Showdown! Job vs. Sports

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by akammes1997, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. akammes1997

    akammes1997 Member

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    Hey everyone, I'm looking for a general consensus from some cadets on here. I want to go to a academy, not dead set on a single one yet, and I think that I am a competitive applicant. I'm a rising junior, 4.0 student, ranked first in my class, all the extra curricular activities... Blah blah blah. You've heard it all before... But anyways, I've come to a dilemma. My freshman year I rodeoed, my sophomore year I couldn't do sports at all because of an almost fatal concussion I received from rodeo (doctors didn't want me to get another one anytime soon so they said no more rodeo and no sports for a year). Well, I got a job that I love to take up my free time, because I couldn't play sports, but I am now medically released to play sports, which is great. But I have no preference over sports or my job. I love them both. So, to me, it comes down to what looks good on my application. So now here's where you come in, would having 3 full years of sports look better on my application than 1 year of a single sport and 3 full years of a job? I'm working full time now and part time during the school year. I know it seems shallow and short sighted, but the only reason I have the job is to take up the free time I had after I couldn't do sports. I love both so I want my decision of both to be based on what will help me most in my future. Thanks in advance!


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  2. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    It is not an either-or decision. You can participate in 2 varsity sports and still have plenty of time outside of those seasons for a job during the rest of the year. Both will look good on your application.
     
  3. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Sports versus a job? Go with the sports -- hands down. The admissions board is looking more to see if you are physically fit and are a recognized leader for a team than at the levels of responsibility holding a job may demonstrate. I think the standard is around 90+% of those getting appointments had at least one varsity letter, with a large percentage of those having multiple letters and / or were the Captain of their team.

    But in my opinion, your bigger concern should be "almost fatal concussion".:eek: You may have a REAL ISSUE getting a waiver if this is on your medical records....
     
  4. skismuggs

    skismuggs Member

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    yes that was what i was going to say when i read the first post. may be a DQ from DODMERB right off the bat.
     
  5. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    But we don't know that for sure. Only DoDMERB and the Waiver Authority can make that determination. Keep working toward your goals and deal with the obstacles as they come.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  6. jgale95

    jgale95 Member

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    If the concussion is a dq, then you will still have a chance at getting a waiver. My guess is that if you have no remaining or minimal symptoms, you should be fine. I wouldn't be too worried about that unless it still affects you.

    As for sports vs a job, I would play the sport, and then work in the offseason. If I had to pick one, I would choose the sport.


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  7. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Two full years of sports... Freshman and Junior. You'll fill out your application during Spring/Summer of your Junior year. USAFA will ask you for your planned activities during your Senior year, but will evaluate you on what you've accomplished. If you choose to pursue another year of sports perhaps something with less chance of concussions than rodeo might be a good plan.

    Good luck! :thumb:
     
  8. skismuggs

    skismuggs Member

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    i agree - i wanted to add that, finger clicked enter faster than brain thought LOL.
     
  9. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    ALMOST FATAL CONCUSSION.

    Hyperbole or fact?

    I would love to see the waiver in today's applicant climate for an ALMOST F.A.T.A.L. CONCUSSION. I had a son with a very mild, and I mean MILD, concussion and that paperwork was massive AND it did not happen in a year when so few applicants were accepted.

    Now, sports or job... ALL of my kids managed both, and granted the time commitment was crazy. Had morning paper route from 5-7 EVERY MORNING, weekdays & weekends. Plus held jobs at local stores and restaurants, plus took 10 credits at ea of two universities, plus fenced EVERY night. It was difficult for all, but if y ou think USAFA wants either/or people, you might be mistaken.

    All that said: ALMOST FATAL CONCUSSION?????
     
  10. marathoner94

    marathoner94 Member

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    Fencersmother, I'm sorry but this is a forum to ASK questions without being bashed. That was a rude comment. "If you think USAFA wants either/or people" pshhh please...all he was asking was merely how to make his app look better


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  11. Dad

    Dad Member

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    Actually, that statement is quite accurate in the current climate of smaller classes. The information provided is intended to assist te OP in being able to provide the best application possible. Be aware that there is little time for sugarcoating responses.

    While Fencersmother will certainly respond on her own, I encourage you to have a little repect for someone who has (and continues) to provide excellent advice and insight into all of her 1000+ posts.
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Marathoner... I certainly did not intend in any way to "bash" someone seeking information or advice in this forum.

