Starting Young

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Texan, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Texan

    Texan Member

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    Hello,

    I am a freshman in High School. I am extremely interested in an officer career, specifically through West Point as a college. Right now I have a 3.8 GPA unweighted with some AP and Pre AP classes. I am involved in Student and Class Council. I volunteer at my church and other organizations. I am also extremely involved in debate. The only issue is that I do not have time to play any school sports. I did in middle school and did pretty well, but I am much more interested in debate and class/student council. I am still very fit though. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on what to do to better my chances. Will not playing a sport really hurt me? I know this is only a brief overview and it can be hard to draw or make conclusions or give advice but thank you very much in advance.
     
  2. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    I would fit in a sport. few folks get an appointment without a varsity letter unless there are circumstances out of their control (like having to work a job after school). West Point looks for well-rounded candidates, or in other words those who are qualified academically, physically, and in leadership potential.

    You still have a lot of time to make your application more competitive before your admissions cycle comes around. I would recommend following the suggested classes (under the "start young" tab on the usma admissions website) very closely. Programs like Model UN, student council, and Boys'/Girls' State look excellent to Admissions. Knowing that West Point is a viable option for you as a freshman gives you a head start. If this is something you really want to do, keep your eye on the prize and don't let up. Discovering Service Academy Forums is a great help as well. Listen to those on here who are current cadets (like America's Finest and vampsoul) and those who are USMA alumni and involved with the admissions process (like scoutpilot).
     
  3. Szpieg

    Szpieg Member

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    Make sure you sign up for SLS. THis will give you a small feel of what life is like at West Point. It is a good way to see if you will like the school after that experience.
     
  4. MorganC

    MorganC Prospective

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    You can't just "sign up" for SLS. You must apply during your junior year and be accepted.
     
  5. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Here's a thread that discussed a candidate's lack of athletics: http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=14773

    You say that you do not have time to play school sports....but that is what you will do everyday at West Point after class. Everyone is an athlete at West Point.

    You have asked your questions at a good time because you are "starting young." Find a sport and go out for it and try to earn a varsity letter. Good luck to you!
     
  6. AVT

    AVT USAFA 2015

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    Just out of sheer curiosity, would a person who is a team captain of a sport with no varsity letters look more appealing than a non-captain with a varsity letter?
     
  7. Szpieg

    Szpieg Member

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    That is what I meant to say.
     
  8. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    I understand how demanding debate is. I'm the captain of my team, so not only do I have to deal with debate on my own, I have to help 40 other kids. Your best bet would be to pick up a sport seperate from school. Like a club sport, etc. I had always cycled, and I'm now attatched to a semi-pro team. So while I'm not on a varsity sport in theory, I think that being on a semi-pro team partially makes up for it.

    And use debate to your advantage. Get in contact with the debate coach now! I started talking to the Navy debate coach my sophomore year. They won't have as much pull as football obviously, but every little bit counts.
     
  9. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    How would one be captain of a sport team without earning a varsity letter in the said sport?
     
  10. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    Being a freshman, it is still not too late to join Boy Scouts. If you and the people in your troop are willing to cooperate and help you learn and get your requirements signed off, it is possible to earn your Eagle before the age 18 deadline.

    I have managed to help a new guy in my troop go from scout to almost Second Class in little over a month. But unlike most guys, he actually practiced his knots and memorized the material.

    As for the CFA, get fit in one way or another. Aim for max.

    As for any college, do well on your ACT/SAT. Buy a few test prep books and use them. I recommend taking it once in your sophomore year, twice in your junior year, and if needed in, your senior year. Those test prep books help a lot. I improved my science by 7 points, math by 2, and English by 2 (on ACT) by using just those books. My family financial situation does not allow for a tutor nor private test prep classes.
     
  11. Texan

    Texan Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the help. I appreciate all the advice. I understand that a sport would be the best, I might play baseball or something out of school. The problem with school is that if you play a sport than you really have time for nothing else school wise, and their are classes that I want to take and will really help me. As for debate, here it is really serious, and I am already going and getting awards at meets, so that takes up my time. Is it better to focus more on something or somethings that you are really good at and sort of pass by the others, or should you spread out and be semi successful but not amazing? Again, I really appreciate the help.
     
  12. AKH

    AKH Member

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    Why are you so sure you have no time for a sport? I understand that debate is very serious for you, but I took chorus and JROTC very seriously as well and still had time to play three varsity sports, and one sport at the travel level year round. It was hard sometimes and may not have seemed worth it through some rough spots, I really put a lot of time and effort into standing out and excelling in all my activities and I believe its really paid off in the long run. If nothing else, being involved in many activities improved my time management vastly.

    It's good you're thinking about what you want to focus on so early and so clearly in high school! :shake:

    My advice would be to do what you like. Don't force yourself into playing a sport just because the Academy will like it, but understand there might be a possibility of it hindering your chances in the future, just by looking at statistics from recent years that show that those accepted were overwhelming varsity athletes - http://admissions.usma.edu/moreInfo/Profile2014.pdf - out of the 1375 admitted to the Class of 2014, 1233 were varsity athletes.
     
  13. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    For those who debate seriously, there's really no time for sports. Competitive schools practice every day, 1-2 hours a practice + outside reasearch time. Tournaments are usually two weekends a month, more for those on the national circuit. This isn't "yay debate, lets discuss politics and argue for 30 minutes once a month."
     
  14. Texan

    Texan Member

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    Yep, we have practice about once a week for 2 hrs, then we have class every other day for 1.5 hrs with about 30 min prep time every day. Our tournaments are about every weekend, and we travel to other cities and around the country. While I am not making an excuse or 'getting out of something' by saying this, I am trying to build on what other people have said to give a better picture of myself.
     

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