My Chances

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by USMA2020, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. USMA2020

    USMA2020 Member

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    Everyone is probably getting tired of these "what are my chances" things, but I want to know. I am a freshman. I went on my first missions trip, to TN when I was 11, I am extremely involved at church. I am planning on working at VBS this summer.

    I put in 114 volunteer hours on a state senate campaign in about 3.5 weeks. In the last year I have put in close to, if not at least 100 hours of volunteer work at the library. (2 hours a week during the school year, and 4 hours a week during the summer.) I have worked at the library 2 hours a week every summer, and one year other than this since I was 10. I also plan to do a lot of campaign work during the gubernatorial election, as that is what I love.

    I think I am joining CAP in May, and if my mom will let me I want to do JROTC next year, however I am home-schooled and my mom is getting nervous about getting involved with the public schools when we never have been.

    I got about a 1300 on the SAT when I was in 7th grade, and I am taking all honors. I am not doing well in German, so would it affect anything if I just pass it and start Spanish 1 either this summer or my sophomore year? Also, I have been gotten several math test grades in the high 60s/low 70s range, although I normally get in the 80s. I am taking Algebra 1 this year. The tests are every four lessons, but I haven't gotten a 100 or even a high 90s yet, and I am on test 10. I am also German 1, Geography, American Government, a basic literature program, drama, and music.

    I haven't started any sports yet, but I took about 6 years of gymnastics over eight years, quitting several years ago. I also roller blade about 10-15+ hours a week, so when we I get into sports I should be fine there. Does anyone have any suggestions on what sports would be good for me?

    Thanks so much for your help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  2. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Ashleigh,

    We are I'm the same boat. I'm a sophomore, I will just pass on what others have told me. It's a good idea to join CAPS, that way you can show leadership. You are doing awesome in giving back to your community/volunteering! Make sure you keep working hard at school, especially math. Is there anyway you could join a rec sports team? Maybe at your church as you said you are involved with that. Keep everything up! You have a lot of time!

    Olivia
     
  3. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    Can you even join JROTC if you aren't enrolled at said school? I don't know.

    It's pretty impossible to predict chances of someone who's a freshman. Just keep your grades high and work hard. Try and get A's and B's in your classes (more A's than B's) and start taking AP classes.

    I wouldn't try to "just pass it"...they'll see if you get a low grade. Do the best you can and then consider another language if you still aren't doing well.
     
  4. USMA2020

    USMA2020 Member

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    Not at church. There isn't one. But would it do any good to work on doing it somewhere else? I did have one friend tell me tha she went to school in our district and it isn't very competitive for sports there, so I could probably letter that way without a whole lot of trouble. What kind of rec sports team?

    Are you home-schooled?
     
  5. USMA2020

    USMA2020 Member

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    I am getting there. In everything except math and German I am getting mostly As. With a lot of work, and hopefully taking math out somewhere next year (If I take geometry this summer I will be in Algebra 2 next semester), then I should be able to get more help. I am going to have to switch to another language, probably Spanish, because I have tried and tried, but I can't seem to get the grammar in the German for anything. On the quiz (not counted towards grade), I got 9/10 wrong. After listening to both tapes for the first semester twice in 24 hours. Something isn't clicking. At least it would be a lot easier to get help with Spanish.
     
  6. USMA2020

    USMA2020 Member

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    Sorry I missed the question. You can here in SC now that Governor Haley signed the law allowing extra curriculur activities to be taken at the schools. I was at the bill signing and got to talk to her afterwards!
     
  7. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    I'm not homeschooled. However, I play high school soccer and with a club team. As far as rec teams go, maybe there is a local gym that has coed winter/summer sports. If you can't play a sport then focus on something that will give you an edge. But make it something you enjoy! People here always say quality or quantity :smile:
     
  8. USMA2020

    USMA2020 Member

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    Cool. Could you explain soccer? Maybe you could PM me and tell me. I am awful at understanding it. Yeah, and if you enjoy it you will give it more quality. That is how I ended up with all the campaign work.
     
  9. AcademyFriend1

    AcademyFriend1 Member

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    Ashleigh, most people who play soccer in high school have played since they were 6-7 years old, so it can be hard to pick up the skills to compete or make a team.

    For doing a high school sport, your best bets are probably cross-country (in the fall) and track (in the spring), if your local public high school(s) offer them. Both of these are sports where experience does not count as much as effort (and a little natural talent is better still), and usually rosters are not limited so they are happy to have new athletes and then if you work and improve you may be able to earn a varsity letter relatively early on.

    Some gentle advice -- folks in the military are some of the best this country has to offer but they can also be somewhat sarcastic and cynical (as you may have seen here or there on this generally very nice forum). If and when you get to the point of pursuing an application to one or more service academies, you may want to think more about substantive reasons for pursuing a commission beyond your faith that it is in God's plan for you. It would be fine to explain that your religious faith is part of your desire to serve, but also think about the nature of being an officer in the armed forces. What about the mission of our armed forces is important to you? What about being a citizen in the United States makes you want to serve as an officer? Why do you think you want to lead soldiers and what qualities do you have that might make you be a good commander some day? How do you think the rigorous, military life-style of a service academy could help to shape you to make you a better citizen and better leader?

    As a current ninth grader/14-ish year old, it may be that you will change your mind about what you want as you get older. That is okay too, it's part of growing up. If you think you want to pursue a career as an officer, you may want to take some time to do some additional reading, as it seems from your posts that a lot about military life/foreign policy issues might be unfamiliar to you.

