Nerves before accepting appointment normal?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Ted&Gladys, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Ted&Gladys

    Ted&Gladys Member

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    It's been months since we've posted, but DD has official appointment to USNA along with several great backup plans. It's been USNA #1 for years, but now that it's getting close to decision time and other options are coming forward, she is getting a little nervous. Nightmares about plebe summer, worries about the future, stress of academy life, service assignments, etc. She's had a lot of USNA experiences (STEM Camp, NASS, and CVW), so she's got a pretty accurate view of life there.

    So many appointees seem to have undiluted enthusiasm about their appointment; DD is thrilled, honored, and grateful, but reality is settling in. I suppose we would be more worried if she was glamorizing the Navy experience and was not grounded in reality. We are supportive but not pressuring her one way or the other about the appointment; in our view, God has a plan. She's got great backup options and could be successful at any of them.

    Are the jitters normal? Any advice on how to help her process the worries?
     
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  2. WannabeGonnabe

    WannabeGonnabe Member

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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    She is fine. There is a thread started yesterday by a young man asking a slightly different question, but a lot of great responses. Nerves, wondering if they can do it, what will life be like, what am I getting myself into are all natural questions and doubt to have. Anyone who isn't asking themselves these questions I would actually have more questions for. She will be fine, it's a natural response to dreams becoming reality.
     
  4. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Ha around our house we call "the dog caught the car syndrome" our ds got appointment's to USMA and USNA. He was proud and excited for a bit, then ....spiraled into such a funk, afraid of failure, scared to leave home. He started letting his hair grow out for the first time in his life, stopped working out, mopped around the house. We dragged him to his going away party held by the State parents, and it was embarrassing, he was so disheveled and unenthusiastic.

    About 2 weeks before time for departure, I really started to worry. Finally I went into the living room where he was laying on couch, said "enough of this, go get ready we are getting you a hair cut, and buying you some running shoes, you know you are going, why are you acting like not going is an option.?"

    Off we went, he came out of the Barbers with a buzz, "I should have done that a month ago! Lets go get me some shoes." We had a great day together "Prepping" Suddenly he was back in the saddle again, and never looked back. Plebe summer was handled with no fuss no questions.
     
  5. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    PS because all the fan fare seemed to make him embarrassed (very low key, unassuming kinda guy), And I didn't want to spend a 13 hr drive crying, we put him on a plane and sent him to I-day alone. Worked out great he got there early met and made friends before the big day even started. It was almost like he got a small jump start on the newbies
     
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  6. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    PSS Put your self in their shoes, they are our kids, it never occurs to us that they won't do great. however there has been this huge effort to get an appointment and a lot of attention and fan fare over Nominations and Appointments, etc..

    Some where along the line it occurs to them...What if I don't make it through Plebe Summer?...How embarrassing, I will come home in disgrace, after making such a big deal about wanting to do this...
     
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  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    LDH is so correct. A lot of kids internalize this and will never express their fears. That is fine. Others it will show in odd ways as mentioned above. And for some they will never skip a beat. If the kid doesn't want all the fanfare, no big deal, I am that way. I left for I Day the same week I graduated high school. Went to dinner with my parents after graduation and that was the only fanfare I had. Good enough for me. For those of us who have done this process our number one fear is quitting. It's why so many of us are so insistent that a candidate own this process and its 100% their decision. They walk in the doors on I Day, there is no more 'help' beyond encouraging letters and phone calls.
     
  8. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Your DD should be nervous, it is a big life decision, but relax, enjoy senior year and wait for all options to materialize. Then decide. She is now in the drivers seat, the SA is waiting on her response, not the other way around.

    I know we all talk about accepting a SA appointment as a huge commitment of 4 years of school and 5 years of service. Or even a life long commitment to the military. But in reality what is the real commitment. If you keep plan B in place, you can drop out during or after plebe summer and go to that civilian school. You can finish the first year and then transfer. You can complete 2 years and then transfer. You can do all of that with out any financial costs. These are not desirable option, but they are options. None of these options are desirable, but they are options. The real nervousness should come when you sign that 2 for 7. That is the real commitment.
     
