Advice needed

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by 2ndgenerationusaf, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. 2ndgenerationusaf

    2ndgenerationusaf New Member

    Mar 28, 2015
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    My ds has wanted to go to usafa for years, and has worked really hard to achieve this goal. Eagle scout, A student, varsity letterman, 33 act, usafa summer seminar, and so on. He has been getting everything done on his portal, and nomination packets. Two days ago, out of the blue, he said he is no longer interested in attending usafa. I asked him what he wanted to do, and I got a "I don't know maybe go to the tech school in town". I suggested that he follow thru with everything, in case he changed his mind.
    He told me, he wasn't going to change his mind. As you can imagine, as a parent, I had alot of mixed emotions. I was not sure what to say, and didn't want to have a knee jerk reaction and say the wrong thing. I know it is his decision to make. I just don't want him to throw away this once in a lifetime opportunity. The clock is ticking away for the application and nomination. I don't know if it's cold feet, being overwhelmed, friends, or what. Any advice on here would be appreciated.
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 5-Year Member

    Nov 25, 2007
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    I say finish up the apps, and if everything works out and he still doesn't want to go, no more pressure.

    If it's really HIS dream, he won't be so quick to change his mind.
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 13, 2011
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    Agree with LITS. I would encourage him to complete the application and noms. If in the end he decides to not attend or isn't offered, then fine. It could be cold feet, doesn't think he will get in, nervous about college, overwhelmed about senior year and figuring out the next steps.
  4. Midwest

    Midwest Member

    Nov 29, 2014
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    Cold feet? Could it be something else that is difficult to discuss that is changing his mind? Perhaps he doesn't want to answer some of the questions on the application. Maybe if you review the questions; you might have an idea. (drugs, crime, pregnancy, depression, etc).

    Working plans A, B, C, D & E might help to take the pressure off too. Start filling out the Tech application.

    My DS worked with a Life Coach in high school (not a high school or mental health counselor) to make some decisions. He had the brains for college, but wanted nothing to do with a degree; enlisted in the Navy (I never stepped foot in the Recruiting office), went to Navy Schools for 15 months; and has been doing well. It was a good decision for him and a time of genuine individuation. But certainly not easy for me and my husband.

    Hang in there mom!
  5. hornetguy

    hornetguy 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    It's not a once in a lifetime opportunity. He can be accepted anytime before age 23. So if it doesn't happen now and he changes his mind, he has a few years as long as he makes smart choices.

    If it is something else on the application, perhaps you advise him to come to SAF anonymously. For example (only a hypothetical), a history of experimentation with marijuana will not prevent a candidate from being accepted if they admit to it. Many may assume admitting means it is all over. If he knows there's a place to ask where no one, including you, will be aware of what transgression or action may have resulted in the change in mind, he may reconsider.
    Midwest and Badge250 like this.
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother 5-Year Member Founding Member

    Oct 10, 2007
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    Hornet is correct on both accounts. If your DS is worried that YOU will discover something he's done, and after all, he doesn't want to lose that "You are the apple of my eye" feeling he has from you, perhaps he can come here, ask whatever it is, and get a better feel for an answer. It may be something that many high school kids have done, or tried, or considered - and something that maybe even you as a parent have done, tried, or considered. Kids do get sheepish.

    On the other hand, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that tech school application is not nearly as involved as the SA forms, plus the need for the nom, plus the CFA.... ad nauseum.

    Does your son have a girl/boy friend who is staying in town, too, for tech school or job or whatever? Sometimes the peer pressure to stay or do what "everyone else" is doing can be overwhelming.

    Maybe your son just doesn't want to spend the next 9+ years away from family/friends/dog? I had a friend whose daughter was five years older than my twins. When daughter was a rising senior, mom & dad had a surprise! baby, and daughter loved that child so much, even though she'd gotten a nom & appointment, daughter opted to stay local and go to Pitt (swim scholarship). Well, as her freshman year rolled along, daughter realized that she was spending more time at the college, and really while she dearly loved baby brother, she had her own desires which weren't being met at Pitt. Daughter re-applied, went to USAFA, married a cadet whom she met there who is now a pilot. Baby brother is in middle school now - all are happy.

    Perhaps it is the course of study which deters your DS? It is true that even an English major will take engineering, Chem, all that sciencey & mathy stuff, and will graduate with a BS, not a BA (though I believe there is some (misguided) thinking going on about that). He can still go AFROTC and serve his country and not have to take aero engineering.

    If it were my child, I would still have him fill out the application(s), for USAFA, for State U, for local college, for tech school. Let him decide come april 1st among his options.
    Midwest likes this.
  7. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    I'd recommend he keep his options open.

    Once he has acceptance letter from USAFA, State U, local tech, etc, etc, all in hand, then he can make a real choice. Not finishing applications just forces him into a "default" answer.
    The big question is "which option will best prepare me to meet the goals I set?" Answer that honestly, and he probably will not decide wrongly.
    Midwest and fencersmother like this.
  8. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

    Jan 13, 2014
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    The one part that caught my attention is that he mentioned going to "a tech school in town."
    I am used to "tech school" also referring to electricians, plumbers, carpenters, auto mechanic etc.....or does this mean STEM college?
    If it is "tech school" in terms of a trade, then could it be he wants to pursue a trade and thus not attend college?

    The application process for a SA is arduous. By the time mine got done with the USAFA application and the nomination packets, he was fried, and he had to drag himself to the keyboard to fill out the common app plus all the other secondary apps. There were a lot of problems with the common app the year he applied as it had just been redone. At one point, after another common app access time out issue that lost all his entered information, he declared "I am either going to the USAFA or no college at all." He took a break from applications for a couple of days after that.

    It might be he needs a break from the entire process for a few days. It could also be that during the application process, he discovered what he really wants and doesn't want. Is there any way for him to sit down and list the pros and the cons of going to a SA vs. going to a local tech school? He may be experiencing self doubt and questioning his ability to succeed. Or, if he isn't pursuing ROTC, it may be that he realizes he doesn't wish to serve in the military as it isn't right for him.

    I would suggest having him create a pro & con list and then contacting someone he trusts to discuss it.

    Good luck! I hope that whatever decision he makes leads him to great success and fulfillment.
    Boozebin likes this.
  9. ebotterb3

    ebotterb3 Member

    Feb 20, 2015
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    I would tell him to finish the app and that if he get's in and still doesn't want to go, he doesn't have to go. This would of course require applying to other colleges in the meantime, but it's good to have a plan B anyway. He's worked too hard, for too long to wonder for the rest of his life if he could have gotten in. We visited quite a few colleges, and like many of the cadets, DS had options, but chose USAFA in the end because that is where he wanted to go. It's good to have options though. It seems like this time of year is the final hard push to get everything in, and done, essay's written, interviews, medical stuff . It's tough, but it will pay off one way or another if he just finishes. DS just finished BCT!
  10. whitewolf

    whitewolf Member

    Apr 24, 2015
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    It may be he's thinking he might not get in. Saying he doesn't want to and thinking of "tech" school or "I don't know" could be an escape from the reality of possibly not making it. I say just listen for a couple more days. He might come around on his own. Has he done the writings for the application and his nomination? If not, no amount of your cajoling will help him be successful with those. It might even drive a wedge between you if you keep after him to work on it.

    I agree with hornetguy. He has several more years to close the door. Let him drive; after all his hard work he deserves to make those choices.

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