How do I deal with being nervous before beast?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by nwcdt2022, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. nwcdt2022

    nwcdt2022 New Member

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    I want to preface this post by saying that I am extremely excited to be attending USMA. But the closer I get to R-day, the more nervous I get. I play sports and work out, but I am not really the best athlete out there. I'm not terrible, it's just that I know that a lot of the new cadets will be able to max out the APFT easily, while I find it to be challenging. Don't get me wrong, I love a good challenge, but I don't want to be the new cadet who's always letting others down. Also, while there are some videos over beast, it seems to have a lot of mystery to me. Some people describe it as 7 weeks of pure misery while others describe it as the most fun experience of their life. And of course, it feels weird that I will be leaving my old life and starting over again. I am really excited to begin this exciting path, but I'm definitely gonna miss my family and friends. I hope that my feelings are normal.
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Completely normal.
    In fact, you will have these feelings before starting every new job in or out of uniform, the days and nights leading up to deployment or to the first command role, the night before your wedding, when you hold your child for the first time - and then once you’re in it, and doing it, there’s no room for anything else.

    Run, run and run, work on pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, at odd times, and push yourself. You’ll feel better. And, learn how to compartmentalize, asking yourself what can you actually do about something right at that moment, and learning how to stick worries in a mental box and focus on being in the moment and coaching yourself out of self-doubt - all valuable life skills.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  3. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Don't stress it. Enjoy your time leading up to Beast. You will do fine. You know what to expect. They can't kill you, and while Rday will be long, you will have tremendous pride when you march on out to do the ceremonial oath. Beast, according to my son, wasn't hard. More frustrating than anything. But if you were offered an appointment you can do this without an issue.

    Keep busy, and enjoy the moments. Be good to your family, and stay in shape. All will work out perfectly fine.
     
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  4. mom3boys

    mom3boys 10-Year Member

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    Ditto CaptMJ's advice: run!! Running is a natural stress reliever. Some people hate beast and it's like 6 weeks of hell...but most do absolutely fine. The ones who do poorly are unprepared. There is something there to challenge everyone, but if you cannot run several miles on hills w/out falling out, you're going to have issues. If you cannot ruck several miles wearing entirely too many clothes for the weather, you're going to struggle. Some cannot swim well, so they struggle w/ that. Some have never camped, so they struggle w/ that. Some are afraid of heights, so repelling freaks them out. Some struggle w/ memorizing. Some struggle w/ pushups, situps, following orders, eating what is served, etc, etc. There is something there to make you struggle, so you can overcome. Keep a sense of humor ans smile on the inside (NOT on the outside!!). Embrace the journey...in two years, you'll be a beast leader. Good luck to you! Go run. NOW.
     
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  5. brovol

    brovol Member

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    My son is a squad leader at beast this summer, and looking forward to it. He enjoyed beast and enjoyed Buckner last summer even more. Just go in with, and maintain the right mindset and all will be good. My son had never even been camping in his life. He was in excellent shape, but said after beast that he was disapointed that the physical pace was slow and really didn't challenge much physically. Some kids fell out of line regularly without repercussions. Again, attitude is most important.
     
  6. Walman888

    Walman888 Member

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    Thanks All! Nothing like the voices of experience. Invaluable.
     
  7. shinycars

    shinycars Member

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    My son is cadre for Beast 1. I have been working with some local CC's and asked my son if he wanted to give any advice. He said, "tell them to be decent human beings."
     
  8. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    Get up early every day; exercise until you feel exhausted. Rest, eat, repeat in afternoon. As stated above its a natural stress outlet and you will be so tired you wont have time to fret about it.

    Not to mention good prep.

    Only a fool wouldn't be a little apprehensive about R Day and BCT but don't let it ruin your last month of independence !!
     
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  9. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    I don't venture to the dark (USMA) side of the forum very often, but this one caught my attenti0n. The feelings are 100% normal ... there are roughly 4000 kids just like you (checking into USNA, USMA, and USAFA , USCGA, USMMA etc) with the same feelings. Some may not admit, but the feelings are there, I'd even go as far as saying the feelings are not a whole lot different than any kid feels going away to college for the first time. CAPT MJ is right...you will feel it many times in your career. It's FEAR of the UNKNOWN !

    The only way to deal with it is face it head on, and tackle each new assignment as it comes. A couple things to ease the mind -- 1) You wouldn't be in the position of attending USMA (or any other Service Academy) if you aren't a do'er and high achiever. You got admitted because someone (actually a lot of someones) thought you were qualified 2) Everything you have done in life up this point led you to this position. Service Academies (and your future service) are set up to help you succeed. Everything builds upon your past experience. Don't look back, but take strength in what you have accomplished and use that motivate yourself to excel in your next endeavor.

