want to be an AF officer, you are on the path. Don't give up now. If you move to ROTC, I am guessing you will be non-tech. I believe your USAFA grades will carry over. So you will be starting in a hole as a non-tech major. Not sure if you are trying to go rated or not, but non-tech non-rated selections rates are tough. USAFA gives you a guaranteed shot at Active Duty, I think you need to just take a deep breath, enjoy the summer and be ready to work just as hard next year and see what happens.

    I struggled Plebe Year. I had a 1.63 first semester and a 2.2 second semester. I didn't fail anything, but had two Ds. I retook one of the Ds my second semester and replaced it with a B. I then took summer school to catch up. Like you I struggled in Calc. Taking Calc 1 over again was the best decision ever. Are you in summer school this year? If you are not, go see your academic advisor tomorrow first thing and ask if this can be done. If it means giving up leave, do it. You won't regret it. If that is what it takes to graduate each year, I would do it. If its possible take one of those engineering courses or whatever you foresee being your hardest class and take it in summer school. Then you can solely focus on it and nothing else. It will make the ac year so much easier also. You are doing all the right things. I think next year when you have less stress and more sleep it will only help. That helped me enormously as I was able to really pay attention in class and retain so much more during class. I went from a 1.63, to 2.2 to 3.0 first semester 3/C year. I actually made Dant's list both semesters 3/C year. It was a huge accomplishment for me. For someone who did not do well in Calc, I did fairly decently in my engineering courses and physics. I understood that stuff much better than I did just the pure math classes.

    Ultimately its your call. If you know where USAFA is where you want to be and being an AF is your goal, I say stay until they throw you out. But this is your life to live, not mine. I was always terrified of flunking out of USNA, but I figured it out and graduated with my top service selection and actually about right in the middle of my class after starting near the very bottom. I tell my story to show you it can be done and generally academics improve after 4/C year. I think summer school could be a huge help for you. I would definitely explore that option if its available to you. Good luck!
     
    Bruce111, Midwest, Wishful and 6 others like this.
  7. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    74
    Not sure if it has changed but when my son was 4th and 3rd degrees they pretty much disenrolled most under 2.0. I even know a 1.99 who was disenrolled. You should know this very soon and the decision would be made for you.
    There are also many on this forum who have told stories of 'riding Acpro' the whole time. Doesn't matter if you are bottom 20. If you finish, you are still a second lieutenant.
    It all depends how much you want to try to stay.
     
  8. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    564
    Zampstamp - Let me put things into perspective. Patton failed math in this first year at USMA. John McCain graduated 5th from the bottom of his class. One of my DH's best friends struggled academically his first 2 years - he just retired as a Maj General.
     
    Bruce111 and RogersCO'19 like this.
  9. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,851
    Likes Received:
    342
    Zamp...just my past...I was the 4.0, 3 sport letterman, etc...etc...in high school. I hit USAFA...and it hit back, HARD!

    I have classmates that were "Deans List Aces" (5 or more semesters on the list)....I was an ACE on the "OTHER" Deans list: 5 semesters of AC PRO. I ranked 852 of 958 in my class.

    I became a senior officer...I have been a commander, I flew 3 types of jets and served in 5 armed conflicts over 32 years in uniform. I have two masters degrees (they were WAY easier than USAFA) and I'm currently 18 months into my PhD program.

    I tell you this to tell you that you can make it. It's a bear; and it's not fun, and you spend a lot of time alone studying, while your friends are out having fun. If the academy and being a professional officer are your goal, the press on! If you have decided that being a professional officer is your goal, and the academy isn't necessary, then consider ROTC and other options. Only you can decide where you should be. Here's the kicker: a fine officer comes from the academy, from ROTC, and from OTS/OCS...it's the "quality of the person" and not what ring they wear on their finger.

    Only you can answer this question; we can only give our opinions and our "thoughts" and I wouldn't even call it advice. In the end...YOU must decide.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
    AC PRO ACE/RANGER
     
  10. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    272
    You are the one who decides when it's time to punch out. Make the decision with great care, as it's a serious one.

    My struggle was athletics rather than academics. I made the decision that I would leave one of two ways--walking across the stage or getting kicked out. Fortunately, the former happened! It wasn't always easy, and there were plenty of days that sucked. Being restricted most of my first two years was a bit of a pain, and I narrowly avoided a hard PRC (athletic version of an ARC). For me, it was worth it.

    My advice, if you decide to stay, is to focus hard. Get EI early and often. Ask your squadmates and classmates for help studying. BUT GET SLEEP. Running on a long-term sleep deficit will hurt you more than an extra 30 minutes of study per night. Class time is wasted if you are too tired to retain information. Get enough sleep, and study efficiently.
     
    Bruce111 likes this.
  11. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    799
    Zamp, your story reminds me of my sons' dear friend, who at the end of his 4* year, leaped for joy when he passed Calc with a C+ after getting a D- the first go 'round. He was first in his class at his high school, was a xc runner, blah blah blah.... he got to USAFA and KABLOOEY! Between the first time away from home (the effects of which are not limited to young adults at service academies), the intense and unrelenting academics, the "everything is a competition" atmosphere... he really struggled. He's flying the airframe of his choice now and living large and loving his life.

    I agree with those who suggested give it your absolute best shot for your 3* year. ABSOLUTE BEST. (You should be doing that anyway, but there is BEST and there is ABSOLUTE BEST, ya know?)
     
    SNF6 likes this.
  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    2,434
    Raimus is spot on regarding sleep. You would be amazed how much sleep and less stress will help you retain info in class. And don't get in the habit of sleeping 2 hours after class and staying up until 1 or 2 am. Not a good habit that a lot of 3/C fall into.
     
    Bruce111 and Wishful like this.
  13. Wishful

    Wishful Parent

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    113
    DD sets her alarm usually around 0130 hours to go to sleep!
     
  14. zampstamp

    zampstamp Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
    Also, what PP member would be good to talk to? My AOC is off the list because he isn't very approachable
     
  15. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    564
    My DD
    I'm sorry to hear that. Do you have an academic adviser that you can speak with?
     
  16. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    2,434
    I second your Ac advisor. They are your academic advocate and should be supporting you with recommendations, assistance, etc.
     
  17. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    74
    Zampstamp, you need to speak with your AOC. If you have an ARC, they need to be in your corner. You need to show them how much you want to stay, if you do. Do you like your AMT? They can help also.
     
    Bruce111 likes this.
  18. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    272
    Don't be afraid to seek advice from your Ac adviser, AOC, AMTs, respected teachers, coaches, etc.
     

Share This Page