It's almost here....I-day. As you fly through the last few weeks of school, you're feet will not touch the ground. You are on top of the world and you deserve to be. You did it! You made it to Annapolis! Congratulations!!! You are young, strong, intelligent. Besides getting ready for the physical demands of the summer, get your mind in the right place. I will stress that the healthier you are, and the more physically fit you are, the easier it is to stay present during Plebe Summer. From reading through this forum, listening to other parents, and talking to my son and other midshipmen, many Plebes are just plain homesick. In addition the sudden withdrawal from the 'grid' is difficult for many. no media, no news, no music, no phone, no texting. It's not an easy thing to adjust to, so you might want to factor this into your prep for the summer. Also, speak with your family, friends, and girlfriend/boyfriend about what you will be able to do and not do. in other words, let them know that you have no control over your phone calls and letters. You will have 3 scheduled phone calls, but that is never a guarantee. If you want your family/friends to write and send care packages often, or not so often, communicate that to them. I think the expectations should be expressed. During Plebe summer your time is not your own. Every sunset is a moment closer to your goal....closing your eyes as you lay down on your rack! My DS put thumbtacks on the bulletin board at the end of every day...which was funny, since i had done the same thing at home! There will be alot of highs and more than your share of lows. Figure out a way to keep track of the highs, and learn from the lows. A sheet of paper on your bulletin board listing positives from the days' activities may help remind you that good things are in deed happening. or, just remind yourself of a positive event before you fall asleep. just remember that you will get through it. Once the Academic year starts, you are still a plebe, but life doesn's feel as difficult. Take advantage of everything that interests you and you will meet more people, make more contacts and make the Academy YOUR Academy. Investigate the clubs, the sports, anything that interests you. It might take all year, but you will eventually find your niche. As you find activities that you enjoy, you will feel less isolated. This year my Plebe DS explored several clubs and sports. He went backpacking, attended the USAFA game, plays frisbee on and off campus, and meets with a few cultural clubs that he found interesting. Every time I talk with him I am amazed at all the opportunities he has to learn something new, meet amazing people, and yes, have fun. When it comes time to pick a major (spring) open your eyes to everything the Academy has to offer. My DS changed his mind about a dozen times before he settled on a plan. he seemed to have a good relationship with his advisor and also talked to alot of upperclass midshipmen about their choices and career plans. Academically, some of you may find a class or two difficult. At the first sign of this, seek out help. from what i understand, the teachers are there to help. Your midshipmen are there to help. My DS has been tutoring others in Math and seeks out help from others in his company when he hits a snag along the way in other courses. Do not think that you are alone, or that it shows weakness to ask for help. It shows strength to recognize a weakness and do whatever you can do to improve yourself. I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that underneath all of the hardship of being a Plebe, there is room for fun, personal growth, and amazing opportunities. GOOD LUCK!!!