Parent Trouble

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Dwsaa19, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Dwsaa19

    Dwsaa19 New Member

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    I have been dead set on the Naval Academy since eighth grade, and my parents have always been less than supportive. Now that my test scores are coming back, they're begging me to consider the ivy league or Stanford/MIT, and they effectively have me second guessing myself. The decision is mine, but does anyone have advice for weighing my options?
     
  2. Dwsaa19

    Dwsaa19 New Member

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    Of course, having obsessed over the academy for 3 years, I already understand all the blatant pros and cons.
     
  3. hockeygirl

    hockeygirl Member

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    I've also had this issue with my parents, but what allowed me realize that I wanted to serve my country wasn't the free education- it was knowing that regardless of commission source I would be protecting other people's rights. Of course, my parents are the ones that advocate the other options since you always need a backup plan. If you are dead set on USNA then make sure you want everything that comes in the package too and not just an education at one of the best institutions possible.
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    You need a Plan B-D and more regardless of USNA. What are your back up schools? Have you applied for NROTC as your back up? Even with a 36 ACT an Ivy can be a toss up. I say apply to USNA and apply to whatever schools you want as a back up. Let the cards fall where they may. You can argue about potential options all day, but until they become reality it's all 'if it happens' scenarios. Talk to your BGO about a CVW, have your parents attend also. It's ultimately you future and you need to have some very adult conversations with them about your desire to serve.
     
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  5. coachkarl

    coachkarl Member

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    Spot on. The advantage of having strong credentials is all the options made available. I've said before, my son applied to 14 schools, including USNA. He was accepted at 13 and the one that didn't accept him wasn't as competitive as USNA, nor was it as competitive as a few other schools. Bottom line, you never know. Until you are accepted at these institutions, you really only have one decision to make - do I apply. You can't decide if you want to attend them until you are accepted.

    So don't put the cart before the horse.
     
  6. Disco2020

    Disco2020 Member

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    Its YOUR education. This comes up a lot. I have seen this with parents who either are Ivy Alums, or (more commonly) have the mistaken idea that Ivy league means more success and $$ in their kid's career later. Why do they think an Ivy school is best for you? What is the purpose of the Ivy league education, of any college education? Its to qualify you for employment. What do you need to compete as a job applicant? Education, Experience, Desire, Marketable Skills - most often, not in this order and you need all of these! Many parents assume Ivy school =job. School alone can not fully prepare you for a job. Parents also think Ivy = more $$$ when you get the job. This is is not a given and most carry a high amount of school debt. Not good.

    As someone who lived and worked in Silicon Valley, recruiting employees in this crazy computer tech area, I can tell you an Ivy degree was nice, but it never sealed the deal. A colleague was hiring applicants to a national tech lab here. Guess who got the $125,000 starting salary job: the ivy grad who had a masters degree and mostly school and research experience during the past 7.5 years and had huge school loan debt or the service academy grad with a masters, 7 years of real world, hands on employment experience in the field of the job AND management experience (as an officer) in this field? Yup, service academy guy won the job easily. The Ivy guy was offered an entry level job at $45,000. He didn't take it.
    I have spoke to parents are from Asia and Europe, whose kids are first generation Americans. These parents have $100,000+ jobs at Google, Sony, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, Lawrence Livermore Lab, and other. These parents, like yours, pressure their high school kids to only apply to schools such as Stanford, Berkeley, Cal, Cal Tech, as well as MIT, Harvard, the Ivys. All great schools. I asked them why do you want your kid to attend these schools. They usually reply these are the best schools and I want my kid to be able to get a good job. Further discussion reveals their desire for the "prestige" for their kid to attend a Ivy or premier school. I usually ask them about their jobs and careers, where do they work, how long, how long did it take to reach your position, what is your income. They usually answer these questions with pride because they have worked hard to build a respectable career, raised a family in the most competitive and highest paying job markets in the world. These successful parents have immigrated to the US and have achieved the dream. I then ask them the final question: Where did you go to school? Answers vary, but usually when they reply with their Alma mater, I coldly reply, " I never heard of it". I explain my point to them that in this area and job market, the location and name of the school does not magically equate to their child's financial success, self worth, an future success. For these families, one can not ignore the cultural influences and the perceived worth in the Ivy/premier schools.​

