My nomination was congressional
My college grades were/are pretty good. I have just under a 3.9 GPA right now, never anything less than a 'B'. I think one thing that helped me was my research experience. I came up with a research idea, got funding, lab space, other people, etc. Engineering research is much different than physics research, but I would highly recommend you try to get a position working in some one's lab. IMO it shows drive and initiative and is a bullet point on your resume that high schoolers can't match. Even if you don't go to the academy, engineers and scientists need research experience coming out of school.
I was able to finish high school in 2 years so I started college at 16. At that point I was so busy with what I was doing, that the academies were never on my radar; this was my first time applying. At first I was planning on OCS and didn't really know much about the academies. One day I stumbled upon the curriculum for USNA and was pretty much sold at that point. Not that I have anything against OCS, I just thought the academy was a better fit for me.
If this had been 10 years ago and there was a war being fought and people were needed, then I'd have gone to OCS in a heart beat. But with the downsizing and withdrawing from the Middle East, I see no rush. Plus, nothing's wrong with more school.
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