    I'm long past my time in the Navy, but I came to this realization the night before I took my first Bar Exam.. Of course I was nervous, but then I thought back to those challenges in the past ... 1) Philmont Scout Ranch at 14; 2) Soloing an aircraft at 16 (maybe 17...long ago); 3) NAPS and Plebe Summer; 4) My first true operational flight as TACCO on P-3 (launching on Russian sub out of Keflavik, Iceland , Skipper onboard as Plane Commander, and computer bombs right before takeoff)-- with those (and other experiences), the Bar Exam didn't seem so scary.

    Best of Luck, and of course, BEAT ARMY !
     
  10. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    What a great post!
    This...not so much. ;)
     
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  11. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    Just relax and do not sweat the small stuff. That is the advise I got 28 yers ago and the same advice I gave my daughter last summer. Beast Barracks is designed to take you out of your comfort zone.

    Show up in good shape, with a positive attitude and be a good classmate.
     
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  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    One of my USNA alumni sponsor daughters told me she never forgot I told her to “just breathe” her plebe year when she got tense. We saw her this past year, the night before she assumed command of her destroyer, and we were commiserating about pre-command jitters (“you’re only one 19-year-old’s impulse decision away from a court-martial”) - she laughed and said she was telling herself to “just breathe.”
     
  13. bopper

    bopper Member

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    Also even if you were going to a typical college, you would get nervous...New place to live, new friends, new food, new school, new teachers.
     
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  14. Humey

    Humey Member

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    You know how they say then when you are being chased by a bear, you dont have to be faster than the bear, you just just have to be faster than the guy running next to you, well that will hold true for APFT or other competitive events. You dont have to be number 1, just dont be in last place;)
     
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  15. Hoosiermom18

    Hoosiermom18 Member

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    Are you in the group chat with the other plebes? If not, I’ll get the info from my son and message it to you because getting to know your classmates would help too. I asked him a while ago if anybody mentioned being nervous in the group chat and he said,”well yeah we’re all nervous.” :)
     
  16. Goat 965

    Goat 965 Member

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    DD told me the same thing. It's perfectly natural. A really good example CaptMJ with regard to having your first child.........You bring your newborn home and...........well, it's nerve wracking, but you face it and figure it out. I am sure you will do fine, and remember that if you look around at your classmates, everyone of them is feeling the same. Be supportive and positive, and it will come back to you. Good luck!!
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Reminds me of a story of my son's NROTC Orientation. I know it's not Beast but I am confident you will have the same experience at some point.

    When we took him to orientation, after all the students left the room, the PNS continued with a presentation for the parents. He told us what they would do, and when, at a high level. He also mentioned that the orientation was designed so that each midshipmen would question if they wanted to be there. He also said it was designed so that, at the end, all the midshipmen would bond together. The Mids were not allowed to speak to anyone but the Sgts in charge of training and then only when spoken too. DS said he really had to think hard if he wanted to be there on the second day of orientation. He decided he wanted to be a Marine so badly that he would stick it out. He was committed.

    The afternoon of the last full day of orientation they went to a lake for a cookout, swimming, and sailing. The talking restriction was lifted. Sure enough, while treading water in the lake, each and every midshipman said they had the same experience. They also swapped stories of the "Did you believe that?", or "Can you believe he said that to the Sgt?". The midshipmen really bonded together as a team that afternoon. Evidently the PNS knew what he was talking about.

    So.... when it gets tough, stick to it. Rely on your team members, lending support where and when you can. Keep in mind the upperclass cadets know something that you've yet to learn, so listen to them.
     
  18. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    BCT is set up to make you succeed - not fail. It wont be easy but appx 75,000 new cadets have completed it before you so it can't be THAT hard !!
     
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  19. jebdad

    jebdad 5-Year Member

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    Tread carefully here. In my opinion, these type of group chats can be great for some and mental gymnastics for others. "So and so posted they did a five mile run in 25 minutes while wearing low quarters, a 50 lb ruck sack, reciting the entire knowledge book from cover to cover. OMG I am so out of my league..... I should be doing more"

    I know I start to sound like a broken record around here about this type of stuff, but leave that alone, enjoy your family, prepare yourself both mentally and physically to the best of your ability but don't worry about it.

    USMA 1994 said it the best in an earlier post:
     
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  20. KYparent

    KYparent Member

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    I am an advocate for the chat group and my DD is an active member, but, I agree 100% with your statement. If you do join, maintain your skepticism when you see outrageous claims and don't get psyched out by anyone else's story. We went to a new cadet meet and greet this past Sunday and my DD told me that they all shared a similar skepticism about the claims some were making.
     
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