    Truth: most Ivy leaguers will not graduate with bachelor's degree in 4 years, taking 5-6 years. Then they will find to be competitive in the real world, which they have no work experience, they need a Masters degree just to get that entry level, lower paying job. Add on two to three more years. So, now you have 6-8 years of "Ivy League education", have paid up to $400,000 ($50,000 a year tuition AND housing and expenses) to get that low paying, entry level job... if you can get one. Remember all that school debt you will carry as well!
    Compare the USNA where you have a job and are employed with full benefits WHILE in school. USNA grads graduate in 4 years (98%), a good percentage can and will continue with graduate education while serving and have a funding source for this during and after their military service. You seem to know the benefits of an USNA education, too many to list.​

    Do you parents want you to have an Ivy education? Have your folks explained the real, seminal reason they eschew a service academy and prefer other schools? Many parents who know little about a service academy think these schools are not competitive and is a "war college". Is it they don't want their kid to be in the military? Perhaps show them them this: http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/naval-academy-2101/overall-rankings
    For the few who have the determination, smarts, and a calling to be an officer in the finest military in the world and who are uniquely qualified to be selected to attend a service academy, you will find it a rewarding decision in every conceivable way. Service Academy grads have an highly regarded education and are highly valuable in the employment world after their military career. If you want Navy, apply. Here's the easy solution. Apply to USNA and those Ivy League schools. Apply to the NROTC option for these Ivys. Show your folks you have Plan A, B, C, D-Z. You have had discussions with your parents about your USNA desire. As a parent, I know that I knew more than my current 2020 Plebe about where he should go to school (sarcasm). I was happy that he was driving the process,working hard to reach his goals, that he was doing the research, he was doing the applications, he was doing the SAT/ACT prep.
    You asked for advice to weigh your options. If you qualify for Ivys, they are fantastic schools. If you qualify for a service academy, (I vote USNA) they are equal to Ivys AND are great employers! Apply to all, do your best, and see which school sends you a Big Fat Envelope!
     
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  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    If memory serves me right there was a young many on this board with a 35 ACT last year who was not appointed. I think he ended up at a Ivy (like I said, memory is fuzzy on this one, but happened last year or year before). Just goes to show that anything is possible.
     
  8. AggieWill

    AggieWill Member

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    Dwsaa,
    You're in the tweener time....your parents are still a major force/inspiration/driver in your life, but you're also about to formally leave the house, and get your own life going. I've had this discussion with my DS (high school class of '17, AROTC applicant), and the biggest question I've had him consider is this: do you have a heart to serve? Do you feel committed to serve the country? If the answer is yes - by all means pursue a commission! The rewards/experience/self satisfaction you receive for doing something that only .01% of the US citizenry do is amazing. Don't commit to a SA/ROTC if you're just looking for a "free" education, or to make your parents feel good - it's got to be about you, and your drive/motivation to serve.

    So, be sure to get fully educated about your choices, and the ramifications of your choices. That means listening to input that both supports and is also counter to your current thinking, whether it comes from parents, teachers, cadre, etc. But, at the end of the assessment process, you make the decision you feel if best for you. You're gonna have to live with it for the rest of your life, so it needs to be yours.

    Best of luck!
     
  9. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    I suggest you really give some thought to all of your options and prepare yourself for a conversation with your parents where you explain your plan and backup plans. Tell them in advance you want to pick a time to sit down and talk - don't just spring it on them, but be prepared with what you want to say and why you want to pursue plans A, B, C...etc. Make notes for yourself if that will help. I don't claim to know your situation, but maybe they aren't being unsupportive so much as making sure you are thinking out all available options and not just focused on one path.

    I say this because I have a DD and DS who both pursued USNA as their primary goal and ROTC 4yr scholarship as secondary goal. DD was first and was laser focused on USNA. My wife and I regularly reminded her that this would be a tough path and that there was a service obligation tied to USNA that she really had to think hard about. We also talked a lot about other options including "traditional" college with some help from us. We wanted to make sure they weren't just thinking about the "free" college and really understood and truly wanted the life they might be signing up for. Fast forward and DD is at USNA and DS is at a SMC on a 4yr ROTC scholarship. So ultimately they chose their original paths of service, which we as parents are very proud of, but we would also have been OK with other choices if they had well thought out plans. We feel a lot more comfortable with their decisions having regularly questioned them and reminded them of options available.

