Reality setting in!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Gballer, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. Gballer

    Gballer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2015
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    27
    My DD just received 3 nominations to USAFA as of this morning and reality is setting in. She is getting nervous and starting to get cold feet that she is one step closer to an appointment--has to do ALO interview over break, then her application is complete. Any suggestions to help her out?
     
    sydney mum likes this.
  2. deltapapa

    deltapapa Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    9
    I'm also a candidate for USAFA. For the interview, simply said "Be yourself". Because I had so many interviews with MOC, colleges, etc, those interviews prepared me well for the ALO Interview. After the ALO updates the interview online, your application is completed and the waiting begins. From there, it is up to the admissions panel to make the final decision. The waiting period really sucks, but it is what it is. Best of luck to you and your daughter.
     
  3. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    537
    My advice is to keep steady on the course. Even if she lands an appointment soon, she has plenty of time to weigh all options. She does not have to accept her appointment until May 1st. Keep working on plans B, C, and D. If she can, visit USAFA again. It is common to be unsure regarding such a decision. It will all sort out. Good luck to her.
     
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  4. SAHopeful2020

    SAHopeful2020 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    My DD completed her application and received a nomination. She really enjoyed summer seminar in June. But time and distance seems to have curbed her enthusiasm. She gets very excited as all of her "civilian" school acceptance letters come in. I think all she needs is a good pep talk from a current cadet or USAFA staff member and she'll recover her enthusiasm for AFA. Who will give such a pep talk? A second visit would help too. Good luck to all!
     
    Midwest likes this.
  5. Gballer

    Gballer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2015
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    27
    We are having the same issues! DD left SS saying, "These are my people!" Now, several months removed, not as thrilled! Gah! Enough to drive a parent crazy! And a huge congratulations to your DD on her nomination...maybe we will get a chance to meet someday!
     
    Midwest likes this.
  6. SAHopeful2020

    SAHopeful2020 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    I hope so. That would mean they both decided to give it a go!
     
  7. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    29
    Congrats to all who've made it! That's totally awesome!
    Now for you parents... may I suggest that you leave it up to your DD to decide. In fact, I would play the devil's advocate and try and talk them out of going to the zoo especially if the kid is having second thoughts. Why? It's the DD's life and future, and it's a disservice to not only the DD but for someone who would give both of their nuts to go there. More importantly, the academy (as you are aware) is not a walk in the park nor is it glamorous (to put it lightly), especially the first year. One needs to come to grips with him/herself and do some serious soul searching as to not become the 10-20% washout victim during BCT. More important is the end goal-do you really want/are you willing to give up a good part of your 20's in service of Uncle Sam? You'd figure that kids have actually thought this through but you'd be amazed at how many have no clue as to what it means to "serve" in the military. Don't let yourself or your DD get blind sided by the prestige and the glamor of it all. There's a reason why it's called the "service" and a it's long and grooling road up ahead, especially in the operational career field. In my 12 years of active duty, I've missed every single (not exaggerating) anniversary, birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and most holidays (except in my AETC tour). Then you have the deployments, which can be up to just shy of a year, usually to the "sand box" as we like to call it. Can you say "Skype"? All this while attending a few funerals along the way. Are you ready for this? The reward is great but the payment is greater. Remember the word, "SERVICE". I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble but this is reality.
    On a happier note, Merry Christmas everyone and happy new year!
     
  8. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,361
    Likes Received:
    1,825
    Have them re-read the essay they wrote for the SA, if they did so. Did they write about dreams of serving their country, being challenged, and understanding the mission of that SA and the role they would play as junior officers and leaders? Did they write the same things about Ivy U or Cool Institute or Name-known College? Ask them to project 10 years from now - will they regret going elsewhere? Have peers said disparaging or querying things about SA choice?

    When our USNA sponsor mids are struggling with a decision, I ask questions designed to tease out what the issues are. I don't pressure or persuade. Just try to get them to evaluate in a 360 manner, tangible and intangible, in a neutral and respectful approach.

    And, it could have just been a flirtation with the SA and try-on for size. That happens, especially for highly competitive types who like the thrill of the chase. The good thing is they have options, given their achievements.

