The what is "Fun" about USAFA?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Alpineskier, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    My dad, a West Point grad, taught there when i was a kid and i would love to go to West Point, BUT i love the weather and want to be a meteorologist so the Air Force Academy would be a great place for me. I know what it takes to be a cadet and what it means to serve (I have moved three times in the past 4 four years so i know how to move and is the reason i never visited the USAFA) and everyone talks about the hard parts of the academies and its worth it but what on gods green earth is fun?!?! Living at West Point the cadets went thought a lot but it was still an amazing place and the cadets enjoyed themselves so not being in the air force what are the amazing parts of the academy separate it from a regular college AND what separates it from the other academies..... oh and BEAT NAVY!!! Thats something we can agree on :biggrin: thanks!!
     
  2. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    I'll take a shot at this from the area perspective. I leave what you can do at the USAFA to those that have been there done that but here's a link to the USAFA Cadet Clubs.

    If you like the outdoors, the springs and Colorado in general is the place for you. There's stuff to do all year round. Skiing/Boarding in the winter time and Hiking/Biking when it's warm. As for the weather you can't ask for better. Most people think Colorado and think a ton of snow. That's only true for those on the west side of the divide than us on the east side of it. Do we get days we get dumped on? Yes but it's dry here and it's gone in two days. And we haven't had a real bad one since 2005 I think it was. And I've gone boarding in shorts later in the season, it can and does get into the 60s in January and February.

    Also if you like photography it's a great place as well. And if you like a city like feel Denver is only 60 miles away. I'm originally from New York so I would say mid-size city but for most people consider Denver a large city so it just a matter of what you're used to. And The Springs isn't too shabby either and has ton of things to do.

    So to wear out an already worn out term… Colorado has a little of everything.
    Will
     
  3. Dad

    Dad Member

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    I'm a little concerned by the first statement. I'm not sure any cadet ever really understood what it takes to be a cadet until Recognition. The serving part is also interesting. Are you prepared to go into a field other than your planned carreer because the Air Force needs you there?

    "USAFA is a great place to be from." I've heard that said by more than one graduate. Does it provide you with a top-flight education? Yes. Do cadets get experiences (flying gliders, parachuting, drone piloting, etc.) that 'regular' colleges don't offer? Yes. Is it a 'fun' place to be? Not sure. My son and his friends at USAFA say it is what you make of it. There are times that are not fun (4* until Recognition), but you get thru those and focus on what you can do.

    Separation from other academies? Well, PIMA (a frequent and prolific poster on this site) explains it in terms of mission. The Air Force has a different mission than Army or Navy. Therefore, their Academy experience will be different. Instead of thinking about how you're going to have fun, you need to consider the branch and what your job might be for 5 years (10+ if your a pilot). Can you accept being on a ship at sea for 6 months at a time. . . then Navy would be a nice place for you. Army has a reputation of getting into the thick of things. So a 6 month deployment to another part of the world may be in the cards for a USMA grad. Bottom line is that you have to think of your branch when deciding on an academy. Best wishes. :thumb:
     
  4. time2

    time2 Member

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    I have trouble following some of what the original post on this thread is saying. Whichever academy you choose to attend is only for 4 years and then you will be in the military for at least 5 years after that. I think you should visit ANY college you are seriously considering (military or civilian). You can't know what USAFA is really like by reading about it on the net or talking to someone who was in the military. Even if you spent a few years as a young child at WP, I don't follow how that translates into being familiar with any of the other academies. Being a student there is different from viewing it as an outsider.

    Hopefully, any essays you write as part of your application will be easier to follow.
     
  5. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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  6. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    LOL! Yeah I was so confussed to what you were asking I answered it completely wrong!:yllol: Sorry about that; this guy is going back to being a part-time lurker!

    Will
     
  7. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    No you were actually helpful thats part of what i was looking for :thumb:
     
  8. bsa07eagle

    bsa07eagle Member

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    Anything that you get to earn by your own sweat, blood, and tears is "fun." Not 100% of the time, especially when you are in the process of earning it, but there is no better feeling (not sure if fun is the right word) than working hard to earn something that few others have.

    Later,

    Brian
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    There CAN be fun.

    My perspective is from the Coast Guard Academy, but I would venture to guess the experiences are fairly similar. Also consider, because of CGA's size, you know your entire class, and while you might not be best friends with everyone, and there may be people you don't even like, it's a close class.

    Beyond the pain of military training, juggling a number of requirements, from athletics to academics, you will have some time.

    The most fun I had was with my friends, and it was in ways that now seem stupid, but having said that, I wouldn't ever change them. I did things that could have earned me a ticket out, but I by no means lived "on the edge". My best friend and I found our own little games to play, reasons to whine and stories to share far down the line. I don't think you realize this is "fun" while you're in the thick of it because it's life, and at that point life isn't the fun that others are having.

    At any academy you'll be exposed to some great speakers and events. What college allows you to march in a Presidential parade or attend an inauguration? Maybe a few, but not with the "style" you'll do it in.

    I was in summer school my 3/c summer. We had a fight club. My first fight, on camera, I got a small black eye. I decided I wanted a better black eye, so I used a fairly open head gear. I sustained a concussion in my next fight. But I would say it was fun, just not normal fun.

    I woke up every Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. to lead the B-side hockey folks in a game of hockey at Connecticut College. It was early, and painful, but also fun.

    At CGA everyone lives in the same big building. There's something comforting about that closeness that you won't have forever. Yes, there's a closeness being on a ship and knowing the guy on watch is doing what he has to do... and sleeping relatively soundly with that knowledge.

