Areas to Improve

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by TheFourth, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. TheFourth

    TheFourth Member

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    Hey! I am going to be a freshman in High School next year, and I have my heart set on going to USNA. I was wondering if I could give my 4 year plan and see where I need to improve

    I plan on taking 3 pre-Ap classes this year (math, science, and English) and advanced Spanish two. I am also in my schools engineering academy, which is basically a college engineering course. I plan to continue with this level of classes all 4 years, but eventually take AP spanish

    Sports wise I’m a pole vaulter and sprinter on the track time and am working towards varsity(I hope to have letter by junior year).

    Extracurricular wise I’m in the band, and plan on being section leader/ drum major. I’m in the engineering student government, the NJHS(going for NHS junior year), spanish honor society, armed forces club, and spanish club

    I know it’s really early, and I can’t apply for three more years(sadly) but I was wondering if there were any places I could improve upon now before it’s to late. Also, I know a lot more things go into admissions like SAT, ACT, and CFA, but trust me, I will work to get the highest scores I can on those when it comes time. Thanks so much!
     
  2. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    You’re on the right track. Good for you for getting this far ahead of the game. Some things to consider:

    For academics, take the hardest classes your school has to offer, especially in STEM subjects and English. And then knock them out of the park.

    For athletics, get that varsity letter and aim to become a team captain.

    For extracurriculars, don’t just participate. Lead! Make an impact and leave the organization in better shape than when you arrived. Rally the troops in helping you leave a legacy.

    Finally, apply for USNA’s STEM Camp and Summer Seminar. It can be a crapshoot to get in, but seek every chance you can to get on the Yard and mingle with Mids.
     
  3. johnusna

    johnusna New Member

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    I am a pole vaulter going to NAPS ( Naval Academy Prep School) next year. stay on top of your academics more than anything. I was lucky enough to have athletics to fall back on but if there is one thing i could change about my high school career it would be the amount that i applied myself to academics. Try to take rigorous courses but make sure you can handle the load. taking all APs may seem impressive but if you aren't getting strong grades in all of them then you may want to consider taking classes you can handle and consistently get high grades in. Also don't rely on good grades outweighing bad test scores or vice versa. you should be strong in both areas. take your tests early and as many times as you can.

    if you have interest in STEM then i recommend you apply to the Naval Academy STEM programs. around January of your junior year you can apply for the Summer Seminar program. This program really allows you to know for sure whether or not the academy is for you.

    As far as athletics go, the track coaches were interested in me when I met them at summer seminar. At the time i had a PR of 15'6. if you want to be recruited I think you would have to get to 15 feet by the end of your junior year, I do not know the standards for sprinting. In both band and track strive to be a leader and a captain and take on leadership roles.

    just keep your goal in mind all four years, sometimes you may be overwhelmed with school work and athletics that you might want to just quit and go to bed. But keep USNA in mind through the hard times and it will all be worth it and pay off in the end.
     
  4. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

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    STEM is def a crap shoot... My DS applied as rising 9th grade and was wait listed and not accepted. This time she checked off almost every possible area and nothing. We live in PA so I am thinking competition sucks, but good luck if you try...
     
  5. xcroghanx

    xcroghanx New Member

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    I would advise you to maintain a good relationship with all your teachers. You may never know who has connections or who is able to write you a strong recommendation. Even though you will only be a freshman, those teachers could assist you even as a junior/senior. Either way, good luck, enjoy high school, and you’ll be applying in a blink of an eye!
     
  6. TheFourth

    TheFourth Member

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    Thanks so much, and also I was curious, if I had really good leadership, grades, and ACT/SAT scores but only JV sports would that be a hinderance to my application. And my track team doesn’t have captians, we sorta just let the seniors lead
     
  7. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Most candidates have some weak point on their application that’s compensated by some strong point. In your case, it seems to be the lack of varsity sports. That doesn’t have to be a fatal flaw, presuming the rest of your package is very strong. Just know that in the Class of 2022, 93% were varsity athletes, the highest percentage in academy history. In the end, control what you can control and make the most of your strengths.
     
  8. TheFourth

    TheFourth Member

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    Thanks! Also on my current leadership and extracurriculars would you call that “strong”
     
  9. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Way too soon to tell. You’ve only projected your classes and activities, and we don’t know how you’ll do on them. At this point, don’t get too worked up about all this. Heed the advice you’ve gotten, try your best, take every opportunity to meet Mids and officers to learn about their experiences, and don’t forget to enjoy high school. As many here have said, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
     
  10. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Any Boy Scouting in your future? If you are 14 years old, there is still time on the calendar to join Scouting and become an Eagle.
    Not just for the sake of attaining that rank, but for all the experience you'll gain from becoming a leader along the way.
    Scouting is all about leading, after 1st class rank. The life skills which Scouting teaches, are indispensable.
     
