I'll start of by saying i've read a lot of forums on this site but this is my first post. I'm about to start my sophomore year (UIUC) in three weeks and have a huge life decision to make before then. Back in March my advisor sent out an email to all aerospace eng majors about some guy from an aerospace company giving a talk. Turns out this guy was a former air force officer, I talked to him afterwards about his experience and thought to myself, this is really cool I may want to do this. Since then, 5 months have passed and I've literally been thinking about it everyday. I've always been interested in flying but was pushed away from it from my parents, but even if that didn't work out through air force rotc I would be perfectly happy being an officer in the air force doing any other job. The problem is I haven't told anyone I want to do it yet. I'm a muslim/indian american kid from jersey and I just don't know how my parents or family would react if I told them i wanted to join the military. I know my mom would think I'm signing my own death certificate and my dad would tell me that I'm throwing away grad school and taking a massive pay cut if i don't pursue a career in engineering (which he has a right to do as he paying 45 k a year for college). But I feel like it would be worth it for at least 4 years to do something different, separate myself from my peers and become a leader. Over the past couple months i've come up with a few pro/cons while deciding whether or not to join the afrotc program at my school. pro: -do something different/leadership -travel the world -serve my country -Make new lifelong friends through rotc -become more fit/disciplined -keep me away from doing stupid things in college -certain job after college -couple other i can't think of off the bat -more challenge/competitive environment con: -low pay compared to engineering jobs in the private sector (~$60,000) -won't be able to go to grad school -no guarantee i will be doing any engineering if i don't end up flying -6 year commitment if i do end up doing cso -no guarantee i won't end up doing a boring job at a base in montana. I'm pretty much set on the idea that i really want to do this even though somedays i wake up and think i may regret it. But i think I need input from others to be confident in my decision. It's also important to note that I cruised through my first year of college, 3.8 gpa at the 5th best engineering program in the country, so I definitely want more of a challenge. I also played a lot of sports in high school and miss the competitive environment a lot. Has anyone else been in this situation with their parents? I don't really "talk" to my parents about anything serious other than school. I wouldn't say my parents are completely against the military but they certainly aren't for it and have never really mentioned it as an option. Thanks in advance for any input.