I offer the following in case our experience may be helpful to others. _________________ We were at Parent’s Weekend with our C4C in 2013. This past weekend we watched the events at USAFA from afar as we dropped our son off for his sophomore year at a local university. Attending USAFA became his dream when he was a 6th grader. For years he lived his life and made choices with USAFA in mind. He was delighted when he learned he was accepted. The weeks of BCT came and went without complaint. Acceptance Day marked the beginning of the academic year. Adjusting to the new daily routine at this point was a challenge. Parent’s Weekend 2013 was a difficult visit for the entire family. He talked about leaving USAFA. We spent the weekend listening and encouraging. He stayed. By the end of September his outlook had changed. Things were going well and he was SO GLAD he had stuck it out! He had good friends and a great roommate. He was learning to have some fun. Academics were going well. Talk during Thanksgiving break reaffirmed the same. At Christmas he came home in good spirits but talked about USAFA just not being the right place for him. He decided he would finish the year, yet withdrew before second semester was over. We ALL mourned the loss of his dream. He came home, collected himself, and worked at multiple jobs to save money for school. He investigated career fields he had never heard of and looked at schools he had never considered. With time, pieces of the transfer student puzzle fell into place. He is excited for the new school year. What happened? Why did he leave? I don’t know if I will ever understand fully. I have taken much time to reflect over these past months. I know he could have been successful at USAFA if he had decided to stick with it, yet I can see now why it was not a great fit for him/his personality. I have come to admire him for knowing himself well enough-and for being strong enough-to make a change when it didn't feel right. He values the time he spent at USAFA. He grew a lot while there. He made great friends while at USAFA. One visited us for several days this summer and he has plans to see others. He would have always wondered “What if…?” if he had not accepted the appointment. He is grateful for many experiences he had while at USAFA. He is still on track to graduate in May of 2017. I believe he will be successful with his new major and new career path. His goal is no longer the one he set for his eleven-year-old self, and that is okay. He will be okay.