    I had two points:

    1) ALMOST FATAL CONCUSSION... does not loom well though certainly I have no access to our OP's medical records, and that's why I asked if that statement was hyperbole or fact.

    2) Job or sports... USAFA and all US Service Academies are known as institutions who want VERY well rounded individuals who are able to wear several hats, successfully, at one time. Job? YES! Sports? Yes! They aren't exclusive and all cadets know they will be doing both at USAFA, so start early to learn to handle the pressures and time constraints.

    I wish our OP the best of luck, and expect to see him in the Rodeo Hall of Fame, just down the road from USAFA.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 Dad.

    I actually thought she answered the question appropriately using her sons as examples of how the. AFA will have many, many candidates with both sports and jobs, plus other things, such as volunteering while maintaining a very high cgpa in all AP classes.

    I saw no rudeness in her response, just insight. Fencer is one of the nicest people in the world, it is just with any and all forums intonation cannot be read.

    I also agree with the others if this was not hyperbole regarding the concussion you should get your medical records in order just in case you get at the very least a remedial. If you were hospitalized for the concussion it is highly doubtful you will get a Q right off the bat. The fact that you were not allowed to play any sports for a year basically tells me this was not hyperbole, that and since my DD barrel raced, and yours was a rodeo I am thinking this was a major concussion and again not hyperbole. I would definitely be ready with all of your records regarding this medical issue.

    Posted with fencer
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Thanks PIMA and Dad...

    One other thing: I would strongly suggest that our OP contact his ALO ASAP (*enough initials there for you? haha), and perhaps contact the DODMERB rep to see how this concussion will be viewed. When you meet with the ALO, take all medical records with you. Expect further testing.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am not sure how much an ALO can help with the concussion issue, and most likely all they are going to tell him is what we would here....take both the SAT/ACT as often as they can, take the most rigorous courses they are eligible to take, get leadership positions under your belt, etc. Etc. Etc.

    I actually would post the concussion issue on the DoDMERB forum. Give as much detail as you would like to share, iows not just the words near fatal....include hospitalizations, prescriptions, etc.

    You might want to investigate hiring a DoDMERB consultant later on in the process when you become a candidate.
     
  16. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Yes, a DODMERB consult is an excellent idea.
     
  17. akammes1997

    akammes1997 Member

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    Thanks for the insight. I kinda laughed at how everyone said "he", when I'm a "she", but how were you to know that...
    My concussion was almost exactly a year ago, and it was one hell of a year, that's for sure. I was bucked off my horse one morning, and knocked out. We aren't sure how long I was out, because I was alone, but it's estimated to be about an hour. The doctors weren't quite sure how I was alive (long story short there was a few complications). I wasn't hospitalized, but I've had more CT scans and MRIs than I can count. I have zero symptoms left (which is amazing considering how many symptoms I had- headaches, dizziness, motion sickness, memory loss), and I have been completely medically cleared by both a sports medicine specialist and a neurologist that I've been working with at UW-Madison. My concussion definitely helped me, which is strange. I am super organized now, which is a habit I got into when I was forgetting everything... I am slightly worried about getting disqualified, but if I am disqualified for the academy, I'm trying ROTC, and if I can't get into that or I am disqualified, then the reserves or guard or enlistment is my next option. Because I have no symptoms and have maintained a 4.0 throughout this year, even if I am DQd, I'm hoping for a waiver.

    Thanks for the insight. I do understand that it is possible for both, but it would be hard and extremely taxing to get up at 4 to milk 70 cows, go to school with 3 AP classes and numerous other hard classes, go to cross country/ track practice and stay same and healthy. Possible, yes, but I don't want to burn myself out. I will work next summer and during basketball season(I don't play basketball). Thanks again for the insight.


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  18. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    I say...do both! :thumb:

    Back in high school I did 3 sports during the school year (XC, Swim, T&F) and was able to still work during the weekends (worked around meets) plus taking AP classes and pulling off good grades. My boss was awesome and he chose me to be the employee of the year for the company because I was able to balance everything and still give my full effort at work on top of everything else. I actually really recommend it because I think his letter of recommendation helped me out
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    DoDMERB's job is to only Q or DQ, it is the commissioning source that will waive.