    Academies give you access, ask little of you (when compared to what a services asks of its officers) and lets you determine how far you fly or fall.

    Take advantage of the fun.
     
  10. Blue&SilverBear

    Blue&SilverBear USAFA Alumnus

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    I always say that I "did fun things" but I did not "have fun" at USAFA... To me the unique experiences are what made it worthwhile, but you have to WORK and volunteer to be able to take advantage of what USAFA really has to offer. You could hide in your room for 4 years and play video games, but you miss out on SO much.

    A sample of what I got to experience...

    11 different countries on 3 continents
    10 glider flights
    9 states and DC
    6 away football games and 2 bowl games
    5 solo freefall parachute jumps
    4 great ski seasons
    2 academic majors
    1 trip to Las Vegas for the conference basketball tournament

    And that is just the tip of the iceberg... a semester at Army, a helicopter flight, deployment experience contributing to a war effort, shooting a grenade launcher, earning a civilian SCUBA certification, meeting the Attorney General of the US... the list is pretty amazing.

    To top it off, I got to go straight to grad school where I knocked out my masters and met my wife.

    I know people who did the bare minimum. They got crummy grades, they were frequently restricted, they went boring places for ops... sure we're all officers now, but they missed out on a lot of incredible experiences. USAFA and active duty are what you make of them... do well and the world is open to you. Slack off and hide and you miss out on everything.
     
  11. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    Ok i should not have used fun because fun was not what i really was going for. What I was going for was blue&silver bear was saying..... thanks and it sounds like an amazing experience!! Hope I get to experience it myself!!
     
  12. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    hey there alpineskiier:

    I'm not sure what other parents are hearing from their C4C, but I am hearing "fun" quite a bit from my DD! She has "fun" with her fellow C4Cs in her squad, "fun" with her element, "fun" with her team mates, "fun" with her sponsor brothers and both her sponsor families, "fun" bowling at A-Hall and dancing there on Saturday nights (???) and eating pizza, "fun" at the community service activities...just like any 19 year old. She is also doing really well in school, earning performance passes for knowledge tests and aspiring to be the best officer she can be. The common denominator is that she is with like-minded people who are ambitious, hardworking and service-oriented. She doesn't complain about calling minutes and room inspections or when her room gets tossed during hall brawls...it's apparently still all "fun" because of the people she does it all with!
    Good luck as you proceed and may you also have the opportunity to have "fun" wherever you go!
     
  13. Bundy

    Bundy Member

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    I think your question is totally legit. If you’re not having fun at least every once in awhile – even at an institution like USAFA – then what’s the point? I went to the University of Illinois so I can’t personally relate, but our son is now a C2C at USAFA. I’m sure our definitions of "college fun" are quite a bit different, but his "fun" has already provided him with opportunities that I never had or will have.

    For example, as a member of the USAFA fencing team he routinely travels the country to schools like Notre Dame, Duke, and Stanford for competitions, and enjoys a great camaraderie with his teammates, both male and female. He has flown in a glider ten times, and this past summer had a ride in an F-16 and briefly flew it himself, pulling over 8 Gs in the process. Those are already memories of a lifetime!

    Perhaps more importantly, however, he and all the other cadets command a level of admiration and respect that few other "college kids" ever do. The reaction I get when people ask where my son goes to “school” is frequently, "Oh, wow. What an honor." That kind of prestige may not exactly be defined as "fun" to a cadet, but in the game of life it is currency that few others are able to utilize to help build a successful future for themselves. And isn’t that ultimately the goal of higher education?

    To answer your question, however, our son tells us that he does definitely have fun at USAFA!
     
  14. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Well, this was my main hobby:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHdiQ24OiBA&feature=plcp

    I also did airsoft competitions, where the USAFA group was on the winning side in every event I went to, except one (and we still got compliments after losing to a group 3x the size of our group).

    A lot of the "fun" things involve relatively unique opportunities.
    I got to see the inside of an ICBM launch complex, ride along in an F-15 through the mountains of Alaska, go to Spain, meet Medal of Honor recipients, the Candy Bomber, and others. I got to train cadets and enlisted trainees, see how TIs at Lackland do their jobs, fly gliders and DA-40s, study a major I enjoyed, then...I graduated, went to UPT, and now I get paid to fly helos!
     
  15. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    Wow sounds fantastic!! What ski mountains do people go to? I have only skied out east and would love to finally ski out west!! When I have time of course and can you even leave as a C4C? I know i would only get to ski a couple of times. Thanks
     
  16. Blue&SilverBear

    Blue&SilverBear USAFA Alumnus

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    As a Cadet I made it to Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone, Copper Mountain, and Arapahoe Basin.

    A-Basin is the closest to USAFA, and while a lot of people complain about it, I thought it was pretty good.

    I went to Keystone more often than not. Good price, good distance, solid mountain. Breck was probably my second-most visited.

    Vail is the gold standard, but far and expensive.
     
  17. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    Alpine skier, yes C4Cs can go skiing on weekends. Many join the ski club and go with them but you can also use a pass and go with friends. DS went last weekend, first weekend open and stayed overnight with friends. Ask for season ski pass for graduation!
     
  18. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    My son bought a season pass for $4xx (military discount) and he is a C4C. He expects to ski 10 times. His 1st stop was Keystone over a week ago and he loved it. He has been out west many times. The snow is sooooooo much better out west.:thumb:
     
  19. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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