What would you do?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by FloridaToUSMA2021, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. FloridaToUSMA2021

    FloridaToUSMA2021 USNA 2021 Appointee

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    Hi everyone. Before I tell you about the predicament I'm in I'd just like to preface that I am a candidate for the co2021 at West Point and am not yet facing the dreaded hurry up and wait that some of you other guys are facing. Good luck to all of you and I wish you all the best.

    I have a problem that I am hoping the experienced and wise eyes of this forum will be able to offer some insight into what they would do in my position. Simply put, I'm torn trying to make a decision between two things that are occurring this summer.

    - I can spend a week this summer at a police explorer academy. Which is basically a mock up of what a real one will be like and is required if I want to stay in the post.

    - or I can spend a week with my best friends family, who have practically been my other family for several years now, traveling.

    While it may seem obvious that I should choose the explorer academy in terms of a college application I need to explain why I am reluctant.

    First and foremost, my best friend and his family are closer to an adoptive family than anything to me. Unfortunately, he has had mental health problems and has tried to commit suicide in the past. In addition, he has already lost one best friend to suicide before and I am his closest friend now so he doesn't have anyone else that is as close as I am to him besides his family and therapist. So I want to take this trip to help him get better before our senior year and we leave for college, since this might be the last time I can do it. And also because this might be the only time I can actually travel before leaving for college. Especially if I achieve my goal of an appointment to a service academy, more specifically West Point.

    The other side of my predicament is that I am making the decision to basically leave the explorer program if I don't attend the explorer academy because if I don't attend then they will kick me out. Additionally, I am making my decision based on a knowledge that there is a slim to none chance of me being chosen as an officer in the explorer post. I haven't been told this yet, however I will be talking to the senior advisor and asking him if I will be chosen for an officer position next year.

    I have let his family know of the predicament I am in of having to choose between the trip and the explorer academy and my initial choice was to go to the explorer academy. However the last thing I want to do is be selfish and I see it as me being selfish if I decide to go to the explorer academy when I could have been there for my friend.

    Some background info about me is that I am a Boy Scout with an approved Eagle Project and I should be getting Eagle in one-two months, and I am the captain of my school's Computer Science team. I have also been accepted to Boys State and SLE. Additionally, I live in a district that isn't too competitive for nominations.

    If anyone has any advice on what I should do or what you would do if you were in my shoes, please let me know. Keeping in mind that I still have an appointment to West Point as a goal.

    I apologize if this is in the wrong topic but I wasn't sure where to post this.
     
  2. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    You eagle scout and attending boys state are far more important to your USMA application. I don't think the police explorer academy will add that much weight unless it is going to lead towards a leadership position that you do not already have.

    As a side note. You do not state that you can show leadership through athletics, which is a component that the all SA look for.
     
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  3. FALgarand

    FALgarand Member

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    Is it fair to summarize your choice as follows?
    1. Last chance to spend extended time with best friend who is going through a difficult time in his life.
    2. A possible resume filler.

    In a life-or-death situation, would you want to be partnered with the type of person who would pick #1 or the type who would pick #2?
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Although I don't see considering the academy as selfish, I agree with the posters so far - go with your friends family.
     
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  5. MaggieMae66

    MaggieMae66 Member

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    You have to think of which scenario you can live with. Also, as someone else said, you need some athletics (team sports). They also look at community service opportunities.
     
  6. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Go with your friend's family.....enjoy it. Follow the other suggestions posted and give everything else 100% effort. Then let the chips fall where they will.
    • Regardless of what happens, you will know that you gave it your best effort.
    • You will have spent time with people who mean a lot to you and might never have the opportunity again.
    • Be prepared (Eagle Scouts usually are) for Plans B thru Z.
    • You are smart and accomplished. You will succeed wherever you end up in college!
     
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  7. Armymom1715

    Armymom1715 Member

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    Being and Eagle Scout and being Elected to Boys State rank high for the USMA. If you already have been appointed there why not go with your friends family and have fun. You only live once. How important is the other explorer program to you? If your second guessing this, go with your gut. Good luck in whatever decision you choose.
     
  8. k$Mom

    k$Mom Member

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    I think you have your answer:thumb:
    While you are on your trip be sure to do tons of push ups and training on your down time. You have a major CFA to prep for.

    And, study for ACT/SAT and prep to take them until you have awesome scores.
     
  9. EOD/SEALmom

    EOD/SEALmom Member

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    I'm going to voice the other side of the coin than the previous answers.

    First, have you asked this family if it is possible for them to travel another week than the one with the conflict for your training? I would start there. If you are as close to them as you say, they should want to make adjustments for you if at all possible.