    And, minds do change, even if they go elsewhere. We had a USNA sponsor daughter who had her appointment in hand, said no, not for me now, went elsewhere for a year. Kicked herself, made sure she took a tough plebe-like schedule and re-applied. Went to USNA a year later, excelled, played two varsity sports (both walk-on), went submarines. She said being away from home a year allowed her to grow up, think about what she really wanted, away from HS peer pressure, and gain time management and life skills that stood her in good stead at USNA.
     
    murfthesurf likes this.
  9. WannabeGonnabe

    WannabeGonnabe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    25
    Hello. Just wanted to lay down a few thoughts from someone going through the same thing as the OP's DD. I will not pretend to have more experience with the military, or SA, or sacrifice. These are just my personal thoughts. I'm a senior in high school and have been honored with an appointment to USNA. It's been a goal I have been working towards since I learned about the Service Academies my sophomore year and I just about fell over when my Senator called to congratulate me.

    Like your DD though, I began having doubts about my decision because I realized what a monumental move I was making. It took a lot of soul searching to isolate where these feelings were coming from. For me, I had two things that really were impacting my decision. First, was swimming. I am an avid, competitive swimmer and have talked to some DIII coaches through my college process. I love the athletic aspect, the team spirit, and the sport but sadly am too slow to swim at a DI level. This made me realize I was missing out on the "normal" college experience. When I went to a CVW, I was shocked that there were class periods and school bells of all things! I was looking forward to the freedom of college life on my own. Second, my graduation is in mid-June, making I-day a mere two weeks away from the end of my high school career. The swift turnaround from young high school student to shouting, "I do!" to an oath I would stand by for years to come gave me a small taste of the things I would sacrifice–time with friends and family, days on the beach, naps!

    After some thought, I realized these were things I was willing to sacrifice if it meant helping others and keeping my country safe. I suggest your DD take the time to understand where her indecision comes from. For me, I was merely balking in the face of change.

    It was a very introspective process. My parents tried to help by presented all my options (apply to civilian schools, SMCs, NROTC, continue with Navy) and reminded me that I have plenty of time to decide. They were supportive, but left the choice up to me. I'm very thankful that they did. As a fledging (and still utterly confused) adult, I need to be able to make my own decisions about my future. Personally, I believe you can show your DD the way, but if she needs to be re-inspired, it will have to come from her.

    One last parting thought, @6KDogwhistle. I don't think doubt equates to insincerity about commitment. I believe the doubt that OP's DD and I are facing, is from our understanding of the sacrifice and dedication that you brought up. We understand the consequences and want to test our resolve before we commit. I would rather experience this doubt and come out recommitted than continue on naive and only discovery my insecurity while at an academy.
     
  10. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    29
    You are exactly right-doubt does not equate to insincerity about commitment; you're just not 100% sure. But know this.... for every doubter, there are 100's more who have fully committed themselves to achieving this goal no matter the cost. I hate to stand on the soap box because this is not my style but I'm doing it anyways. If you want to achieve your "end goal", 99% certainty isn't going to cut it because that 1% may end up killing you. It's all or nothing so you'd better think things through until it hurts. Doubt kills and here's why: I went through pilot training when pilot production was down to 25% of the norm. Over 1/3 of the class washed out and of those of us who made it through the program, the bottom 1/4 did not get a "pilot seat" (they were referred to as "3rd pilots" on a KC-135-basically just a warm body until a co-pilot training slot came available). I can attest to the fact that those who washed out were doubters. Those of us who made it through, failure was not an option and competition to stay in the game was beyond fierce. I realized what "only the strong survive" meant. More often than not, mind over matter is key to survival. Okay, the soap box has left the building.
    Also, your last sentence reiterates what I wrote so no need to beat the dead horse. Welcome to the harsh reality of military life.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  11. 20ta

    20ta Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Like the OP, I too have received 3 nominations (Senator, Congressman, JROTC), all of which have been updated on my portal. I am also triple qualified. I don't want you all to chance me necessarily, but is anyone aware of qualified candidates with 3 nominations NOT receiving an appointment? I imagine it must be somewhat uncommon.

    PS: I didn't mean to hijack, but I didn't think my question warranted a new thread.
     
