Our DS was fine during drop off for I day- happy to get started. When we saw him at the end of the day he was shaking and it was hard for him to even speak. He did muster smiles for pictures, but it wasn't the way I would have liked to send him off. He did say that it was easier/better until he saw us. Did anyone have a similar experience? From the posts I've seen it seems like we were the only ones with a terrified kid.
It had all become real to him, the decision that he had made, to take this huge step. His classmates were processing it in different ways, some similar to him, assuredly, and they had different ways of showing/masking it. No amount of CVWs, NASS, STEM camp, athletic recruiting visits, videos, poring over USNA.edu or hearsay from former/current mids can substitute for living through a first day being part of a sweaty, smelly pack of strangers who are being stripped of everything comfortable and familiar. And failing at things.
If he has any introversion in his personality, he will struggle to get the bits of alone time he needs to recharge, but it can be done. That was the hardest thing for me at OCS, people on top of me every minute, no chance to breathe. I figured it out.
He will find new friends, and they will embrace the suck together. Gradually, they will learn how to get through. They will bond in support of each other. There will be funny moments. You will hear newfound confidence in his voice later on in a phone call. If you see him at PPW, he will know PS is about over and will be feeling more in control. The ac year roller coaster is waiting for him, and that's yet another ride to master. Finding the ability to get himself through chaotic, stressful and unknown situations lays the foundation for the "command presence" he will need to face challenges as an officer in an operational environment. PS is the start of that transformation.
The vast majority of them make it through just fine. Find all the threads about what to put in letters and packages. I still remember my mom putting in clips about normal stuff from the hometown newspaper, and my dad writing me a letter from the dog, which was hilarious, complete with childish printing on the envelope.
I know that last glimpse of him is sticking in your heart. Time to break out classic SAF advice : "You taught them to fly. Now let them soar. If he has a couple of rough landings or hard flights, let him work it out."