Any questions for a freshman?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Kidchaor, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Kidchaor

    Kidchaor New Member

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    Hi everybody, I'm a C4C at USAFA right now, class of '22 (CHAP!). After completing recognition a couple days ago, I was thinking back on the long road I've taken to get where I am today, and I remembered searching these forums while applying for answers to the many questions I had about the Academy. I figured I can pay that forward now and answer any questions you guys have! Also, you can PM me if you would prefer that; I will check this post after I get back from class. Good luck class of 2023!
     
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  2. Papa Hemmy

    Papa Hemmy Member

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    What were some of your biggest misconceptions about the Academy and life as a cadet?
     
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  3. Hut234

    Hut234 Member

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    Should you validate classes that pertain to your major, or take them again to relearn them at the college level?
     
  4. greentrees

    greentrees 5-Year Member

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    Kidchaor -- congrats on recognition!
    I see you said CHAP -- is John Chapman your exemplar?
     
  5. dol-amroth

    dol-amroth Member

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  6. Kidchaor

    Kidchaor New Member

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    Papa Hemmy, I am from a non-military family, so I had quite a few misconceptions about the academy, as well as the military as a whole.

    I had some culture shock during basic, and it took a surprising amount of time to adjust. I thought that I would go into basic calm and confident, and I would use the qualities that I had fostered during high school to push through. Oh boy, was I wrong. I-day was the longest day of my life, and basic was the longest month or so - I was out of my comfort zone within an hour and I had some of the lowest points of my life within a week. Instead of trying to beat the system, let the system change you. Learn whatever positive lesson there is from your mistakes and then forget about them.

    Another misconception I had about basic was that you go through it essentially alone. You might go into it alone, but by the end you have some of your closest friends to lean on, and they're all going through the exact same hardships as you. The trust and camaraderie make the tough times a lot more bearable.

    The next unexpected thing was how many freedoms are reserved until after recognition. I thought I was home free after surviving basic, but that is certainly not the case. You're still running the strips, greeting all upperclassmen, at attention in the halls, going to minutes, memorizing knowledge, etc. But all of the bs leading up to being recognized makes the additional privileges so much more sweet afterward.

    On a more positive note,
    When I got to the academy, I thought I would have some good times over the next four years, and some hard times, and it would all be worth it for the reward after graduation. I could not have been more wrong. The rewards here are monthly, weekly, daily. I've seen growth in myself in only nine months that I could not have come close to predicting. All of the trials you endure at this place are what makes it amazing. How often I'm pushed out of my comfort zone, whether I like it or not, is what has made me a better person. I've become more confident, social, well-spoken, studious, responsible, ... , the list goes on and on. This place isn't about the light at the end of the tunnel, it's about the little lessons you learn every day.

    Hopefully I answered your question to some extent haha.
     
  7. Kidchaor

    Kidchaor New Member

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    Hut234,
    That doesn't have an exact answer. If you feel that you are very solid in the classes that you can validate, go for it. Validating will free up your schedule and having less classes will give back a little of the ever-so-precious commodity of time.

    If you don't feel that you learned the material very well, then the decision is harder. I took college calc I and II during high school, but didn't do well on the math placement exam and had to retake both classes. I'm glad that I had to because I have learned the material much better at USAFA than I did in high school, and I now have a much better foundation for higher lvl math classes.

    If you can validate two semesters of a language, that's awesome - no cons for language validation. That would make your schedule much nicer doolie year, and if you minor, you get paid more in the big AF.

    As for the "classes that pertain to your major" you're going to be taking core classes doolie year regardless, not major classes. I've had no say in my schedule thus far. Also, don't pick a major yet, haha, it's a bit early for that. Stay open to any major/career options for as long as possible.
     
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  8. hondocubansanchez

    hondocubansanchez 2023born

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    What clubs if any do you recommend getting into right of the bat. Do you even recommend getting involved in clubs your freshman year. I know is a big course load and I for one put a lot on my plate when it comes to being in college and being involved but is it better to focus on school first or will there be a set time for all things.
     
