Questions about life as a VTCC cadet

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by gridironkid, May 15, 2014.

  1. gridironkid

    gridironkid Member

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    I have been accepted as a transfer student cadet into Va.Tech and have also received the ELS scholarship. I know my first semester there will be the freshman year crammed (or at least have been told) One of the re-occurring questions I have is in regards to being involved with extracurricular activities outside of the corps such as playing an intramural sport or joining a frat. Also, I have been wondering if it is possible for a cadet is able to date a civilian student. One of the things I look forward to is not only being in the corps but also meeting new students

    Thanks
     
  2. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Your first semester is essentially going to be stuck in the dorms. The only free time you are given is during the academic day, when you will be in class. After the first semester, things tend to lighten up a bit and you may get more free time on weekends, etc. As far as dating and meeting girls, you won't have much freedom to go to parties and what not as a freshman. A lot of people try to get away with sneaking out as freshman, but usually get caught.

    As a sophomore you can really start choosing your level of participation in the VTCC. You'll still have to live in the dorms, wear uniforms, go to formation every day. But those are pretty much the only obligations besides your ROTC commitments. If you'd like to join a frat, there are plenty of guys who do that. Same thing for intramurals, etc. I always encouraged other cadets to go out and meet non-VTCC students, get involved in non-VTCC organizations, etc. Some cadets can get develop really weird social habits where they only hang out with other cadets, date other cadets, etc. You made the decision to go to a major public university...take advantage of it.

    Disclaimer: my experience is over two years old now.
     
  3. gridironkid

    gridironkid Member

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    So in my case, my first semester will be where I am limited to do anything (ie going out to parties, dating) mind you I will be starting this fall most likely as a second semester sophomore when I should be a junior year student. Then the second semester--spring of 2015, is when the level of strictness goes down. Now I assume this depends on my VTCC participation--my end result is to commission as an army officer so does that mean I must participate heavily with VTCC and really not have much of a college life?
     
  4. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Its important to remember that the VTCC and your ROTC unit are two very separate things. Some cadets are very heavily involved in ROTC and much less involved in the VTCC. Some are equally involved in both. I recommend putting the bulk of your focus on academics and your ROTC commitments, since that's where your career is going to come from...not the VTCC. Your ROTC instructors aren't going to "look down" on you for not being heavily involved in the VTCC. But they will look down on you if you don't take ROTC seriously.

    I'm not trying to bash the VTCC. There are some useful things to learn there, but in the end it really isn't a military organization that's focused on preparing you for active duty. You have active duty ROTC instructors on campus who can do that much better than some junior or senior cadet in the VTCC.

    If you're starting as a second semester academic sophomore, then you will still start as a first semester freshman in the VTCC. At some point they'll have to advance you ahead of your peers in order to get you in line for graduation/commissioning. So you may only spend one semester as a VTCC freshman. Or you may spend the entire year as a freshman and only one semester as a sophomore/junior in the VTCC.

    Either way there won't be much room for going out as a first semester freshman. A lot of the reason behind that is academics, where leadership doesn't want new cadets to get distracted by the same things as other students on campus and fall into a hole academically. So really in the first semester, and second semester to a large extent, your free time is stuck in the dorms with nothing to do besides studying. After that, as a sophomore in the VTCC and later, you can start choosing your level of participation. You'll still have to go to formation, wear uniforms, do the occasional parade, event, etc.

    But beyond that, if you want to be more involved you can with other Corps activities like Skipper Crew, Color Guard, the rifle drill team, etc. Or try for leadership/cadre positions in the VTCC. Some people are really into those. But you're not forced into them. Instead, you have the freedom as an upperclassman to join a frat, make non-VTCC friends, go to parties, go downtown (after you're 21), do intramurals, etc. You can still enjoy your time in college as an upperclassman, whether that enjoyment is based on doing VTCC stuff or more traditional college stuff is up to you. Either way you'll still end up graduating and commissioning in the end, assuming you don't get into trouble.
     

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