Need insight from former NAPSters on NAPS student life

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by activedutymom, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    Most of us thoroughly researched the USNA, but didn't spend as much time on NAPS. Now that my DS has a spot in NAPS, I'm finding it harder to get a feel for the student life there. Are there any former NAPSters who can give us any insight on life as a Midshipman Candidate? Specifically, what kind of media access do they have in regards to cell phones, internet access, personal computers, etc. Also, are they allowed personal vehicles with parking access? How about weekend liberty? Just trying to get a feel for how it compares to the USNA. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MI03Dad

    MI03Dad New Member

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    DD just finishing up

    Activedutymom, congrats! You're probably looking to hear from students who have experienced both NAPS and USNA, and I've done neither, my DD is at NAPS now.

    Like you, we were completely mystified about NAPS; we had never heard of it. We didn't even know how to explain it to others who knew about her USNA dream. USNA told my daughter that it was fine to say that she had been accepted by USNA and that like about 1/5 of each class, she was doing a five year program starting in Newport...

    I remember not really understanding why she was sent there. She had high grades (AP classes, etc.) and good test scores, etc and dominated the fitness test. Although she was an informal leader of sports teams, she never had a formal title captain or student gov't officer, or anything like that, so that could have been it too. Basically Napsters are there to build-up some component (academics, leadership, or physical) that will give them the best shot at succeeding in Annapolis. I think it was USNA's way of getting DD a spot in a very competitive program, and we are very grateful - especially now that she's just a couple of weeks from graduation.

    NAPS was a real blessing for her. She played several sports and now knows a large part of her Academy class. Most important to me, my little DD has had the opportunity to learn all of the military stuff and understand the breaking down of the individual and the rebuilding of the team stuff before showing up at the Yard. Just knowing how to make a bed, handle the uniform, etc. is a huge head start. Already knowing 240 classmates is a big deal. That will make it much easier for me to drop her off on I-Day.

    There are three different levels for each of the academic subjects. Class sizes are very small, so no matter the level, everyone is pushed very hard and is well-supported. There is quite a range of abilities in the class, and I was very moved to learn about the paths that have taken people to NAPS, especially from the prior enlisted folks. There are young sailors who never even thought that college was a possibility for them. They impressed people on the job, and now have a shot of attending one of the most prestigious institutions in our country.

    NAPS is on the base with the Naval War College, OCS, and the professional placement for docs,lawyers,nurses,etc. They get access to some incredible Navy personnel that pass through. As to your questions about the lifestyle - it's probably like an accelerated version of the first couple of years at USNA. There is a three-week Indoc with phone access only for a few minutes on Sundays. After that they get some Liberty on Sundays, then I believe in October they can start getting off base and get leave from Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening. Each candidate has a computer at the desk, but that's limited to official business, so no social media, personal email, etc. They can have laptops, but internet access is somewhat limited, they need to wait for leave time to make it to the coffee shop, etc. After Indoc, she had access to her phone, but we really discouraged her from using it too much - that's our bias against helicopter parenting. And recognition of the fact that that they have them on a full schedule from 0430 to about 2200. Either my wife or I hear from her about once every week or two - I think she talks to my mother-in-law about twice a week.

    NAPS does a nice job of taking pictures and posting them on its Facebook page, so it's been fun to follow their progress, what an adventure they're on. Newport is a wonderful town; DD has really enjoyed it.

    I can't stress enough that you should be celebrating! As I mentioned, it took us a little while to figure out whether to be happy or sad. The Napsters are thrilled to be there, they know that with their head start, they will be the leaders in the Yard.
     
  3. MI03Dad

    MI03Dad New Member

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    activeduty - apparently I'm not active enough to send PM yet. I just rediscovered the forum app at the back of my phone's app pages yesterday and came back for a quick visit. I'll send you an answer when I can.
     

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