Hello, I suppose a quick introduction is due. I'm a female in my sophomore year of high school and recently I've been seriously considering the military/academies. High school has been tough because I feel like the majority of my time is being wasted in class, but I've pulled in the A's for freshman year (I wasn't sure whether this was important or not). Anyways, I've always had an acute awareness of my own mortality making me want to do something with my short life. While it may sound contradictory to joining the military (I think?), I feel that if I join, I will gain even more appreciation of life, and that it will give me a sense of fulfillment. I would be serving my country, but more of important, serving the people. I was looking into the Navy or Air Force (mainly Navy) because I would like to become a pilot. However, I'm only 5'2" (1" too short). I don't really know what to do with my life, and I was hoping that perhaps the military would bring some structure into it, set me up well for a good future. I do know I want to travel and see the world (influenced me to want to fly/pilot). Graduating with a good education and debt free is always a plus. (Possibly relevant) Side Notes: Biggest fear of joining (assuming I can even get in), death. Over the past two years or so, I've tried to confront this fear death (not dying ~ death ) I've managed to (sort of) make peace, but yeah, it's still something that weighs heavy. I'm also worried that I may end up finding out the military life isn't for me and being stuck (if I understand correctly, I will be 27 years old once the contract is up) I can follow orders easily, but struggle to not despise it if I either a) don't know why I'm doing this b) don't agree with the reason (in other words, I can follow orders, but I have a "curious/skeptical" mind) If not the military, I'm not quite sure if I would go to a "good college" ~ I really don't want to be paying off student loan debts in my 30s, so if I end up not going to a military academy, I would most likely try to get a good ride (i.e only pay for boarding) to a mediocre college. *A very good friend went to West Point and she has graduated successfully. Currently I have a sibling who just began her West Point journey (first year cadet). My family is not a military family (to be honest, my parents disapprove.) I want to get the most out of life; will the military be a good place to begin?