How can I convince my parents that this is not a phase?

TLDeck

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Dec 26, 2016
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My dad was a USAFA grad in the 90's, and an RC-135 pilot. I've lived right next to bases my whole life, and I have never taken interest in what was actually around me until about a year ago. I KNOW that this is what i want to do, and I know that they think I am going to grow out of it soon. Whenever I talk about taking AP classes, Civil Air Patrol, and other checkboxes for my resume, they tell me to just enjoy high school or that I probably won't have the same goals when it's actually time to go to college. They just put it off as a phase. I play 3 sports, and my parents think that the sports are all that I really care about. Has anyone else ever been in my position or just have advice?

Edit 1: Sometimes I think that my dad just doesn't believe that I truly want to put myself in the situation that he went through. It's a "prison" in his words.
 
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wildblueyonder

USAFA '19
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Regardless of where you choose to go to school, AP classes, Civil Air Patrol, and other extracurriculars will be beneficial to your admission chances, especially for really selective colleges. I would consider sitting down with them and explaining how you believe participating in such activities is a good idea regardless of whether or not the Academy is a "phase". That way, you will be in a position to continue working toward your goal, and they will be assured by the fact that you are preparing for your future (even if you ended up changing your mind). Good luck! :thumb:
 

usafagirl99

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Jan 21, 2017
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My dad was a USAFA grad in the 90's, and an RC-135 pilot. I've lived right next to bases my whole life, and I have never taken interest in what was actually around me until about a year ago. I KNOW that this is what i want to do, and I know that they think I am going to grow out of it soon. Whenever I talk about taking AP classes, Civil Air Patrol, and other checkboxes for my resume, they tell me to just enjoy high school or that I probably won't have the same goals when it's actually time to go to college. They just put it off as a phase. I play 3 sports, and my parents think that the sports are all that I really care about. Has anyone else ever been in my position or just have advice?

Edit 1: Sometimes I think that my dad just doesn't believe that I truly want to put myself in the situation that he went through. It's a "prison" in his words.

Tell him you don't want to limit yourself when you do apply to colleges, whether or not it be a service academy.
 

billyb

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Jun 17, 2010
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441
Why are you worried about convincing them? Less talk...more action. You prove yourself with action. 20+ years ago my dad (retired 06) never thought I would get into USMA. No worries dad, I did the application all myself, reached out to the coach of my sport and got myself recruited, etc...... I got in and graduated. I think he was stunned when the BFE came in. He is probably equally stunned by where I am today with my life. Sometimes others can't dream big like you can. Best part of that is that they don't have to. You do it all yourself.
 

fencersmother

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Persevere in your pursuit of excellence in all you do.

Then, you will have several options, some of which you may not even imagine now.
 

kinnem

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Oct 21, 2010
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I expect the only thing that will convince them that's it's not a phase is the passage of time while you still pursue your goals. That's all that would convince me. Parents sometimes like to take a wait and see approach.
 

Christcorp

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May 21, 2008
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5,393
1. There is nothing you can do academically, athletically, or socially in your school years that's any different for applying to a traditional college vs a service academy. So just excellent.
2. If you're going to do activities that fill "checkboxes" for the academy, you'll probably be miserable in school. There are no checkboxes. You don't need cap, jrrotc, scouts, or anything else in particular to go to a service academy. Choose the activities you want to do. Not what you think will fill checkboxes.
3. Military academies and military life is not something you think about as an option and then try and fit yourself into that lifestyle. Your lifestyle, desires, interests, etc are who you are, and a military lifestyle either appeals to you because IT fits your lifestyle, or it doesn't. The ones who do it backwards and try to fit their life into the military, either learn quickly that the don't like it and they quit, or they stay the minimum time and get out. I don't dis these people, but they could have had a more fulfilling life in their teen years if they found a career to match their interests and lifestyle, instead of trying to change their persona to fit into a military lifestyle.
 

seacadetmum

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Apr 26, 2016
Messages
101
I can't like Christcorp's post enough. It's easy to get caught up in #2. I have found myself as a parent uttering the words "but you need this for your SA resume". You want to make sure your kid has what they are looking for but what are they looking for? (No one knows).
#3 is probably the most important. I was like your parents when my rising 9th grader came to me saying she wanted to do Sea Cadets. She had been in Girl Scouts and hated it, she wanted "adventure". I thought it surely was a phase because I had been in the Navy and knew how hard it was sometimes. After the 1st drill she was hooked and over time began changing her whole life plan because she wanted to go to USNA so bad (like dropping all of her regular classes and picking up a full Pre-AP schedule).
Like kinnem said, all you can do is keep progressing towards your goals and that will show them it's not a phase!
 

KTMDad

5-Year Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
175
Our DS was just the opposite. We asked him when he was entering high school if he was interested in attending a Service Academy. His reply was "no way - why would I want to go to one of those and work that hard." My wife laid out a plan that included all of the things mentioned above (academically challenging, good extra curriculars, volunteering, great ACT/SAT scores, etc.). All things that any college would look for in a well rounded applicant. Fast forward to the middle/end of his Junior year and all of sudden USAFA is his number one. Fortunately all of the work he had done prior to get into a good school paid off. So as many previous posters have stated, do all you can to create a great college resume vs. trying to tailor it specifically to a SA. I hope this makes sense.
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
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Nov 18, 2007
Messages
612
My parents didn't just think it was a phase, they were quite openly AGAINST it when I first floated the idea the summer before my junior year of high school.

To "prove" I was serious and attempt to ease their concerns I joined CAP, got in touch with the tennis coach, applied to summer seminar and found this forum. Even after SS my parents were still not on board, so I made a plan to do the entire application process (to include all the medical stuff) on my own with help from my older sister.

Thankfully after spending A LOT of time on this forum and attending a couple parents club meet and greets, my mom finally started to get it and support me.

My point is, it doesn't matter. If it is what YOU want, just go for it. You can change your mind up until just before the start of your junior year at USAFA...so why not go for it?
 
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