You might not expect this at USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by fencersmother, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Here's a list we can make about things which you didn't expect at USAFA. This might make expectations more realistic for incoming cadets and their parents. I'll start.

    * Just like at civilian colleges, cadets pay for their books, every semester. Be prepared to spend big money if you are unable to find used/loaners. Budget for it.

    *Since it's winter, you might wonder: Are there snow days at USAFA? Sure, there are a few, but before you leap for joy, know this: if you have a snow day on say, Thursday, know that the make-up day will be (wait for it) Saturday. No built in snow days.

    *Just because your friend's squad allows cell phones for 4-degrees, doesn't mean YOURS will do the same.
     
  2. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    * Winning football games against rivals and other service Academies can get the whole Wing a discretionary pass for the weekend.
     
  3. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

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    The surrounding support is much stronger

    The atmosphere at orientation, parents weekend, parents clubs, and as shown on this website is much more supportive than at other colleges. As parents, we were accustomed to large State Universities where a student is little more than another number. At the Academy, there is a strong sense of "we're all in it together" even among parents.

    Also had never heard of Jeremiah Weed until Parents Weekend. It's now de rigueur in our home.
     
  4. Texas2013

    Texas2013 Member

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    Parents should be prepared to let their 4 degrees make their own decisions - they are adults now. There will be all sorts of things that come along that first year (travel arrangements, medical decisions, relationship issues, money management issues, etc.) and your DS/DD needs to learn to make grown up decisions.

    Additionally, I would say that as a parent I had to learn that although it was hard to give up control of my son's care and welfare to the USAF, it has been a blessing. He's a thriving C3 at the Academy (3.95 GPA and stellar letters of commendation in his jacket) and he's now very much a young man with a very bright future ahead. Love it.
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Here's something I forgot: my sons' friend was shocked to learn he had to do his own laundry (I think as a 3*). Shocked. I guess he thought someone else would just come along and wash his clothing.
     
  6. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    *You'll find a large number of cadets that have dismal attitudes and strive to pressure others to achieve low performance. But just like the cell phones, just because your friend lost motivation and stopped trying doesn't mean you have to.
     
  7. debcst

    debcst Member

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    Thanks fencersmom and all others who have posted here.

    As a parent of a SA candidate this is really interesting to read...I have taken the liberty of starting a copycat thread pertaining to West Point.
     
  8. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    Try not to plan too much for parents weekend. Your Doolie may just want to sleep'

    Parent do come out for the Acceptance day parade and visit with there 4 degree for about 2 hours.

    Care packages are not allowed until after acceptance day.

    You will need to drink water to adjust to the altitude in Colorado Springs.

    Airline tickets are cheaper to Denver than Colorado Springs but Car rentals are more expensive in Denver than Colorado Springs

    Avoid the toll road e40 from Denver airport.
    Webguy will become your best friend, :thumb:
     
  9. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    Just curious--what is Acceptance Day? And when is it traditionally?
     
  10. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    Always up for learning something new. My question for you is, do USAFA cadets purchase their own books (pay for them out of their own pockets??) At USCGA there is a book issue each semester and the cadet's white card account is automatically charged. There are not options for buying books online; though I do know there are used books available during book issue to keep the white card charge a bit lower.
    Great post!

    PS: USCGA cadets also do their own laundry and ironing beginning their 4/c year; sending shirts and uniform pieces to the dry cleaner is a privilege that they must earn.
     
  11. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    USAFA cadets purchase their own books.
     
  12. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    Just an idea for a moderator. I think this would serve well as a sticky, because it has a lot of really helpful things to know, at a glance. Maybe just keep editing the first post by adding the suggestions (such as in the Acronym List), so it is easier to read, also so people don’t scroll through 5 pages to find one thing that may be very important to know.

    Carry on :thumb:
     
  13. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    Parade ceremony signifying the end of Basic Cadet Training and acceptance into the Cadet Wing. Usually held first week in August before the academic year begins.
     
  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    *Make all hotel reservations as early as possible, since rooms fill up unbelievably fast.

    * Get to know the names of the foods at Mitch's that your child dislikes - HAMSTERS for mine. That way, as a parent you can be in the know on the jokes.

    *Don't always send a lot of candy in care packages. Cadets appreciate things they can't necessarily get in the C-Store. Might I suggest: a Terrible Towel. :thumb: Put $3 in cash in the box if you send it UPS so your child doesn't have to pay the pick-up fee. If you ship via USPS, get the flat rate box and fill it up.

    *Make a donation, if you are able, to the USO at the Denver airport. They take good care of our cadets during what can be long waits for delayed flights or rides.

    *Borriello's pizza is great and they deliver (NY style made by real NYers, or New Joisey-ers). For mine, they spelled out Happy Birthday in pepperoni and sausage. http://www.borriellobrothers.com/index_files/locations.htm

    *Remember to have extra/new toothbrushes, razors, etc. at home for your cadets. Even if they bring their own, it's nice to have new to take back with them, or to use at home.

    *Last I heard, cadets can't use flash drives. Don't send them.
     
  15. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    First semester for 4 digs this is true. After that, books are at cadets choice of purchasing location. Thank you amazon used books!

    This can be a blessing actually. Those snowy winter days result in a non-moving I-25. E-470 can be the only thing moving.

    Best statement in the thread. Hands down.

    I'll add one.

    You will do a lot of growing and may find your personality changes a bunch in a short period of time! aka entering basic "no way in hell am I jumping out of a plane" One year later: "free falll!!!!!"
     
  16. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    There was no magic money for my 4 degree.


    E-470 is a no money toll road. You need a Colorado transponder to use road. Some rental car companies charge daily fees if transponder is used on rental car. I was charged $10 per day for 5 days and tolls for the road. NOT WORTH IT AT ALL. BEWARE!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  17. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    *Cadets are generally 18-23 year olds, and will act like it on occasion!
    *USAFA has its share of poor leadership, and the resulting cynicism.
    *The connections you make via shared experience are priceless.

    *Being a cadet is a job, and that job includes knowing knowledge, keeping your room clean, marching, staying fit, knowing the rules, following the rules, keeping your uniform looking good, and doing well at school. Don't shirk your duty because you don't see the point. It's your job, so do it right.
     
  18. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Raimius, your statement: "It's your job so do it right" would benefit a lot of people! That's true no matter where one winds up in life. Great advice.

    *For the low landers, know the affects of high altitude on your body. By the time you see your cadets at Parents Weekend, they will have acclimated (mostly). Leave extra time, drink more water, etc. If you build it into your schedule, you'll not be stressed when it takes a little longer to climb those stairs.

    *For those of us who live by the rule If it ain't the Steelers, it ain't football, buy the $5 seats for the football game at PW. You can easily see the scoreboard, the field, etc. Spend the extra $5 on the rental seats with the backs. T-shirts available for $5.
     
  19. Don

    Don Member

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    • Just because they eat at attention in the WEB GUY photos doesn’t mean they WON”T lick their plate when they get home. TOO bad!
    • At home; a little more swearing, a lot more sleeping and (in our case) a deeper appreciation for the younger brothers and sisters.
     
  20. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Don, at our house, we call that "Air Force talking" and we now have a Cuss Can. $1 per offense, but $10 fine for inappropriate topic. I made a lot of money over the Christmas break.
     

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