    Good luck
     
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  10. truenorth

    truenorth Member

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    You are not responsible for your parents' happiness. This is your decision solely. Some free advice:

    You should not be applying to USNA unless you intend to serve our Country as a naval officer. Period.

    The true test of that intention is that you are also applying for a NROTC scholarship and, if that path is blocked, are determined to pursue a commission through OCS.

    There are hundreds, if not thousands, of highly qualified young Americans whose motivation for applying to USNA is pure. If you are in their camp, kudos to you. Follow your dream and keep pressing forward. Most parents eventually support their children if their children seek to pursue a goal with passion.

    If, however, when privately examining your motivation to apply to USNA, you are unsure about it, then that - at this stage of the game - is very telling.

    It's time for a long talk with the person in the mirror.
     
  11. Capri120

    Capri120 Member

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    Dwsaa 19,

    Agree with Dadof2 and had similar feelings and discussions with our DD, who is now USAFA Class of 2020.

    She even came out and told us a few times that she felt we were not fully supporting her pursuit of attending USAFA. We, like Dadof2, just wanted to ensure she analyzed and thought through all of her options. DD has 90 college credit hours, an AS and an AA degree prior to USAFA, and just graduated high school this Spring. Her goal is to become an MD (now flight or trauma surgeon).

    We had several "concerns", but I'll try to keep this brief:
    1) At any SA, you still have four full years of "college", regardless of how many credit hours you have previously earned. If she chose to go to a "traditional" college, she could have completed her bachelors degree in 3 - 4 semesters and been in medical school in 2 years. Not true for an SA.
    2) Granted, there is no guarantee even coming from a traditional college that a person will be accepted to a medical school, but there are not "limits" on the number of graduates allowed and paid to attend medical school coming from a traditional college as there are when graduating from an SA.
    3) DH graduated from USAFA, so he has a very good idea of what she would be going through those four years and, as with many fathers, it was hard to think of his "little girl" in this environment since he would not be able to protect/shield her from the "not so nice/fun" things.
    4) We did not want her going to an SA thinking it would put a hardship on us to pay for college and med school. So, when she and I were returning from one of the two university visits (she had been accepted to her top two plan Bs), I told her exactly what her father and I make as annual gross income. Of course this is quite different than what we actually see in our pockets, but the numbers are far more impressive and reassured her that we could pay for her education.

    I could continue my list, but I hope this gives you a different perspective. Both of us knew it was ultimately her decision and that she would succeed no matter where she chose.

    Bottom line is to weigh your options and reasons for those options in your heart and with your mind, then choose whichever path for the RIGHT reasons. Know that your parents are most likely just trying to ensure you do this.

    Best of luck with your future endeavors.
     
  12. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    Maybe you'll graduate from college and get a well-paying job. Maybe you'll love that job. Maybe you'll hate your daily life but can't quit because how then will you find another job? Maybe you won't graduate from college for six years. Maybe you'll graduate from college, flit between temp jobs for three years, and settle for an entry level position for much less than you expected after thirty-six terrifying months of unstable employment and barely making rent and student loan payments.

    Will the Ivy League brand name change any of the above? Maybe, maybe not.

    They're good schools. What does that even mean?
     
  13. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Hi @Dwsaa19 . You're getting a lot of good stuff on here. I thought I'd chip in briefly as a former mid (thus my moniker) who also went to USNA with both parents dead-set against me doing so. I've written about it before on these boards, if you care to search. What I want to say now is this. I think there are three keys to getting them on-board with you. First is, have conversations about the values you all share, and how USNA will help you develop those values. That could be serving others, protecting the rights of others, becoming a leader of men and women, serving with others who value and want to spread integrity, selflessness, justice, peace through strength...you get the idea. I've given examples, but you should reflect and talk about the values that matter to YOU. Next, you must be willing to listen too (something many of us need practice with!). Listening doesn't mean you have to change your mind, it just means you have to really hear the concern and love behind the resistance. Finally, it will take time. I know to most young people the phrase "Be patient" might as well be said in Mandarin, but there it is. Talk about your shared values, listen to their concerns without defensiveness, and expect the process to take time for you both.

