Resumes: EC Activities and Choices

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by FutCandMom, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. FutCandMom

    FutCandMom Member

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    I hear consistency in EC Activities is of utmost importance on resume, but sometimes choices need to be made in order to not spread oneself too thin.

    My son's resume currently includes 2 varsity letters in tennis, with 1 year captain position and 1 varsity letter in football. Also has 1 semester AFJROTC Flight Commander, 1 season AFJROTC Drill Team (Competition Commander for a few events), 1 semester CyberPatriots participant and 1 year Student Government. He now potentially faces choice of giving up 2011 fall Varsity football letter (he is not a key player) for 2011/2012 AFJROTC Commander Position. The choice (I think its a no brainer, but want to hear from the pros): If appointed AFJROTC Commander, shouldn't he accept the leadership position, which will be an incredible experience, but a full time commitment. His concern, (although he feels pretty sure of which way to go): He has put 3 years heart and soul into HS football and thinks it will look bad on resume if he resigns at this point. He doesn't want it to look like he is a quitter.
    Words of wisdom?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Personally; he needs to find a way to do both. He's had 2 years of high school sports. He needs to continue having a varsity sports his senior year.

    If he plans on still playing Varsity Tennis, then he could probably give up the football this year. But having NO INTENTION of playing a sport his senior year is NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!!

    Personally; he needs to do all of it. None of these activities are a "Full Time Commitment". They only seem that way. If you think juggling time is difficult now; the academy is even challenging. The ONLY TIME you compromise giving up activities; especially something you've put 3 years into and REALLY LIKE; is if it's going to seriously affect his academics.

    I know you think it's a no brainer, but it isn't. You are correct that being a JrROTC commander shows good leadership. But your son is also correct that dropping football in your senior year brings up questions. That's why I asked about Tennis. If he's still playing varsity tennis, then leaving football isn't really an issue. Other than the fact that your son put his heart/soul into it, and therefor probably likes being on the team.

    My advice...... Do it all. Yes, it can be done. Unless he's sitting there with a 3.3 gpa; then i'd say that you definitely have been spread out to far. But if he's got good grades, and he's been doing all this so far, he can do more. Again; "Full Time Commitment" is simply a perception. Doing JrROTC, Football, and classes can be done. People do stuff like that all the time.
     
  3. FutCandMom

    FutCandMom Member

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    Thanks, ChristCorp. Your input is much appreciated. It's a new perspective, and one that he should heed. Perhaps he needs to sit down with Commanding AFJrRotc Officer and find out exact after school time commitment b4 calling it quits to fall football. Perhaps he needs to sit down with football coach and let him know the whole pic... remaining on team (loves it even though he spends all game time on sidelines), getting another V letter, sounds like it is pretty essential to the resume.

    Yes, he plans on spring 2012 tennis.. hopes to be Captain again, but isn't that way after the whole SA decision process and sort of a moot point? All the more reason to keep on fall football?

    Yes, GPA did falter this past fall with football commitment. That is one of our concerns. Getting home ragged at 7:30p was standard, and then had to start HW for classes including 2 AP courses. Grades went down from 3.7 to 3.4. Next fall, add application process, 3 AP courses... Not wallowing here, just stating the facts. But, reality is, as you said, that it will be harder in the future. I imagine this is nothing compared to what's coming. He knows this. Now it's time to actually implement what he knows and make it work. Right?

    Thanks for the swift kick! Great input!
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    this is another reason I emphasize so much to all candidates/applicants, that they finish their Academy Application during the summer. It can be done. Many have done it. Even the application recommends you try and complete it within 45 days. Especially if you're an athlete and physically fit, and can do well on the CFA. If you can; have the complete application done by the middle of August. While you're at it, have all that material ready to go so you can reuse a lot of it for "Early Admissions" to all your other colleges. I know academy applicants who got their academy application totally complete during the summer, and had everything in hand and had all 4 of their other colleges applied to by september. This freed them up totally for their senior year. For 3 varsity sports, social life, volunteer work, AP classes, IB program, etc... Get lined up now for the application. Have your teachers that need to provide an online recommendation/evaluation ready to go in the summer. Get their personal emails so you can put them on the application and the academy can contact them. If he is motivated, and really wants the military academies as a future, then he should be motivated enough to have the entire process completed by August. Then, the only thing left will be the nomination. And again; also have all your colleges applied to during early admissions. Leave the school year dedicated to school stuff.
     
  5. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I think Christcorp hit all of the points to be made, but I wanted to add a personal side to why your son needs to try and manage doing all of these activities.

    In HS, our son was a three sport athlete, and earned 10 varsity letters in his 4 years. He was also a student government officer all 4 years. He was active in leadership with his Youth Ministry group at church, as well as Spanish Club, and service trips. He took all AP classes that were available, graduated with a 3.89 GPA (UW). 36 Science & 35 Math ACT. He also was a soccer ref for a kids league as his job.

    Now, fast forward to his 4-degree year at USAFA....USAFA kicked his ***!. His time management was not what it needed to be. Even with everything that he did in HS, the duties and time allotments at USAFA overwhelmed him. Up at 0530 to call minutes in the hallway, then breakfast. Classes, then noon meal formation or a parade, then classes for the afternoon. IC or intramural practice after classes, then right to dinner. ACQ (Academic Call to Quarters) at 1900. He managed a 3.14 GPA his first semester, and a 2.9 his second semster. He was up until 2 AM a lot of nights trying to finish a paper that was due first period the next day. (In my job, I work around the clock, and we often shared texts at these times.) Even though he never told me that he considered quitting, I can't imagine that the thought didn't cross his mind.

