Overnight Question

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Hardcore Troubadour, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Hardcore Troubadour

    Hardcore Troubadour Member

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    I am 3Q with LOA and attended SLE. SLE has been my only visit to USMA. I am weighing whether or not to take an overnight. I live far away so it would involve some expense for me to travel.

    I am curious to opinions on the value of this visit. Thanks for any advice you can give.
     
  2. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    In my opinion, if you have attended SLE, you saw just about everything you would see on an overnight visit -- and you experienced it for a week. If you were to make a visit now, the difference would be the weather (gray & gloomy period), classes are in session, cadets are more stressed with everything they are juggling, etc. If you can afford the cost of another trip, do it. If you can't, hopefully attending SLE answered enough questions for you to make an informed decision once you receive your appointment (seeing as you have an LOA). My DS also attended SLE '13 and did not do an additional overnight. Congrats!
     
  3. jocomom

    jocomom Member

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    IMO the overnight has value. My DS had an LOA for class of 2016. He too had participated in the summer program. When his appointment came through in fall of his senior year I made arrangements for him to travel for an overnight. We live far away so it was a hassle and an expense. He went alone. Flew into Newburgh. Talked to cadets on the bus on the way to West Point. Spent the night before in town. Understood what the surrounding community would be like. Had a great overnight visit hanging out with friends from his boarding school who were cadets. In short he had a very good feel for what his next four years would entail from an a academic, military and social standpoint. In the end he opted to take an AROTC four year scholarship. He would have thrived in either environment, but the overnight at both schools helped him make an informed decision. Had he not done them, I believe that he would have made a different choice.
     
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  4. Hardcore Troubadour

    Hardcore Troubadour Member

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    Thanks to you both for your insight and advice. I am going to try to line up a visit soon.
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Overnight well worth the time & expense. Take advantage of it. Advice from cadets who did them is that if you don't like SLE you won't like USMA. But that it's just a glimpse, and you need to see a more accurate picture of cadet life. The only way to get that is the overnight.

    Make sure to spend some time with upperclassmen. Ask if needed, Interview the Company Commander or 1SG. Plebes are so heads down doing Plebe things that sometimes they do not share the big picture. Don't opt out of company athletics if offered, etc. This is your chance to see real cadet life, not recruiter, old grad, parent, or similar input. Try to get the point of view from each class, it will be different.

    DS felt his overnight gave him an accurate picture of cadet life. No real surprises or disappointments 3.5 years later.

    Look past food, quarters, and tales of no TP. Instead, look at the cadets who you will spend time with even if they are a year or two ahead. Learn what they did last summer if Cows or Firsties

    Likewise, the parent part of the overnight really opened our eyes, especially relative to USNA overnight experience. Briefings by staff, briefings and tour by firsties, etc.

    DS was very impressed with the company commander he met with. Actually, the firstie sought out DS and spent an hour with him. DS left the visit saying "I want to be that guy". Not the position, but the combination of quiet leadership, confidence, and capability.

    You are about to pick how you spend your next 9-10 years (at the minimum). Make an informed decision.
     

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