I Need Help with My Decision: USNA or Civilian College

Old Navy BGO

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I don't necessarily feel relieved, and there were still many thoughts going through my head today about the decision (

Don't worry ..its natural. You will have those doubts from time time until that moment when you throw your hat in the air a little over 4 years from now. Don't let them consume you...look forward, not back and make the most of the opportunity. Congratulations and best of luck.
 

Tobycat2022

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My DS is on the waitlist and it seems sad if others accept and aren’t sure if they are really going to commit.
 

Capt MJ

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That’s exactly why the SAs allow mids and cadets to attend for two years without incurring an obligation. Everyone’s journey to the decision is different. At that age, it’s hard for some to sort between simple jitters and serious doubt. I was a college grad when I went to OCS, and had sleepless what-the-heck-am-I-doing nights leading up to signing papers, taking oaths and reporting in...and during OCS...and at the 6-8 year point, deciding whether to stay or go. I stayed 26 years. The journey unfolds one day at a time.

Appointees apply to attend for various reasons, stay for various reasons, leave for various reasons, and the journeys can be very different for the full-career-or-bust single-minded mid who may eventually decide to leave after 8 years, and the on-the-fence-might-as-well-go mid who morphs into a dedicated career officer and the first flag officer in the class.

So much change occurs in these years, with so many influencing factors, that it is quite normal for the entering class to be a mix of various motivations, commitment and enthusiasm levels.
 

Dckc88

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My DS is on the waitlist and it seems sad if others accept and aren’t sure if they are really going to commit.
I can understand how you are feeling, however these are 18 year olds. Deciding where to go and what to study is hard for everyone with little life experience to make that decision. Whether or not to choose a SA should be made with conscience thought and it is okay to take up to the deadline. Kids leave all sorts of college situations all the time, for various reasons and thought it was what they wanted. Others take a chance on something that seems a little scary and end up loving it. Good luck to your son, I am sure whatever path he finds himself on he will make the best of it and get to where he wants to go! Please keep us posted!
 

inception2022

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Feb 1, 2018
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Thanks to all the helpful folks who already shared their thoughts.

I want to share this link as it greatly helped my son who was in a similar situation. He went to CVW a few weeks back and accepted the offer as soon as he returned, knowing that his life will be different and challenging. We are also a very close knit family, so the separation will be tough for all of us ... but that should not be the reason to deprive oneself of this amazing opportunity.

http://www.academyinsider.com/advice-incoming-midshipmen/
 

inception2022

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Congratulations @Paul111 - I was so eager to share the link to help you decide, that I did not realize you have accepted your offer. Even so, checkout academyinsider.com ... the words that resonated with my son were "Be the peer pressure".
 

proudmom13

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Paul. You will be there along w my son! He also had awesome opportunities to attend other excellent engineering schools but after visiting USNA he drank the kool aid and worked hard to get his application thru. I’ve been up and down on this whole process but I am incredibly proud of him and all that he will experience. It will be a hard but amazing ride. Congrats! You won’t regret this. Wharton takes USNA grads for their business school as well as other great grad schools. Go Navy!
 

THParent

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...decision required me to look beyond my current doubts and short-term desires and I chose what I thought would be best in the long run. It may not be the fit for me in which case I can leave after my first or second year to pursue another route, but I will still give my all at the academy with the hope and desire that I will thrive there...

Please, please do us all a favor and post again sometime around November, and tell us all about your experience so far.
Good luck, and I for one think you may the right choice.
 

Sandydesert

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Congratulations on your acceptance! You are going to have experiences and travels during your time at USNA that your high school classmates will never know. While you are waiting for I-day after graduation, you may want to review an introductory book on calculus and/or chemistry. Also remember to break in 2 pairs of running shoes, wear one pair on I day and have your parents send the second pair during PS or PPW.

You don't have to declare a major until towards the end of plebe year. USNA will provide you with all the info you need to make a decision about your major. Last year, professors from different departments gave informational sessions about their particular academic subjects to the plebes. DS said part of the presentations were along the lines of "'If you like to do x, y, and z, then ABC major is something you would probably like." DS found the sessions very helpful in deciding on his major, as he was undecided for most of plebe year.
 
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believe2023

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Congratulations!! Please keep us updated. I do have a quick question..if OP would have decided not to attend..Does the USNA look to fill that spot..and if so how? Back to his district? the NWL?
 

NavyHoops

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Congratulations!! Please keep us updated. I do have a quick question..if OP would have decided not to attend..Does the USNA look to fill that spot..and if so how? Back to his district? the NWL?

None of us really know. USNA makes more offers than the anticipated class size. If the yield rate is lower than expected when it’s all said and done they could pull someone off the wait list. They could not make any changes if the rate is higher than expected. It’s not a one for one. For instance if this appointee had won his slate and was charged to his MOC and another appointee from his district with a Nom got in from the NWL or a presidential, USNA could of slid them into this spot, then moved someone else into their spot, etc. There are so many scenarios out there, but it’s not necessarily a 1 to 1. If It appears that USNA is going to drop below the targeted class size, the wait list will be used to get there.
 

Dadof2

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I don't necessarily feel relieved, and there were still many thoughts going through my head today about the decision (mostly, leaving to go on a challenging path which is separate from all my friends and family).

Paul111, congratulations on earning and accepting an appointment. You will likely have more thoughts and doubts over the next year, but that is OK and normal. My advice, FWIW, is to commit 100% to making it through Plebe year, no matter what. Once you have Plebe year in the rear view mirror you should have a much clearer idea of whether you should stay or not - and you still have another year after that before you need to commit with your 2 for 7. Making a decision after Plebe or Youngster year is making an informed decision based on your knowledge and experience, not one based on doubts or fear. Some posts describe a person or their DD/DS as never having doubts and knowing for 100% of the time at USNA that they made the right choice. I think this is extremely rare. For both my DD at USNA and DS at a SMC, they are doing very well but both have had times where they seriously questioned their choices. Both are still happy with their choices.
 

believe2023

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Congratulations!! Please keep us updated. I do have a quick question..if OP would have decided not to attend..Does the USNA look to fill that spot..and if so how? Back to his district? the NWL?