    He has since gotten much better at the time management, and his GPA is hovering around 3.5. He dropped his travelling club team sport (powerlifting) after 4-degree year, and that helped. (Even though he still plays rugby.) He will graduate from USAFA in 61 days.

    The point that I am trying to make, is that having your son time-manage everything that he can in HS will only help him at the Academy. If he struggles with it in HS, he will have much more difficulty at USAFA.

    Stealth_81
     
  6. FutCandMom

    FutCandMom Member

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    You guys are great! I'm burning up the printer this AM with invaluable input. THANKS!

    Glad that my son will be hearing all this advice from someone other than his own parents. It carries alot more weight. A SA appointment has been his dream since he was 12. If it truly is his dream, he's got to know he's about to have to fight harder than he ever has before, and that will just be the beginning....

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Tailwind Angel

    Tailwind Angel Member

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    Throwing in our experience. My son is a nominee awaiting hopeful Appointment. GPA not stellar 3.29 Unweighted, but tested extremely high on SAT/ACT. 4 year football, 2 years as varsity and Captain of Defense. National Honor Society, etc. AP classes. By staying in football, he won many leadership awards and athletic awards (Football Leadership Council, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, etc) He was able to send these into Admissions as they occurred (just sent more in this Spring). Let's pretend your son is on Varsity, but not "starting." Yes, lots of workouts, but might sit on bench for games. He gets to participate, have the dream high school career, keep up the friendships yet not kill himself with the physical demands. If it is going to break his heart, let him play football. His dream, his life. Mainly, I just wanted to say.. My son's GPA was not stellar because he had many activities, AP classes when he could have taken easier classes, BUT he feels his overall package is very strong. His main thing is he wanted to challenge himself, stretch himself, do as much as he could and be a leader in all he did. Good luck!
     
  8. Tailwind Angel

    Tailwind Angel Member

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    One more comment. My son started application paper gathering in late spring of junior year. He had already lined up the Registrar to be available over the summer to get him his transcripts/rank etc, plus started his essays for the Senators/Representative. He lined up principal and teachers who were going to do reference letters or documents, had their summer email addresses and mailing addresses and phone numbers. He lined up a coach prior to the summer to do his CFA. He did CFA BEFORE football season to max it best to ability. He did the medical as fast as he could in summer in case of remedials. He did have a remedial, but it was paperwork. One huge piece of advice-make a list of every doctor your child has seen since birth. START EARLY and request all medical records. Make summary list of each visit, what for, date, outcome. If you have the complete records, IF DODMERB asks for records, you are prepared to send them immediately. I can personally vouch that Larry Mullen is an amazing help/resource when it comes to DODMERB situations. My son was done with everything prior to school starting Fall of senior year. he then got to relax and have a great senior year and WAIT WAIT WAIT. He got his nomination on Christmas Eve. What a wonderful gift.
     
  9. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    FutCandMom,

    I am going to offer a different take on ec's. This is only my personal experience and I always try to follow the advice posted by Christcorp and flieger83. Following their advice helped my DD get her AFA appointment.

    I have been lucky enough to have two of my kids receive LOA's to their respective SA's. They both played only one sport and my DD's sport was not offered through her high school. DD was recuited for her sport, DS was not. They were both in NHS and only one other club and they both had only two community activities on their resumes. They weren't #1 in their classes but were in the top 10%. Both were team captains. Team practices made other ec's almost impossible. That's it, that's really all they had and they received appointments in my extremely competitive state. Their resumes fit on one sheet of paper.

    When I read the postings of applicants to the various SA's I sometimes think that maybe they have too much going on? Is it possible to be doing too much? When I look at their postings listing their amazing accomplishments I am in schock that either of my kids were even offered an appointment.

    Christcorp and flieger83, I defer to your experience and expertise. Do some kids maybe try to do too much?
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    JMC: It's all a balancing act. Which resume looks better here....

    1. 3.85 gpa: 31ACT, 2100 SAT, Varsity letter Football and Soccer, NHS, IB program all classes, 300 hrs volunteer, class vice president, team captain, Boy's state,

    2. 4.0 gpa: 32ACT, 2200 SAT, NHS, IB program all classes, band.

    ????????????????????????

    It's all about balance. First and foremost are academics. You know how "Good" you are. You've had 10 years to figure that out. If you're a 3.85 gpa type student up until 9th grade, then the goal should be to take the hardest classes possible; as much athletics; and as much leadership as you can possibly do while maintaining the 3.80-3.85 gpa. If you think your gpa is going to go down significantly, then you need to back off of some additional activities. But only you, the applicant and parents know the limitations.

    Each person is different. FWIW: I know first hand an individual who had a 4.0gpa and a 35ACT composite and 2250+ SAT who did NOT RECEIVE an appointment because they didn't have any sports or really any clubs or leadership. I've also seen individuals with a 3.5gpa and 30ACT with every possible sports and additional activity under their belt who DID RECEIVE an appointment. And in the middle, I've also seen an individual pull off a 4.0gpa throughout all of high School taking the entire IB program; #1 class rank; including getting the IB diploma. this individual also varsity lettered for 3 of 4 years in 2 sports; made all state; did boy's state; was a class officer; involved in 2 other clubs; had more than 250 hours of volunteer time; still dated and had a social like; and received an appointment early.

    Point is: Every individual is different; BUT, the key is to challenge yourself to the MAX that you can, and yet maintain the GPA that you "Normally" get. Unless of course your "Normal" gpa is pretty low. Then you need to regroup.

    Hope this explains it. Balance your life. MAX out the challenges that you can handle. Best of luck. Mike...
     

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