yuk wall

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by whatisyuk, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. whatisyuk

    whatisyuk New Member

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    DS kicked butt as a Plebe, but WP is kicking him back as a Yuk, especially language class. He is sucking it up as his gpa heads down, but clearly frustrated. 5 hours sleep a night for weeks on end. Other then encouragement, nothing else that a parent can or should do, but is this unusual in year two? We thought it would get easier in year two!
     
  2. EagleScout13

    EagleScout13 USMA Class of 2017

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    I'm currently a yuk, and I have noticed an increase in class difficulty, though nothing too outrageous. If the language class is hurting them, they probably chose one of the more difficult languages (Mandarin, Russian, Persian, Arabic) which explains the challenge since one must learn an entirely new alphabet. I have heard that yuk year is the hardest academically due to mostly if not all core classes that are harder than plebe classes, and not having interest in many of the classes, especially physics for many. Hopefully next semester your DS is taking at least one if not two major classes so they can add something they are genuinely interested in to their schedule.
     
  3. billyb

    billyb Member

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    The other thing about Yuk year is that alot of the coursework might be new. Plebe year can be a review for many that did well in calc and chem in high school. Physics, Diff Eq, Language, etc... might be not be a review and cause the cadet to really have to dig in. Best of luck to your DS!
     
  4. df123

    df123 Member

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    My son had a similar experience as a Yearling. Chinese was a struggle, but he survived it and is loving life as a Cow. From my understanding, it is a common issue during the second year at USMA. I would suggest supportive words, maybe arrange a visit or better yet, bring him home for a weekend if possible. It seems to do wonders in readjusting their attitudes. If you would like additional perspective on this, perhaps you can look into joining the West Point Mom or Dad's Facebook page - there are a lot of similar stories and free advice available there.
     
  5. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    EagleScout13, billyb, and df123 have great input about WP specifically, but I also want to chime in: I see this pattern in my students. (I teach at a rigorous civilian college with a strong STEM focus that is not terribly unlike USMA, or USNA, or other service academies.) Sophomore year is also historically where a lot of students who are STEM majors coming into college, decide to take a different path. Here's what I've seen work for the students I've advised and mentored.

    Soph/yuk/yearling year is where students really transition from learning stuff, to learning how to think. Not like "stuff" doesn't matter any more - but it's no longer the primary or only focus of learning. Most people, especially really bright people like we find at SAs, are pretty good at powering through "stuff." You rehearse a lot, you come up with or use mnemonics, you quiz yourself and others (you have daily come-arounds as a plebe...yay...). You can't use those strategies when you are beginning to learn how to apply, analyze, and really synthesize information and data and knowledge (= stuff). You have to change your thinking to questions like, what is the main point of this? How is this similar or different from that essay we read two weeks ago? How are these data similar to or different from the data we collected in O-chem lab last week, and what does that mean for the argument that X causes Y? You cannot, and must not, rely on your instructors to prompt you for this! This whole area is called "metacognition," and it sounds all mushy and edu-speak, but really it means thinking about your thinking. Successful students - successful people - can do this. And note: it is only very loosely related with "intelligence" (as many types of THAT as there are) or smarts. In other words, it's available to everyone. (Some people choose not to take advantage of it, but what are you gonna do...:rolleyes:)

    But it takes practice, deliberate practice. If you google "how to use metacognition," the first few hits are actually a pretty good start. Like df123 noted, there's a certain measure of just being able to survive and endure, too.

    Hope it helps.
     
  6. FlyBoy1993

    FlyBoy1993 Member

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    DS is a Yuk this year and he has also said his language course is his toughest this term.

    Then again, he's taking 24 hours this semester, which blows my hair back just thinking about it.

    Best of luck to the OP's son. Don't give up!!! Stay after it, put in the work, and seek tutoring, if necessary.
     
  7. grad11

    grad11 Member

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    Yuk year was by far the worst for me academically as well. The courses are generally more intense than Plebe year classes and more is expected from a Yuk. Plus, Yuks have additional responsibilities that take their time, such as mentoring the Plebes. As LongAgoPlebe said, Yuk year is where you really figure out how to learn. I thought I had it mastered as a Plebe and then Yuk year came around. However, I survived and learned a tremendous amount of new skills that allowed me to excel my Cow and Firstie years.

    If you are looking for advice, the best thing is to just keep encouraging him. If you can work it into a conversation, encourage him to get extra help from his teachers as well as classmates that are doing well in an area. I know we had an awesome cadet tutor program set up in my company. One additional way I worked through Yuk year was by spending a good chunk of time on the weekends getting ahead in classes. This gave me time during the week to study more and do those small tasks. Weekends were my time to get ahead on projects and papers. I would find a secluded spot in the library or somewhere else and go to town without many distractions.

    I am sure your Yuk will find what works best for him. It just may be a little bumpy along the way.
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I remember running into this as a youngster at USNA. I think it happens to a lot of those at SAs. Academics ramp up, sleep decreases, there are some leadership opportunities, but not a ton. Then again its a good year to focus on academics, really begin your major and continue to build relationships with your peers. This time of year is also difficult, academics are in full gear and the light at the end of the tunnel for leave isn't quiet there yet. That first year is so focused and sometimes it takes awhile to find your groove without being a Fourth Class. Third classes are now starting to really think about the future and what they really want to do in their respective services. Towards spring time and during the summer you will start to see a big change. Especially as they get opportunities over the summer out with the real Army, Navy, etc its all starts to make better sense and understand what you are working for at the end of 4 years. He will make it through, best of luck to him!
     

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