    Secondly....mental health issues are no joke, and your friend has already tried to commit suicide. He clearly has issues and spending a vacation with him will not cure that. You cannot "fix" him - that is for his doctors/therapist and parents to work on. I say this not to be harsh or unfeeling, I am saying this because you are a 16-17 year old kid, and it is not your responsibility. This is way over your head at your age. Yes, you can and should care and you should be there for him when he needs you to offer your friendship and compassion. However offering companionship at your own expense is going too far, in my opinion.

    Taking this vacation would basically drop you from the program. Do you need the program for West Point? Maybe not....but what happens next year? What happens when you get in to West Point? Would you be willing to give up your dreams to stay home and go to community college so that he has a friend there and doesn't feel bad?

    Again, I mean no disrespect to you or your friend, but at some point you will have to draw a line as to how far you will go to help someone.

    You sound like a really fine young man, and I wish you all the best in your future.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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  10. LibertyKid2020

    LibertyKid2020 Member

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    I took part in my state's Law Enforcement Explorer Academy, and trust me, you're not missing much. You're 16-17 years old and this "training" will not help you at all. They take it so easy on the group that it's almost a joke. Maybe this was just the group of officers that handled my academy class, but it's not something that will help you in any way. If you genuinely want to continue in your police program, go to the Law Enforcement Explorer Academy, but if it's not something that truly matters to you, spend time with your buddy.
     
  11. FloridaToUSMA2021

    FloridaToUSMA2021 USNA 2021 Appointee

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    Thank you everyone for your responses so far.

    Regarding my athletics; I currently have 2 years of swimming and I'm going into my 3rd year with 1 varsity letter so far. I would like to go for a captain position on the swim team however the team does not have captains, so that isn't going to happen.

    Again thank you everyone for your responses.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  12. FloridaToUSMA2021

    FloridaToUSMA2021 USNA 2021 Appointee

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    EOD/SEALmom. Thank you for your response.

    With respect to your first point, I have asked my friends family whether they could reschedule and unfortunately everything is already set. The only thing that isn't is my plane ticket.

    With your second point I wholeheartedly agree that it's not my responsibility to cure him. I am not trying to cure his depression, I just want to be there when he needs me and taking this vacation is probably my last chance to be there 100% for him because when school starts again or even later on, when I hopefully leave for West Point, I won't be able to be there for him. So I want to take this chance because it will probably be the last I get.

    I understand a line must be drawn as to how much I should give up to help someone else and I know what that line is for me (will it keep me from my goals). That is part of the reason that I asked everyone for their advice as I needed to figure out whether the line was being crossed.

    Thank you to everyone for your advice and I have made my decision. I'll be spending part of my summer with my friend and his family.
     
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  13. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    To Florida...

    Let me make a sugestion to you. This advice was given to my son by someone who was a WP grad. My son's sports team didn't have team captains (and on the rare occasion when they did have a team captain, it was never the team goalie) but he encouraged my son to ask the coach anyway - and to first explain why he was asking. So my son did this every season he played in this league. So, over the course of 8 seasons, he was team captain twice. Clearly, most of his coaches did not agree to his request, but two of the did, so he was able to note that he was the team captain twice. This WP grad had faced a similar situation back in the day and this is what he did. Worked for him and it worked for my son.

    You never know until you ask. Prepare in advance what you want to say to your coach by way of explanation and also say what you are prepared to do as team captain (maybe you'll text the team to remind everyone about upcoming practices/games or maybe you can prepare a motivational speech to give before games, etc). This will show that you understand that the role comes with leadership responsibilities. You coach may be agreeable with this kind of approach.

    PS. I vote for being with your friend. Make all the good memories you can now before leaving for college.
     
  14. BlackKnight2016

    BlackKnight2016 Member

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    Here is another idea to try when a team captain position isn't available. Would the coach be open to rotating the "team captain" position for each swim meet? With our DS football program the coach did not announce the team captain until after the end of the season. His thinking was you had to earn the respect of your peers and lead by example. Giving someone the title of team captain at the beginning of the year only inflated a high school kids head and didn't lead to the kind of results he wanted. With their football program always going on to the state championships, the announcement of who was the final team captain didn't happen until late January and was too late to include in a WP application. The solution our DS used was to communicate to WP during the football season when he was named a "game day captain". Our DS turned in a couple of these announcements as updates to his file during October, November and December. We don't know how WP interpreted these "game day captain" positions, but the school counselor did provide a summary of the coaches philosophy on holding the team captain announcement until the end of the season. I think it's real important that you work with your school counselor to communicate your unique situation so WP Admissions understands your personal situation. Hope this solution may prove useful for you.
     
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