Anyone else have this I day experience?

SAF_510

New Member
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.
 

LongAgoPlebe

5-Year Member
Guaranteed you were not the only parents with a terrified kid. This thread popped up a couple of weeks before I-day - broad mix of experiences in there.

https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/a-different-perspective-as-you-prepare-for-induction-day.56380/

Also see this one from USCGA:

https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/getting-ready-for-r-day-swab-year-video-attached.56487/

I-day is overwhelming for almost everyone. People handle that differently. The shock and awe of that first day are in the rear-view mirror now and your DS is settling in to the plebe summer routine. Yesterday was Sunday, so they got a chance to breathe, talk to their squad-mates, and maybe eat a doughnut at chaplains' time. The first 2-3 weeks are a shock, but thousands of people just like your kid have done it, and so will he!
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
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."
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Having launched two daughters to non -service academy colleges, I suspect its simply the reality setting in...Move in was all fun, but when it was time to say goodbye, the nerves kicked in. Your son is fine, there are some 1100'ish kids going through the same emotional roller coaster right now., and the good thing is they are all in it together.
 

hthp37

5-Year Member
^Everything Capt MJ said.
I was concerned about my sons demeanor after the oath on his IDay in 2014.
He seemed exhausted, anxious and a little preoccupied with getting the Dixie cup cover
to sit just right on his shaved head. He did little to assure me that everything was going
to be ok, but I had to just let go and let him figure this out. He (and us) were truly
entering unchartered waters.

I couldn't wait for that first call. He said his head was spinning for about a week and then
it just sort of clicked and he was actually able to enjoy his PS.

He is currently a 1st class serving in a leadership position for plebe summer.
 

nodiva

5-Year Member
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.
This is parental training for the call in February (dark ages) when the buzz of the Academy has slightly worn down, it's dark at 4:30PM and school is hard. Your confidence in him is much more helpful than your sorrow of the situation.
 
DD was visibly shaken. When I asked her what was wrong, her response was "the detailers are too nice and patient". She was expecting yelling, chopping, and sir/ma'am sandwiches. Definitely threw her off balance!
 

SAF_510

New Member
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.
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.
Thank you! This was really helpful!
 

2020Vision

Member
My son -- a plebe last year -- was clearly nervous when we dropped him off on I-Day. When we saw him after the ceremony, he was better -- up until time to line up for the march into Bancroft. When he lined up, I could see what probably no one else could see -- after all, I'm his mom, right? He was nearly in tears, but he was using every fiber of his being to shake it off. By the time we made it to the first phone call, he was excited, cheerful and clearly loving USNA. At the end of this year, I asked him what would be his best advice to an incoming plebe, and he said: "What I realized is that you have to jump in with both feet -- don't hesitate or do anything halfway, no matter how hard or unpleasant it might be." He said this mindset got him through PS and Plebe year.

Your plebe will figure this out on his own, in time. He's totally capable of making it at USNA -- that's why he was picked. I can completely understand your apprehension over the emotional end to I-Day -- it was so hard for me to know my last glimpse of my plebe that day was one of him struggling to hold back tears. But I knew how determined he was and that he is made of the right stuff to get through whatever USNA -- and ultimately the Navy -- can throw at him. I'll bet your kid is the same!

So hang in there. You'll be on that first phone call before you know it, and your fears will be calmed.
 
Our situation was similar to 2020vision. Night before DS was great, a little nervous but pretty normal. Thursday morning - Yikes... If there had been a bell or an option to "Tap Out" I think he might have used it.

Drop off at Alumni Hall he wasn't too happy but he muscled up and walked through the doors. All day long my wife and I kept saying "Please let him have a better afternoon than morning". After the Oath of Office he was great. His biggest concern was making sure he was in formation on time.

Hope the first phone call is manageable, sounds like that one is the worst of the three.
 

nidof

New Member
DD was visibly shaken. When I asked her what was wrong, her response was "the detailers are too nice and patient". She was expecting yelling, chopping, and sir/ma'am sandwiches. Definitely threw her off balance!
Plebe summer doesn't start until after the oath. She experienced all of that starting that evening.
 

SAF_510

New Member
Having launched two daughters to non -service academy colleges, I suspect its simply the reality setting in...Move in was all fun, but when it was time to say goodbye, the nerves kicked in. Your son is fine, there are some 1100'ish kids going through the same emotional roller coaster right now., and the good thing is they are all in it together.
Thank you so much!
 

Norfolk63

BGO and MidDad
5-Year Member
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.
My DS, a 2021 plebe who was a NROTC college-reapplicant, confessed that there were quite a few fellow classmates who were experiencing what your son was going through. And much worse (crying). But he said that he and other plebes who came from college, NAPS and the fleet were helping them through. They're in good hands.
 

Dadof2

Member
Did anyone have a similar experience? From the posts I've seen it seems like we were the only ones with a terrified kid.
Trust me, there were plenty in the same boat as your DS. Two years ago on I Day we saw the whole range of emotions from those around us - laughing, crying, deer-in-the-headlights, etc. My DD was pretty freaked out on I Day and this year she is a detailer. So, it's tough to go through (for both of you) but he will be fine and will look back on the experience with great pride for having endured. Look at the numbers - almost everyone makes it. He'll be fine.
 

Just Dad

Member
SAF,

When we got our 2020 DD to a cool private place on the yard last year she burst into tears. She kept saying it hadn't been that hard, and she "didn't know why she was crying". I was exactly where you are (worrying) until I watched DD standing in ranks to march into B look back and extend her hand and smile toward a young women who was in worse shape than DD was. I swear ,I knew in that moment that my DD would make it through PS: she was outside of herself, in touch with her situation, and her shipmates and she able to act (even if it was just to touch anothers hand and smile).

I know this thread is long, but I just want to point out to you that your Plebe was able to recognize an obligation to pull it together and smile for the cammera. That doesn't sound like much, but whatever happened to him on IDay it wasn't so bad that he couldn't get outside of his own worries/sadness/fear to deliver what DF DM needed (a brave face). I think stepping up to a task when you are tired, scared, lonely, ....... is the core requirement of PS.-------------------------------------- Sounds like he will be just fine.

PS: As my MD/DW looked out over the ranks of DD company waiting to march into Bancroft DW was worried that at least 3 young men would pass-out in the ranks------ they are all still there.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
PS, plebe year -- actually the entire 4 years is a series of ups and downs. You can be on top of the world one day and in the dumps the next. Sometimes it's little things and sometimes big things. It often depends on the timing of what happens.

Don't read too much into any one moment as that moment reflects just that -- a moment. Chances are that the emotions of the moment will change in the next.
 
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