    Good luck to you.
     
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  14. Mlt852

    Mlt852 Member

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    I've been a cop for 27 years. The first member of my family to attend college which was a big deal 30+ years ago. I loved my parents (both now deceased) by they hoped I'd become a doctor, lawyer or something. I think part was the money/prestige the other was the danger aspect of the job. I'd been a cop 5-10 years before they finally accepted I wouldn't grow out of it. My DS is a USMA 2020, been his dream for 10 years. With a nation at war, sure, I'd like him safely hunkered down somewhere, but it's his life, his dream. And as a devoutly Christian family, regardless of the endeavor, our life is in the hands of our Creator. If it helps have your parents PM me and we can exchange some thoughts/ideas, it may come better from someone their age.
     
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  15. coachkarl

    coachkarl Member

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    Same on both counts - reach out if I can help.
     
  16. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

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    You will need to assert yourself as an individual and understand that you are living YOUR life, not theirs. You only go around once! Live it!
     
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  17. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    Lots of good stuff here but I wanted to chime in since this is something I experienced as well when I first started considering USAFA.

    My family is not military at all and to test the waters, early in my sophomore year in high school I casually brought up the idea of a service academy to my parents and was met with an extremely negative reaction. I tabled the discussion and went off to educate myself. I read every word on the USAFA website and found this forum! I also decided to join CAP as another hint to my parents that this was something I was serious about, not a phase.

    Fast forward a year, I applied to summer seminar (called something else but navy has a similar summer program, maybe SLE?) and brought up the topic again. This time my parents expressed doubt in my ability to make it and/or be happy at an SA but said I could go to SS if I wanted (I went and loved/hated it, PM if you want details). Anyway, what it really came down to for my parents was that they did not know what it was about and had no frame of reference. It wasn't till I got my mom on the forum and to some parent meetings that I finally got some support from my parents. She started to see more of what military service is about and hear from some current cadets as well.

    All this is to say, it's your choice. Know why you want to make it and help your parents understand. Try to get to the root of why they are not on board and help them understand YOUR desire. Like others have said, they want what is best for you, so help them see that USNA is what is best for you (and evaluate why for yourself in the process).
     
  18. JaxNavymom

    JaxNavymom Member

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    I will give you my parents perspective and take it or leave it no worries! I am a navy wife of a USNA grad. I have seen my husband deploy many times and go into combat zones where sadly soldiers marines and sailors were being killed daily. I am so proud of my husband and the good he has done for the Navy and the USA! Last year our oldest's first choice was USNA. We were proud of him for making the decision to serve his country like his dad. I was shocked when he was turned down for USNA and I felt relief. Not the emotion I thought I was going to feel. He currently is at school with an NROTC battalion. I am completely proud of him!!! It scares me too! Simple things like will he come home at all for summer? We miss him so much! He doesn't sleep much at all due to Navy classes. It sucks hearing him struggle. Then I think in 3.5 years he can be commissioned. He wants to be an aviator like his dad. Him deploying and being in harms way scares me like nothing else. I want him to follow his dreams and won't ever stand in his way. However your parents might be scared to death about your future military career. If you are accepted parents groups will help them! And of course always have a plan B because you never know what will happen with USNA admissions. A year ago I would have had a different response but seeing my son in uniform I swelled with pride but know the future can be difficult. Talk with your folks about their fears. Are they just not familiar with the military? Are they worried they won't see you after I-day with summer training? If they are not big supporters of the military maybe having them watch some service academy football games. They are awesome and very different sportsman ship of other colleges (typically). Go with your gut if it's where you want to go and want to say be a submariner pursue your dream. It can't hurt to apply to Ivy League schools if your folks don't mind paying the fees. And of course visit campuses and possibly do an overnight. If they see how excited you are after a visit they might change their mind. Job prospects for USNA grads after military is good also. Companies want leaders and the grads tend to be great leaders. Pm if you have questions for the AD husband or NROTC son. Best wishes!
     
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