C4C AMA: Ask me anything!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by HeWantsTheBFE, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

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    CrazyMarty -

    You don't have time; you make time. I think one of the most valuable pieces of advice we got from the gazillion briefings during transition week was, "Military training is the most stressful now--but academics are what get you kicked out." So for me prioritization has been key. I start whenever I'm able to sit down and study (usually a good bit before ACQ, if I'm lucky) by writing a list of what MUST happen TONIGHT (prep for the next day's classes.) I also write down what really should happen soon (tomorrow's classes, military knowledge, etc.)
    After that I do my non-assigned essentials, because otherwise I know they'll slide. For me, that's reading my Bible, showering, and basic core/pushups that I can do in my room. Then I do the essentials. Then I do the non-essentials. Sometimes I take a 10-minute power nap (at 2100+, if necessary) and resume.

    Does this system work? No idea--we haven't had any GRs, the PFT, or the AFT yet. But I'm not insane yet, and I've got a good idea what's happening in all my classes.

    For sports--short answer, yes, probably. Everyone must play an intramural, with a few limited exceptions. (Fewer this year, I hear.) That said, from what I hear, they're very chill. I wouldn't worry.
     
  2. AceD_2

    AceD_2 New Member

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    Just out of curiosity, is it mandatory to play a sport all year? For example, if you are on the football team and you are in the offseason are you required to be on a club team or intramural team?
     
  3. LFry94

    LFry94 2Lt 5-Year Member

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    The assault course was definitely a challenge. Let's just say that it felt like it lasted forever... and it did last forever. :thumb: My squadron also had a day of basic called "hell day." I can't divulge any more info so as not to ruin it for any future "Fighters," but it was worse than the assault course. Well worth it when it was over though.

    There's a saying here that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. It's very true. Every night, when I sat down in bed, I didn't want to fall asleep because I didn't want the next day to come any sooner. I just wanted rest so badly. But, the next thing I knew a week had gone by... And another and another...

    As AFrpaso said, you use every minute of every day. In between classes is when I get a lot of my homework done. I like to go to the library and knock out what I can to lessen the load later in the day during academic call to quarters.
     
  4. Bruce111

    Bruce111 Member

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    How is life at USAFA ?

    So, how is it going now? Is USAFA what you expected? Are your classes as difficult as you expected they would be? Do you like your roommate? Is the food good? :wink:
     
  5. LFry94

    LFry94 2Lt 5-Year Member

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    It's going well, and USAFA is exactly what I expected it to be. Classes aren't difficult right now, but I have a relatively easy load this semester. Next semester is going to be rough. Up until a couple weeks ago I got to room with a fellow preppie which was awesome. I'm rooming with a direct now (training staff made us swap roommates) and he's just as awesome. As for the food, Mitch's has some good meals and some not so good meals, but it's all better than the DEFAC at the p so I can't complain! :thumb:
     
  6. blakeUSAFA18hopeful

    blakeUSAFA18hopeful Member

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    Quick question for you! After reading through the thread, I saw that you were a preppie. Where did you attend prep school, and how well do you think prep school prepared you for the academy? Have you met a lot of other preppies? I say this because if I do not get into the Academy for the class of '18, I'll try to attend a prep school and reapply for class of '19. Thank you so much for offering this invaluable resource!!
     
  7. haleym

    haleym 5-Year Member

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    Fry went to the Air Force Academy Prep School- where they will specifically hand you an offer if they want you.
    I was a Falcon Scholar, so the AOG gave me a certain amount of scholarship money to attend one of the prep schools around the country and gave me security that I would get my appointment for the C/O 2017 if I continued to succeed. I chose to attend Marion Military Institute.
    Although I can't speak for USAFA preps, I felt pretty well prepared coming here from MMI. Honestly, I can't imagine what it would be like as a direct, and I'm extremely grateful I got the opportunity to gain some perspective/life experience before I came to the hill. I know it seems silly, but a year out of high school really does make a huge difference. If you're smart you'll use this to help out your classmates who may be struggling with homesickness and the shock of a new (and completely different) type of lifestyle when you do come to USAFA.
    As for attending a prep school if you don't receive an appointment your first time around (or if you don't receive a USAFAPS offer), you have a wide variety of choices: MMI, Northwestern Prep, New Mexico Military Institute, the list goes on. If it DOES come to this, don't look at it as road block- see it as a year of opportunity to learn and grow. Best of luck to you, I admire your initiative!
     
  8. LFry94

    LFry94 2Lt 5-Year Member

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    Like Haley said, I attended the Air Force Academy Prep School which is right down the hill for the Academy. To be completely honest with you, I don't think I would be succeeding here if I didn't go to the Prep School first. That extra year of preparation, especially physically and academically is paying huge dividends this year. In addition, I have the bonus of knowing roughly another 180 of the freshman here (all fellow preppies), and I know they've all got my back if I ever need help with something. The Prep School also gave me a leg up during basic training, because the first half was nearly identical to the basic training we went through at the Prep School. :smile:

    I wish you good luck through your application process and hope to see you here next year. Message any of us if you have any question. :thumb:
     
  9. pointguard

    pointguard Member

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    What is the monetary cost

    to attend the AFAPS?
     
  10. USAFAhopeful2018

    USAFAhopeful2018 Member

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    How long were the squad runs during basic?
     
  11. HannahUSNA

    HannahUSNA Hannah B.

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    Which do you think would look worse on an application:
    Starting your sports career as an upperclassman and playing JV, but working really hard, or never playing sports at all?
     
