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Are Mids Happier?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by napjim, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. napjim

    napjim Member

    Mar 28, 2013
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    I hate to cross-post, I put this in the USNA forum already, but I'd like to put this here for people who look only at this forum....


    My son has appointments to both USMA and USNA. Over the Fall we did a day visit to West Point and a few weeks ago he did a CVW at Navy. His observation was that the Mids seemed happier -- is there any evidence of this?

    I think this may be because his observations were different. During a day tour at West Point, he only "hung out" with the plebe who escorted him and had limited interactions with others at classes and lunch.

    The CVW seems to do a better job at selling candidates on the school. For one, by organizing around specific weekends, rules are relaxed a bit for everyone. Also, the visit lasts through Friday night -- as the weekend begins for upperclassmen after class/6pm on Friday, it may have been a more relaxed atmosphere. Also, being Friday, guys played some board games after class and before dinner and dinner Friday was cafeteria style. Friday night there were different activities -- Semi-finals of the brigade boxing and Spamalot was being performed. Saturday morning, breakfast was eggs cooked to order.

    Certainly it was a longer view of student life and being a Thursday/ Friday/ Saturday weekend, there was an opportunity to view student life without the pressure of studying and so forth.

    So, is there any evidence that mids are happier than cadets?
  2. mom3boys

    mom3boys 5-Year Member

    Nov 3, 2007
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    What a subjective question.
    Having visited both campuses multiple times, here's what I think: West Point is an isolated campus. There's very little to do outside of Thayer gate. USNA is in a real town. There are really nice places to eat inside walking privileges. There's a real mall 10 minutes away (w/ a big theater). West Point upperclassman can drive to these things on weekends, but plebes cannot. I think lack of things to do (besides fun of your own making) can lead to a little attitude issue. Fun is what you make it. Mine was very happy to be w/ friends and just hang out. Perhaps cadets are not as happy because they don't get to wear those darling little sailor suits. I just love those. :shake:
  3. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Jun 18, 2012
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    "Darling little sailor suits"....too funny!!

    Interesting thought on who is happier. As Cadets and Mids they do have an opportunity to switch if they can find someone from the other side who wants to do the same. A one for one exchange, but they are still in the Army and still in the Navy.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
  4. oldcorpsdad

    oldcorpsdad 5-Year Member

    Jan 17, 2011
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    So when my DS, a Cow, is asked if he likes it there by friends, relatives or others, there is always a short pause after which he says " I'm not sure I would say I like it but I would never ever consider going anyplace else". It is a life changing experience. I was up there this weekend. There were a bunch of Firsties pulling guard duty outside on a very cold day. I asked why they were there and was told that they had participated in an unauthorized event and were serving punishment tours for their lack of judgement. I have a grad who works for me who got out of the Army after 7 years. He joked that he still gets the shakes when ever he sees the gate ahead. I know another who remarks that he wants to throw up every time he drives by the hotel he stayed in the night before R day. All are extremely successful, high achieving members of society. It is an experience unlike any other. If you want fun, go to one of the many party schools on the Princeton reviews annual ratings list.
  5. candidate2014

    candidate2014 Member

    Apr 14, 2013
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    From my experiences at West Point Overnight and Naval Academy CVW, the atmosphere seemed better at West Point. It was a lot more relaxed at West Point than at USNA. Mids cannot listen to music or watch television and are under strict schedule 24/7. Personally, I thought USMA was better :)
  6. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

    Mar 1, 2013
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    Funny, I thought that USNA was the more relaxed of the two but I guess the difference comes in when your overnight was. I think the attitudes are going to be similar either way, it just comes down to where you feel better and where you want to be leaving either academy.
  7. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015 5-Year Member

    Jan 12, 2011
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    Are you talking about Service Academy Exchange (1 semester at a sister academy) or switching branches upon graduation? Either way, there is no actual requirement to find someone willing to trade.

    As for happiness, my best guess would be that it really depends on the person. Most would probably be equally miserable at either Academy. Some may see Annapolis as a big game changer, but at the end of the day the experience is pretty much the same. Mids are certainly happier in mid-December :thumbdown:

    The other question is what branch are you looking at going? If you really like running around in the woods and shooting, USMA may be a "happier place for you" as that's what most of summer training consists of, while Navy exposes you to a more broad variety of jobs. If that isn't your cup of tea, I don't really know enough about Navy's training to give an accurate assessment of which is better for non-combat arms guys.
  8. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

    Dec 5, 2012
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    Plebes at both places are both unhappy at times. From what I've heard, your company/squadron/brigade makes a big difference in your experience and how much stress you feel. You have to look not only at what the academy experience will be like, but more importantly at what you will do afterwards because the academy is for 4 years, but your service obligation will be for at least 5+3.

    I do agree with Mom3Boys - there is more to do OUTSIDE the gate in Annapolis than there is in Highland Falls, but as a Plebe/Yuk - you won't have much time to do anything outside the gate anyways.

    Happiness ultimately is a choice. If you believe in what you are doing, you can put up with a lot.

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