    Reading all of the symptoms and back story the chances of getting a Q right off the bat is going to be very low. As I said before a remedial would be your best option. They are most likely going to want to see every single MRI and scan. These are military docs they are looking at it from a military perspective, such as deploying you to hotspots around the world to places that might have limited medical resources. It is also not just about you, it is how your medical restraints can impact other military members....are you going to be non deployable, job restrictions?

    Although AFROTC has been known to give waivers when the AFA won't, it is not typically common because AFROTC cadets will go AD upon commissioning, it is not like AROTC where they can go Guard or Reserves.

    I would really suggest contacting a DoDMERB consultant now, they know the key words that the medical boards are looking for when reviewing the records, although you have gone to specialists they are not military specialists.

    As for the idea of burning yourself out, that schedule is what my DS had at UPT for 14 months. He was up at 4 many days of the week, got home at 6-7 ate dinner and studied until 10-11, repeat M.F for # total of 59 weeks (IFS and UPT). He will repeat this process again at RTU for his C130 training for 6 more months.
    ~ The difference between you and any UPT student is if they burn out their flying career is over before it started.

    IOWS this is the lifestyle you will be entering, and if the fear of burn out is in your mind now it will become sooner or later a part of your life except the stakes will be much higher later on than it is as a 16 yr old currently.

    I am not trying to be harsh, I am trying to make sure you have not created in your mind an illusion that is not akin to the reality.

    The fact is you also need to be looking at how the appointment system works. Athletics/ECs are a small % of the scoring. Academics is the big chunk. However, before you get to that board you will need a nom. from an MOC. To get the appointment you need to have the highest score on the slate. Your academic record, including your wcgpa, your curriculum rigor, and your SAT/ACT will be 60% of that score.

    Take this time and make sure your course curriculum is the most rigorous you can handle, make sure your class rank is as high as it can be, get leadership positions under your belt. Study for the SAT and ACT (AFA super scores, AFROTC does not) you want it to be near 700s on each section.

    As stated before the AFA is looking for a well rounded applicant, one that can juggle everything without skipping a beat.

    OBTW FWIW our DS got up at 6 everyday, came home from school, changed into his lifeguard uniform and worked until 10 p.m. On his days off he changed into his TKD uniform and got home at 9. On the weekends he worked 8 hour days, and if he was off he was flying. He did that for two years. He also graduated with 9 APs, 15 CC credits (jump start), top 10% of his class and a 1390 SAT/34 ACT best sitting.
    ~ Just putting it out there that this is the level of candidates you will be competing with, and although it appears I am being insanely hard, I would rather you get a realistic look at the type of candidates you are competing against and why some posters won't swallow the burn out aspect because our kids did it too. Maybe not up at 4, but they had 15-18 hour days too.
     
  20. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi all!

    Okay...so to put this pretty much to rest and to avoid any "oops" in decorum...

    Taken directly from DODMERB Instructions...

    DOD Instruction 6130.03 APRIL 2010
    Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services

    Enclosure 4, #26: Neurologic

    i. History of moderate head injury (854.03).
    (1) Moderate head injuries are defined as:
    (a) Unconsciousness of more than 30 minutes but less than 24 hours, or
    (b) Amnesia, or disorientation of person, place, or time, alone or in combination, more than 24 hours but less than 7 days duration post-injury, or
    (c) Linear skull fracture.

    (2) After 12 months post-injury, applicants may be qualified if neurological examination shows no residual dysfunction or complications.

    j. History of mild head injury (854.02).
    (1) Mild head injury is defined as:
    (a) Unconsciousness of less than 30 minutes post-injury.
    (b) Amnesia or disorientation of person, place, or time, alone or in combination, of less than 24 hours post-injury.

    (2) After 1 month post-injury, applicants may be qualified if neurological examination shows no residual dysfunction or complications.

    k. History of persistent post-concussive symptoms (310.2) that interfere with normal activities or have duration of more than 1 month. Such symptoms include but are not limited to headache, vomiting, disorientation, spatial disequilibrium, impaired memory, poor mental concentration, shortened attention span, dizziness, or altered sleep patterns.

    Based upon my experiences this year with two candidates with a history of sports related concussion, and the above section of the DODMERB Instruction, I am 100% certain the OP will receive a "DQ" upon initial DODMERB evaluation. It's just written in the instruction that any concussion is an initial DQ. Emphasize INITIAL here.

    Both of my candidates received waivers after the initial DQ after they supplied DODMERB with all the supplemental information that was requested. It was a long process; probably totaled a month of work, but in the end...it worked out.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     

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