  12. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna 5-Year Member

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    Depends on the squad, depends on the day. If you're worried about being prepared running-wise, if you can do 5-6 miles without gear and a little less with gear, you'll be just fine.

    You don't need to be fast during basic, but it sure helps when the AFT rolls around..
     
  13. LFry94

    LFry94 2Lt 5-Year Member

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    It's free to attend the official USAFAPS.

    Depends on the squad/flight you're in. My flight hardly ran during first beast, but our second best cadre seemed to love running. We double-timed everywhere. :thumb:

    No sports will look worse. If I remember right, the statistics say that roughly 85% of cadets participated in a high school sport of some sort.
     
  14. blakeUSAFA18hopeful

    blakeUSAFA18hopeful Member

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    Thank you so much for the reply! I've been looking at Northwestern, but I'll do some research on MMI now, per your recommendation! Again, thank you so much for your insight!
     
  15. blakeUSAFA18hopeful

    blakeUSAFA18hopeful Member

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    Thank you so much for the kind reply, LFry94! I really appreciate your insight! Prep School seems more and more like the right answer for me. Again, thank you so, so much!
     
  16. falconfamily

    falconfamily 5-Year Member

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    Please understand that if you are not directly appointed, prep schools are either offered by the academy (USAFAPS), sponsored (Falcon Scholarships), or unsponsored (attend one of the prep schools offered to Falcon Scholars on your own funds, work to get good grades and then reapply/apply to USAFA). In reality there are no guarantees that attending prep school will result in a appointment, it will all depend on your performance at prep school. As stated by others, most cadets who have attended prep school think the extra year of maturity and academics are invaluable.

    Also understand that in the current budgetary environment, they are looking carefully at the prep school program and evaluating if there might be other alternatives for cadets who are not directly appointed. Going into FY 2014, the academy will have to decide to either fund USAFAPS or fund cadet programs on the hill. It is not an easy choice and there will be some wrangling as to how to accomplish this.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  17. icarus

    icarus Member

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    Drinking the kool-aid has convinced some that the "five year plan" with the extra year is good for them because it's the next best thing to getting turned away. Prep is supposed to help prior enlisted to acclimate to academy life but it's become something else. Recruiting athletes and others that couldn't get in otherwise have muddled the original goal. Although there are great preppies that have done well, there's more that don't and it's such a waste. Kids that have gained a slot after 12 years of K-12 are more impressive than those who needed additional "prepping". If you've done the work and have all the qualifications and recommendations, you get in. If not, you get a consolation prize of prep and waste another year waiting to get in the next year's class. The goal should be to get in directly not settle for mediocrity and shoot for prep.
     
  18. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna 5-Year Member

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    I love when posters group Falcon Foundation and USAFAPS in together...take a look at FF graduation rates before you slam all cadets who get in on the second try.

    All five of the kids who have left my squadron so far have been directs. Admissions doesn't always pick the kids who really want to be here the first time around.

    To the poster who was asking about going to a prep school as a free agent, shoot me a message if you want to talk about NWP.
     
  19. haleym

    haleym 5-Year Member

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    I can't help but disagree with this completely.
    Of course prep is not the goal- if you had asked me, Fry, Blahukahuna, etc... two years ago, we all had high hopes and fingers crossed for the C/O 2016. However, things do not always go as planned; especially considering that year was one of the most competitive in academy history.
    We were offered an additional year of prep because the academy saw something valuable in us. Perhaps we did not get the best ACT scores or 4.2 GPAs; but we showed strong qualities of leadership, character, and tenacity in the face of adversity. We accepted the challenge of an additional year, and like it or not, passed with flying colors. As opposed to looking at ourselves as failures for not getting an appointment the first time around, we saw this as a learning opportunity and a year to grow. I do not regret my decision because it has matured and humbled me. I am even more impressed with self preps, who work incredibly hard to make their dreams come true. I hope that one day we can all aspire to achieve that level of commitment.
    Blake impresses me because he is already looking at his options if he does not make it in this year. It is best to prepare for the worst, and to not be disappointed in yourself if you do not make it in the first time around. Needing a year of prep is nothing to be ashamed of, and should certainly not be treated as such.

    On a side note, the success rate of Falcon Foundation Scholars is 95%; and the graduation rate is just as high. In fact, higher than that of direct appointees. If you would like more information, feel free to check this out:
    http://www.usafa.org/Documents/FalconFoundation/Checkpoints092012-FalconFoundationAdvantage.pdf
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  20. falconfamily

    falconfamily 5-Year Member

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    Sort of off the mark here

    Don't know how this topic got into the whole discussion about preps and directs. It is really an individual matter, and no matter how you get the the academy or gain your commission, at the end of the process, you become an officer in the Air Force - that is ultimately the goal.

    The real issue with prep programs is more a matter of resource and in this climate there is going to be some hard discussions as to how to move forward. There will still be a need to get prior enlisted up to speed after being out of school for a number of years, the Air Force will still need to accept diversity applicants and try to get them prepared for an academically rigorous program. The question is how to do it as efficiently as possible with the resources that they will be given. So for future cadets, their options might be different than they are today, but prep school of some form will still be needed to meet the needs of the service. So if prep becomes an option as a path to commissioning, understand how they are offered, USAFA (no cost), Sponsored (some cost), or Unsponsored (you are a free agent and pay for the entire year) - and make the best decision you can.

    Cheers,
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013