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  9. usnagrad1988

    usnagrad1988 Member

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    Well... maybe this is a case of too much information not being a good thing. I made one visit to USNA and my roommate all 4 years at the Academy had never visited or seen the Atlantic Ocean in his life (he was from Lincoln, Nebraska). I wouldn't worry about Plebe Summer. That's a non-event... especially now days :) Yeah, yeah... when I was a Plebe back in 1984 (and those way before me say the same thing) it was really tough. The fact of the matter is, things they did when I was there would have been considered hazing then and those doing it would be kicked out for sure today. It's more leadership, running around and memorizing stuff under pressure now. The goal is to build everyone up and help them get through together. Academics shouldn't be cause for alarm either. If you get accepted then you have the capacity to graduate. The big issue would be service. As the old commercial used to say, "It's a great place to start." To me I saw the 5 year commitment as "guaranteed job placement," while I figured out if I wanted to make it a career or move on. My daughter graduated last year from a state university and getting an entry level job was tough. If served 5 years then interviewed with 8 companies and got offers from every one. You can't go wrong at USNA. On the other hand, my son hasn't received his appointment yet, so if you'd like to give up your spot, he'd appreciate it! ;)
     
  10. Skegs

    Skegs Member

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    I want to thank everyone for your remarks; this has been very good reading. My son hasn't yet received an appointment, but has wonderful alternative via NROTC at a terrific college. He understands the academy option if offered due to NJROTC, and visits, etc. Your comments are preparing me to understand his thoughts and will help me guide him.Thanks.
     
  11. Ted&Gladys

    Ted&Gladys Member

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    I second Skegs comment! Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. Our DD wouldn't have made it this far without the knowledge gleaned from this forum over the last two years. And, to make it even better, posters here deliver advice with empathy and humility (traits too rarely seen in many online forums, IMO).

    Anyway, I showed DD all of the responses, and she is much relieved that her doubts/worries/anxieties are not uncommon. It's still USNA #1 here at our house, but we are insisting she revisit Plans B & C so that she has a full understanding of both the opportunity she is accepting and the opportunities she is turning down. We will keep you all posted come decision time :)

    Again, a heartfelt thanks!!!
     
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  12. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

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  13. Socnorb

    Socnorb Member

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    About a week after I got an appointment it felt like somebody had ripped my stomach out and left a gaping hole in its wake. Doubts were constantly spiraling in my head for a couple weeks. What helped me get rid of them was to start training for what I felt nervous about. I began running everyday, doing push-up, sit ups, and I asked various people if they thought I would succeed there. I texted a couple people from my summer seminar squad and my squad leader. I also asked the teachers in my toughest classes if they thought I had the right mindset. After all of that, I felt much better. They reminded me that the reason I was appointed was because admissions believed I was made out of the right material for the academy.
     
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  14. Classof83

    Classof83 Member

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    When my DD was deciding whether to accept her appointment to USMA, we considered it a blue pill/red pill moment (The Matrix reference). From that point on, I never thought I saw one moment of doubt in her eyes. She prepared, e.g. running, breaking in her boots, etc. I thought to myself, "wow, she's tougher than I was." I had severe cases of nerves deciding whether to accept my USMA or USNA appointment. After making my decision, I suffered many sleepless nights. Finally, when we got to her R Day and she was leaving after the few seconds we had to say goodbye, I saw it in her eyes, all the fear and doubt about whether she would make it. When I saw her go through the sally port into Beast Barracks, as usnagrad 1988 mentioned, it wouldn't be the haze fest I experienced in 1979, but it would still be difficult. Now she is a 2015 graduate and starting her career as an Army combat engineer. Whatever your DD decides, it's her path that she has to walk. I always let mine know, that whatever she decided, Academy or not, resignation or graduation, she would have my support. I think that helped make her feel that her decisions were hers and not a path of no return.
     
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