None of us really know. USNA makes more offers than the anticipated class size. If the yield rate is lower than expected when it’s all said and done they could pull someone off the wait list. They could not make any changes if the rate is higher than expected. It’s not a one for one. For instance if this appointee had won his slate and was charged to his MOC and another appointee from his district with a Nom got in from the NWL or a presidential, USNA could of slid them into this spot, then moved someone else into their spot, etc. There are so many scenarios out there, but it’s not necessarily a 1 to 1. If It appears that USNA is going to drop below the targeted class size, the wait list will be used to get there.
Thank you.
 

kinnem

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I saw someone mentioned an introductory book on calculus and wanted to mention that Khan Academy has excellent, free, online calculus education. Can't speak to Chemistry but I would be surprised if it's not there.
 

AROTC-dad

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Good point, Kinnem!
Khan Academy is excellent for Calculus, math and they even offer a free SAT prep course; all free!
 

believe2023

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Good point, Kinnem!
Khan Academy is excellent for Calculus, math and they even offer a free SAT prep course; all free!
Just be careful with Khan academy..they are switching to the Common Core standards and 17-18 yr olds may have been taught the way we were or a combination of the 2. That is why new studies are showing that math grades are currently going down on the standardized tests.
 

OldRetSWO

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Also remember to break in 2 pairs of running shoes, wear one pair on I day and have your parents send the second pair during PS or PPW.
That may have been important to your child but is far from universal.
My son (3 season track in HS) wore a pair when he checked in but they were not new and we did not ship or bring another pair during or after Plebe Summer. When he needed new running shoes, he went down to the midshipman store and bought what he needed.
Back in medieval times, we were issued a pair of general purpose Keds and did all of our Plebe summer in them. The only plebes with running shoes during plebe summer were track team members.
 

FeartheGoat22

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Thank you, everyone, for your good words of advice. I confirmed my admission to USNA last night.

I don't necessarily feel relieved, and there were still many thoughts going through my head today about the decision (mostly, leaving to go on a challenging path which is separate from all my friends and family). However, I made the decision because I know the path would be more challenging and will hopefully make me a better person in the end. I thought about what my life would be like in 10 years, having been formed through the program and accomplishing something important through my service. I also thought about the opportunities the academy would offer. My decision required me to look beyond my current doubts and short-term desires and I chose what I thought would be best in the long run. It may not be the fit for me in which case I can leave after my first or second year to pursue another route, but I will still give my all at the academy with the hope and desire that I will thrive there.

Congratulations! I'm one of your classmates for the summer and the next four years. I didn't go through the same struggle you did on deciding, but my parents did. They checked multiple times to make sure that this was actually what I wanted to do with my life. I know how tough your decision was, so I thought it was really cool that you picked USNA. I look forward to meeting you this summer!
 

Just Dad

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Paul,

I'm happy for you. I was going to reply to your question but I just got wrapped up in work. I am pleased to hear of your decision because your basic question sounded so much like my daughters experience making her choice. In the end her deciding factor was "The Mids".

She started as a recruited athlete at USNA, but at the end of her Plebe year she felt that she was missing out on an amazing educational experience available to USNA students outside of the classroom. She also felt that she needed to be in the top of her class to reach her own service selection goal. Like you, she is good at math and science but doesn't enjoy those studies. She is Poly Sci degree and taking HUGE advantage of the International Business, Econ, and Diplomatic learning environment around the USNA and DC.

Just sent me a tee shirt from the USNA Foreign Affairs Conference where she moderated a panel and was assigned a Senate Staffer to "work for her". She was embarassed, felt like she should be working for him; the guy was a published author re: terrorism. She's done multiple conferences and situation exercises in DC attended by think-tank folks and grad students from GTown and grad students traveling from Harvard, Yale, Etc. She is doing work for "3 letter" agencies/service offices this summer and likely next. She just surprised me with her tentative plan to do a summer block at the London School of Economics in her C1--C2? year. She will have to foot the bill for tution on that one, but thinks USNA will approve. Point is USNA is a pretty rich place for non-stem people.

She wouldn't be anywhere else. Couple months back I was out there for a long weekend; our time was coming to an end and we were walking out to a point,(can't remember the name) at the mouth of the Severen River. We past a cemetery on campus and I said something about USNA being a place that graduates choose to return to in death; DD said, "Dad this place is kind of the heart of the Navy, I feel lucky to be here, I am happy I'm here". Note: Last night she called to ask us to change her flt back to USNA at the end of Zero Summer Block because a graduating Mid wants her to formally shake her hand after graduation. She elected to trade two treasured days home with family and fly cross country in order to accept the honor of being the first to shake the hand of a new Ensign; its that kind of place. ------------- You made a good call young man.

Re: Family concerns,
It is a harder go for parents that first year, you will change a whole lot real fast. Tell them how rich your education is gona be in these next 4 years. Tell them to pay attention to all the lessons the Navy will be teaching beyond the class room. It won't change the fact that your Mom is gonna miss you, and feel a little cheated at not seeing your day to day growth. That said, knowing who well you are being prepared for life at USNA and how the Navy is investing not just in your education, but in your maturity, your judgement and your life experience, those things will more than make up for her feeling a little left-out at times.

Sorry to be late with the "help" but you should feel really good about your decision.



 
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