First let me say for all those who do go to the AFA, congrats. You are the premier students and deserve a shot at one of the most prestigious universities. But for the rest of us, I have a story to tell and some seriously valuable words for thought. I’m a freshman in college now and know exactly what you all feel. You want to leave high school, you check the portal everyday for an update, you look at your email way too much, and your always scrolling through these forums and seeing new acceptances. Well, it doesn’t get any better until you get an answer. I got mine in May from my congressman through a phone call. It was spring break and I was told I was the principle nominee, slated to attend, but my sat was 1 point short from qualifying for both the academy and a high school scholarship. It was devastating. I thought the AFA was the end all be all, the place I worked towards all my high school career. Well, it’s not. Things will fall into place. If you want to continue going after the AF, join rotc at a university. From there you can make the decision whether you want to reapply to the Academy. The reapplication process is much easier as an AFROTC student, but most student who spend a year in afrotc won’t want to go. I thought I was going to be one who takes another stab at the Academy, well I’m not anymore. AFROTC is awesome. I can see my family whenever on the weekends, I still have a social life, free time, hardly and requirements compared to a student at the AFA, and frankly I can’t believe I ever wanted to go to the Academy after living this life. Any of the officers at the detachments who didn’t graduate from the Academy will ask you upon arrival, why did you want to go through that? What I’m saying is don’t let your denial from the AFA exclamation the end of your high school career or your future. Everyone coming out of the AFA, ROTC, and OTS gets butter bars, so really in the end we’re talking pride. You might not know what’s best for you, let it play out. I thought I knew- I didn’t. Some of you will decide the AF isn’t for you as well and that is a respectable decision. Every single one of you AFA candidates are above average students, and I know your goal is going to be to do college right 100% the first time. Whether that means getting into the academy first try, or going to a university and making the perfect schedule for all 4 years and graduating with flying colors. The reality is that’s not going to happen, and some of you, like me, will learn this in the spring of your senior year. You will only be stronger. It is much better to fail trying than not try at all. AIM HIGH!