    Your local public library may have one or more of the following books (or may be able to get them through interlibrary loan), which can give you a sense of life at a service academy (even if not wholly current):

    1. "Absolutely American," by David Lipsky -- four years of his observations of cadets at West Point during the 1998-2002 time period. Very readable and overall very positive depiction of West Point as an institution and the range of different cadets who attend.
    2. "Skies to Conquer," by Diana Jean Schemo -- a year in the life at the Air Force Academy (during 2006). A little more controversial because the author looked at some controversies the USAFA was dealing with, but it does give a lot of information about day-to-day cadet life at USAFA.

    Some other books that might be interesting on the military and their missions:
    1. "Rescue Warriors" by David Helvarg -- about the Coast Guard and its mission;
    2. "Making the Corps," by Thomas Ricks -- written about Marine Corps training for enlisted personnel, not officers, during the late 1990s, but very interesting in particular for its observations about the relationship between the military and American civilian society.

    Try to also start reading the newspaper, both your local newspaper and perhaps articles from national papers like the New York Times and Washington Post, particularly those dealing with military or foreign policy issues. Not only will this give you more of an understanding of domestic and foreign policy issues, including those that affect the military, but reading quality material in general is important to getting a good Critical Reading score on the SAT.

    Lastly, to get a taste of the military and learn more, even if it is not focused specifically on the Army/West Point, NEXT year (you are a year too young), you might think about applying for the U.S. Marines leadership development camp for rising high school juniors and seniors. It is one week in July and it might give you a closer look at the military so you can see if this is something you want to keep pursuing. Here's the link that describes the program:

    http://www.mcrc.marines.mil/UnitHome/SLCDA.aspx

    Good luck to you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  10. USMA2020

    USMA2020 Member

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    OK. I don't know that soccer is for me anyway. Is track & field and cross country supposed to be a team sport?

    I do know that sort of, I grew up going to church almost within walking distance of Ft. Jackson, so we have had a lot of military friends. I love America so much. I have always wanted to do something for America, but I thought it would be in politics. There was a time that I would have been totally against the idea, but now I can't imagine doing anything else. I have always been told I was a good leader, and that is one reason that I would rather go the officer route. I enjoy that too. I feel that the rigor of a SA would build be and shape me, because of the rigor itself. How hard it is is builds a person. Does that make any sense?

    Well military life is something I am spending a lot of time reading about, and most foreign policy is something I know EXTREMELY well. As I said about the campaign, working with the candidate, and spending a lot of time listening to talk radio has gotten me where I know most of the issues really well.

    As I said, I do work at the library, and I am reading Absolutely American right now. I will look into the others.

    I wish I could, but we don't get the paper except once every few weeks, and then I do try to look at it, if my mom doesn't throw it away before I can. Any military and foreign policy I definitely read. I even went through the old ones to see if there was anything to read. I read all the time, and I got a very good score in reading and writing on the SAT. Reading I did really well on and writing was 6/6.

    Well I am working on finding out about JCLC. Do you know anything? I will look into that for next year. It sounds like I would like it.

    Thanks.
     
  11. AcademyFriend1

    AcademyFriend1 Member

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    Hi, Ashleigh --

    Cross-country and/or track might not be a "team sport" like basketball or volleyball or soccer, but you compete as part of a team that wins or loses based on everyone's contributions (and certain events in track, like the relays, are in fact "team events"). And of course they count as athletics for the varsity letter element of service academy applications.

    I grew up in the northeast and I teach in the mid-Atlantic region, so I don't actually have a good sense of whether public high schools in South Carolina would offer cross-country or track for girls. But this is something I'm sure you could check out. If you have friends from church at your local high school, maybe you could ask them for advice about what sports teams might be the easiest to join if you don't have much experience (for example, a new team in a new sport for the high school might be a good choice, or there may be teams that have a policy of "no cuts" for tryouts)?

    As far as your additional reasons for being interested in the military, I think those are all very good and would spark a good conversation if you were interviewing for a Congressional nomination, for example.

    Good for you for using your library connections to get Absolutely American already! And keep reading generally, it's always worthwhile.

    For the Marines Summer Leadership Character and Development Academy (SLCDA), I have not had a student attend yet, but I've heard good things from a friend who had a child attend. Among other things, her son really enjoyed getting to visit Washington DC during his time at the program. If you look in the Naval Academy threads on this website I believe there is also a thread on SLCDA. I think you said you don't have YouTube access at home because of no high speed internet, but if they have high speed internet at the library there are also some YouTube videos about this program -- here's a link to one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqdJDtKgY_Q

    Finally, as another poster said, you still have plenty of time. Keep working on those grades, try to figure out a way to get the sports piece, maybe starting next year, but enjoy your life right now too and keep an open mind about your future!
     
  12. USMA2020

    USMA2020 Member

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    They do. I have friends who run at school.

    I will ask.

    I think I need to work on getting it phrased better, because I have been asked, and people like my original reason, but evenat church they pretty much ask me if I REALLY want to do this.

    I love to read, especially about what I am interested in, so no one has to tell me to do that, but thanks anyway.

    The library doesn't allow YouTube, but my mom is finally working towards internet, and I need YouTube for drama exams next month, that has been our home work, so that should work and I will save the emails.

    Ok, I will.

    Ashleigh
     

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