Hi everyone! I was just awarded a conditional appointment to CGA class of 2020 (DoDmerb needs an additional form) and I am having trouble deciding what to do. I hate to admit this, but I applied to the academy almost on a whim. I've never visited, never talked with an AO or even with any real Coast Guard personnel. Nobody in my family has even been involved with the military in any form. However, I am a bit of a disaster awareness hobbyist (taking classes with LAFD and studying to become and EMT) and this, along with a strong admiration for the coast guard and their mission, lead me to apply. I know there are people here who would do anything for my spot and I feel some remorse for not taking this more seriously. I am a HS senior choosing between mechanical engineering programs right now (Berkeley and UMich are my top choices after a stanford waitlist) and my question is purely from an educational standpoint, how does the CGA compare? What are job prospects like after service? But most importantly: should I even be treating the CGA like another school when I has such a strong service component? If I can't visit before may 1st how can I get a better idea about what being at a service academy is like and how it differs from a traditional school? Sorry if this is vague, I am just trying to face the reality of what I have applied for.