    Dino10 likes this.
  11. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    First, BZ for looking ahead ...
    Second, looks like a good plan, but plans are only as good as the paper they are written on -- the key is execution.
    Third, look for Leadership opportuties... this doesn't mean joining every club, group or organization that you can get a title. Instead, focus on something you truly believe in and rise to the top. (I will second the Boy Scout suggestion, but its not for everyone. The key is finding a good, active troop. (BTW , you don't need to work your way up through the Cub Scout program -I was a Cub Scout drop out and Eagle Scout).
    Finally, keep your nose clean ... don't do anything stupid. Not saying that you shouldn't enjoy your high school career, but don't do anything that kills your record.

    PS - your OP does not say "why" you have your heart set on USNA. If your goal is to be a Naval /Marine Corps officer, there are plenty of other ways to get there. Always have a Plan B, C, D.....

    Good luck.
     
  12. TheFourth

    TheFourth Member

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    Is there any other ways to develop leadership besides the Scouts? Like maybe summer camp counselor, class president, something like that?
     
  13. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Of course.. Scouts is just one example, or opportunity.
     
  14. JRS92078

    JRS92078 Member

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    Check out your school clubs. My DS school didn't have one he was interested in. So he petitioned the school to start a club he had to obtain so many signatures and talk a teacher into sponsoring the club. Have it be something you are passionate about. My DS was able to list Founder and President of his club for 3 years - he started it his Sophmore year. It became the 2nd highest in club membership in school history
     
  15. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull Member

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    Connections don't matter!
     
  16. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Avoid doing anything "stupid" that could derail your application before it's even started. Stupid includes use of drugs (including but not limited to MJ, spice, opioids, etc.), alcohol incidents (e.g., DUI, using a fake ID to purchase alcohol), criminal activity (breaking and entering, vandalism), serious school conduct issues, etc.

    To be clear, not every misstep is fatal. USNA recognizes that, TO AN EXTENT, kids will be kids. Thus, minor issues, such as the occasional speeding or parking ticket or even minor conduct incident at school, generally don't present any problems. And, in some cases, certain larger issues MAY not be fatal.

    That said, the USNA admissions process is increasingly competitive. If you have a personal conduct issue, you make it that much harder on yourself as USNA can find plenty of well-qualified folks without that issue.

    Thus, when you find yourself in that moment of decision . . . when your peers are egging you on . . . ask yourself whether whatever you are planning to do will hurt your chances of achieving your dream of USNA. If the answer is yes, consider carefully how you proceed.
     
  17. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    I didn't attend an SA. I watched my DD go through the SA application process and I have participated as an admissions interviewer graduate programs. Put my suggestions at the bottom of your stack (others here know more about the specifics of USNA admissions). That said:

    Remember this summer before your Jr year. People say that ACT/SAT test are "Broad Knowledge Tests" and that you can't study for them:----WRONG! You can study the SAT and ACT test themselves; how their questions work, patterns in question format, what areas are covered year after year, Etc--etc. Take a prep course (the most challenging one you qualify for),---- take two prep courses if you can. Find a place to take proctored SAT or ACT and do it multiple times. If you can, find someone in your home town/city who will admin the exam and then tutor you the specific test areas/questions you missed and why. Make the real ACT/SAT into "another day at the office. I have one DD (not the one at the USNA) that raised her Composite ACT 8 points. She didn't do it by relearning the 9th thru 12th grades, she did it attacking the test itself.
    You might even pick up ACT or SAT approved timer, learn how to use it and take it into the test, they cost about $40 and it could get you that critical 1pt on the test.

    I find myself agreeing with B&G again. He pointed out to you that your post didn't address the "Why" behind your desire to attend an SA, (something you'll want to have a firm grasp upon when you are going through SEA TRIALs or at "leaning Rest" during Plebe summer). With the luxury of time, work on your own understanding of SA academies, why you want to attend one, AND your ability to communicate that desire/interest to others. Its more comfortable for us to talk with people who support and agree with us, but if I were you, I'd seek out people who think you're Nuts to want to attend an SA. Make it a point to talk with them, let them try to talk you out of attending an SA. Explore their input and respond to them. Have those conversations as often as you can. Every conversation is practice for your B&G interview, your Nom Board Interview, helpful in writing your essay and (most important) advances your own understanding of the "Why?" that B&G referred to. Beyond answering B&G's "Why Question," do this and you will improve every college interview you have as a senior (including the conversations you have with the USNA track coach if you hit your goals).

    Good luck to you; never hurts to start early.

    .
     
  18. TheFourth

    TheFourth Member

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    So as for “Why”, honestly I have no BAM reason. No one in my family has been in the military, and the idea of an SA is completely driven by me. I felt I was being called there either by God(firm believer) or just my sense of honor/ duty. I mean, I’ve wanted to be a military engineer for as long as I can remember. Is that an acceptable reason or are they looking for something other than my reasons
     
  19. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    The only acceptable reason is the one that’s true to you. Good that you aspire to a specific profession, but be open to others. A lot of factors determine what job you’ll get, most prominently “the needs of the Navy.”