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  9. Bracken

    Bracken Member

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    My DD is a '22. She studied hard for the calc placement and was put into calc 2. She, and 2 others I know have said they wish they hadn't studied and started over again in AFA Calc 1 because calc 2 killed them even though she had it in HS. Another said AFA teaches it much differently than his HS experience so he wishes he had started in calc 1 at AFA.
     
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  10. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    I'd advise validating what you can. If you do well enough on the test to validate, you should have the knowledge you'll need. The schedule flexibility is very useful, and higher level classes tended to be more enjoyable (getting to nerd-out rather than push through the basics)
     
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  11. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

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    I thought all cadets at the Academy would be "type-A", "gung ho", and "super HUA" (AKA living, breathing, and dreaming Air Force). I expected every cadet to be a model of professionalism and dedication. I expected every cadet to be super smart, super organized, super responsible, and super capable. I expected every cadet to be basically faultless.

    Those expectations were completely and utterly unrealistic. That is just not how it is. Don't get me wrong, superstars definitely do and will exist, but the entire spectrum exists as well. You will come across fellow freshman and upperclassmen who seem lazy and. . . selectively respectful. You will come across cadets who seem to do the bare minimum, whether it be in their academic studies, physical fitness, military mindset, or some combination of the three. You will come across cadets that make very stupid decisions (some that result in their expulsion). Sometimes you will ask yourself, "does Cadet X really belong at the Academy?". Chances are that it is not for you to decide (unless you serve on an honor board).

    The Academy is a marathon. It is a grind. It is impossible to be in high spirits 100% of the time. There will be ups and downs. Nobody is perfect.

    The Academy is a leadership laboratory. It is a place to grow and develop into a competent officer. It is a place to strengthen the resolve to serve. This process is faster for some than others.

    The important thing to do is to support your fellow cadets when they are struggling. Be a friend, a tutor, a mentor, an exercise partner, a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board for ideas. Do these things knowing that they can and will do the same for you when the time comes. Trust me, the time will come.
     
  12. rutl12

    rutl12 New Member

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    Do certain clubs count as your sport? I want to become a CRO and I was told on this forum to do SANDHURST. Do you know anything about how this club selects who gets on the team or how other clubs operate?
     
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  13. Coastal2023

    Coastal2023 New Member

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  14. Thats_my_Boy!

    Thats_my_Boy! Member

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    Whats "Recognition?
     
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  15. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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  16. Coastal2023

    Coastal2023 New Member

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    Hello Everyone, Like most people in this forum my DS is still waiting to hear from his MOC. This is a very hard time for us the waiting is the hardest part so far. He has already received a AFROTC scholarship level 7 to go to the University of Hawaii but is still hopeful in getting a Direct Appointment. He has a single Nomination from his Congressman. His Sat was 600/math 640/verbal 1240 and his GPA is only a 3.72. He is the Captain of his Wrestling team of 65 kids and has earned 4 Varsity letters. So what do you think his chances are for Direct appointment or Prep school or do you know if any of your class mates that made it in with low scores like this?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  17. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    Wow. THIS brought a tear to this mommas eye. We dream about this for our children. The learning about yourself. My own plebe is home from USNA for spring break and our conversations are very similar. It’s AMAZING to witness this self realization in our children. Thank you for sharing!
     
  18. Thats_my_Boy!

    Thats_my_Boy! Member

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  19. Susan707

    Susan707 Member

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    Are there any restrictions on the majors you choose? Obviously grades play a role. Are there restrictions on the number of cadets that can be certain majors every year? For example is electric engineering or management capped at 25, etc ( I just made up the numbers as an example ).
     
  20. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    I have found the Curriculum Handbook a valuable resource - Chapter 8 addresses selecting a major and timelines (academic advisors will highly recommend that cadets wait at least until their second semester to select a major). Once you get to USAFA, your academic advisor will be a valuable resource in getting you setup for the fall semester and beyond.