  12. Longliverockthewho

    Longliverockthewho Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2015
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    I actually believe its more common than you think. If you don't win one of the slates then you need to have a high enough Whole Candidate score that will put you high enough on the NWL to get an "at large" appointment. I will say, however, that landing a senator's nomination in a highly competitive state would likely mean that you have a high Point total and could be in good shape from the NWL perspective.
     
  13. 20ta

    20ta Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thank you for your answer @Longliverockthewho; I am from Florida which is a heavily populated state with a couple bases so I think it is probably up there in terms of competitiveness. Hopefully that means I have a high WCS then.
     
  14. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2015
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    93
    Well it's reading things like this that give hope for our country. In the wake of recent riots and looting, it's good to know there are so many level headed, mature, intelligent young adults out there to give us hope. I can only hope that some day you, or others like you are running this country.
     
  15. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Many candidates and appointees will start to feel doubt, anxiety, question things. Many will never express it verbally to anyone. Its a very long process and lots of hype and prestige surround it all. When that part starts to die down and the reality of the decision and their future starts to set in many will feel all kinds of emotion. Alot of applicants are very driven type A personalities and the "chase" of applying and making it through the process is part of the challenge. Its ok to have those feelings as a candidate. Its not uncommon especially after the summer programs that kids are 100% full throttle after attending and to start to back off slightly. First off they are 16-17 year old kids, that is sort of what they do. For some its a week away from home with tons of like minded kids getting a glimpse at college life. They enjoy being around kids with similar goals and aspirations, drive, etc. Then they go back home and settle in. Sitting in class, laying in bed, watching TV they are starting to realize the decision they have before them or the decision they made. They are wondering if this is right and if they can make it. All natural things to happen. Its one of the reasons I am very adamant about kids owning this process through and through. They need to fill it all out and make all the phone calls. This is their future and their lives. Its a decision that had me leading Marines in combat at a very young age.

    I was one of those that always wondered how the heck was I going to make it through that place. When I got there I said the only way I was leaving was if they tossed me out kicking and screaming. After I graduated I am a firm believer that anyone that is accepted to a SA has the smarts and ability to graduate. Some kids just don't adjust well to it all and that is why the don't make it early on. If they don't make it later on its because they just didn't prioritize properly or didn't something stupid.
     
    Gballer likes this.
  16. KTMDad

    KTMDad Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    77
    I would suggest that anyone that has come this far in the application process to complete the process as this creates options. If your DD receives an Appointment, USAFA typically has Appointee Tours in late March/April where Appointees attend a briefing, get a tour, eat at Mitch's and attend a couple of classes. It is a great opportunity to get another look at USAFA. Parents are able to attend (we don't attend classes or eat at Mitch's - but we did have several briefings and a great tour) and it was a great opportunity for us to see USAFA. Also, I believe the attrition rate at BCT isn't 10-20%. Historically it seems to ranges between 3-6% (you can verify by looking at old USAFA newsletters which lists cadets counts by class year). However, the total attrition rate for each class over 4 years seems to range in the 10-20% which is much lower than at a traditional college where around a third of freshman don't return. Our DS said the Basic Cadets that left during BCT were the one's who were there for the wrong reasons (parents desires vs. their own). If you want to be there, you will make it. BCT is just the beginning of many challenges. It is really tough on the Cadets to see (Instagram/Facebook/Snap Chat) all of their friends at traditional college doing the things they do while Doolie's are getting up early, doing Minutes, running the stripes, carrying backpacks in left hands, etc. Like I said, they need to want to be there or it will eat them up. On the other hand, they are getting to do things that will build their confidence and develop leadership skills that most people will never be able to do in a lifetime. To hear our DS tell his stories is priceless and it has only been 6 months..........
     
  17. WannabeGonnabe

    WannabeGonnabe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    25
    These are kind words and I hope to be worthy of, and live up to, your praise. Thank you.
     
  18. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2015
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    93
    The last thing I would add is that remind her that you can opt out after the first year if it's not a fit.
     
    Gballer likes this.
  19. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2015
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    93
    You're welcome. I wish I was half as well spoken at your age.
     

Share This Page