If your 4C/plebe is ready to quit ....

A1Janitor

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
2,163
The rats are common occurences, according to my now ensign. I sent him mouse and rat traps during plebe year. It is my understanding that if a mid catches a live rat/mouse, the rodent is selected for one of the following by the mid: sub school (flush); parachute school (flung out the window of an upper deck Bancroft dorm room. There was a third option as well, which I don't remember.

It breaks my heart to think they hurt animals this way.
 

Don't Give Up the Ship

BGO Affliliate & USNA 2023 Dad
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
317
It depends on where you live in Mother B. My DS lives in 7th Co. and aparantly its been renewed, relatively recently...he has never heard a rat. But it wouldn't phase him anyway. He says the food has improved quite a bit a month before Christmas Leave. He doesn't seem to eat much.
 

Devil Doc

Teufel Doc
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
2,957
It depends on where you live in Mother B. My DS lives in 7th Co. and aparantly its been renewed, relatively recently...he has never heard a rat. But it wouldn't phase him anyway. He says the food has improved quite a bit a month before Christmas Leave. He doesn't seem to eat much.
Neither do the rats. They just gnaw a lot.
 

ThereseInDenver

Mom of USNA 2024/Plebe
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
20
Hi parents, as we prepare to send our young adults back to school this month, I'd love to hear from others with plebes/4C's at service academies who are ready to leave. (I've read the excellent advice from others in the thread begun in October, but would love to hear from other parents who are dealing with this right now.) We definitely want our kid to hang in there through the summer, and know the conversations about "making a plan," but these are pretty emotional conversations. It's difficult knowing how much they wanted this last spring.
But just so I know I'm not alone: How are you handling it, both in conversations with your child and with yourself?
HA....we picked up a young adult at the airport 12/13, but we had a petulant high school junior again for at least a week, then the young adult clawed his way back to the surface. We went through several days of "I don't want to go back", but it never percolated beyond venting. One thing that really helped... squad leaders and the senior members of the parachute team reached out during leave. Unanimous theme was, "yep...dark ages are going to suck. But all of the good stuff, all of the best moments of your life at USNA are coming. Hang in there."
 

ThereseInDenver

Mom of USNA 2024/Plebe
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
20
Despite what friends are posting on social media.
I asked my son's cousins and the sons of my soccer friends to give him the real story, not the insta-version--of how things were going for them as college students. I think it worked....he heard from cousins at prestigious schools with most freshman classes being taught by TAs and freshman getting closed out of classes they want because so many faculty are taking sabbaticals. He heard from friends at home in virtual learning, torn between seeing friends and knowing that if they bent the rules, they were putting parents and grandparents at greater COVID risk.
 

ThereseInDenver

Mom of USNA 2024/Plebe
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
20
A timely reminder as you prepare offspring to head off to dorm living - how to secure food in containers.

Mids who departed for spring break at USNA and then did not return - food left in rooms rotted, molded, attracted all kinds of bugs and vermin. Bancroft Hall was a ghost town for some months.
AMEN. Many of the class of 2024 plebes moved in to rooms that had not been cleaned. I hope no class ever goes through that particular welcome, ever again. The worst night for me was 6/29 when my 2024 plebe called us before lights out, the night before his I-day report. His roommate had not yet arrived and he was alone in a room that had layers of dust and trash still in the trashcans. He could hear bugs and the famous mice scurrying around. He was asking us what bedbugs look like. Ugh.
 

DSANN

Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
116
Bubbling this thread back up - I am hearing of other plebes wanting to leave. I think the advice here (minus the mouse/bug/rat talk) is really good advice.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
6,777
Bubbling this thread back up - I am hearing of other plebes wanting to leave. I think the advice here (minus the mouse/bug/rat talk) is really good advice.

This is probably the worst time of year, COVID or no COVID, for any Mid, especially a Plebe. Its dark, its cold, they are tired of being at the bottom of the food chain. As many mentioned, as much as their friends are bragging about "college life" we know the reality is life isn't much better on civilian campuses and some families, including those on this forum, are paying $50k+ a year for it. COVID tossed in has made it even worse for Mids, especially Plebes who have never experienced anything different. Fingers crossed they can get a few months of normal Plebe life capped off with Sea Trials and Herndon. May 1/C Mids have families attend graduation, even if its only a few tickets per a family. Majority of Plebes will stay, they are venting. I think the good part will be as things warm up, hopefully that aligns with vaccines and returning to some form of normalcy for the Brigade. Once spring hits and the tulips bloom, USNA actually has a magic to it. Mids are in a better mood, they are excited for summer, ready for that next step of leadership, Firsties are ready to graduate and become members of the fleet or attending training. There are 1/C Mids right now who in 4 months will be reporting to their first ships, leading Sailors and out on deployment within days/weeks of graduation. Mids are resilient, its a key part of being in the military. They have learned more lessons than they know that will help carry them forward as officers throughout the last year.
 

Heatherg21

USNA mom Bacon Lover Dog Lover
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
1,635
Encourage mids who are struggling mentally to reach out. If their roommate isn't their best support, branch out to others in their company. Find something to giggle or laugh uproariously about. I know the epic snowball fights Monday helped morale. Little things are going a long way right now. Maybe treat this a little like plebe summer with handwritten notes, nonsensical silly happenings at home, postcards of the pets. Those little things added up to get some bummed plebes through the summer. No reason they couldn't help now. Also, this semester is literally shorter (ie, no plebe summer added to it) so they will be done before they know it. Tough times for sure.
 

HCopter

Member
Joined
May 16, 2017
Messages
426
For more perspective, watch a couple episodes of The Most Dangerous Ways to School currently available on amazon prime, or the longer full length movie On the Way to School (not free right now).
 

beachcomber70

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
Messages
13
Worth remembering the saying about time at SAs being broken into three “equal” parts: plebe summer, plebe ac year, the final three years.

So yes, pandemic conditions stink — and they stink at every college. But if a plebe can stick it out for one more semester, they’re literally two-thirds through the experience, with some of the best stuff still to come!
wondering if we need to update the adage above....equal parts: plebe summer, plebe ac year, COVID restriction years, and whatever time is left...
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
6,391
None of us grads knows what it's like to endure USNA during COVID. However, all of us have been on deployments -- 6 months and often longer. As officers, it's tough but not too bad. It can be really rough on junior enlisted personnel who are working long hours of shift work, sleeping under a catapult, trying not to be sucked into a jet engine or thrown overboard by engine blast, and who may or may not have port calls. And who are making a whole lot less money than the officers. Those are the folks the mids will be leading.

Then there are the officers and enlisted of my dad's generation who went off to WAR and told they would come home when the war was over (and hopefully, we won). It was 4 years for my father as an enlisted Marine in the Pacific theater. That was tough!

I realize today's generation is different. But if mids can't "take" this level of stress and discomfort, they are really going to struggle in the Fleet.

The above said, I fully echo the sentiment that, if someone is struggling emotionally, he / she should reach out to a chaplains, psychologist, professor, mentor, etc. Get help first and then sort out whether the military is the right place for you.
 

2020HD

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
88
I have 3 sons and 2 of them aren’t even REMOTELY interested in the military. Yet the 2020 USMA graduate seemed programmed from kindergarten to go in that direction. Although he had a 4 year NROTC scholarship, he told us (and I believe him) that if he didn’t get into WP he was enlisting.
I share this to remind any cadets/mids that are wobbling that they need to keep “the why” they are where they are front and center in their mind: they’re training to be officers in our armed forces. If that’s what you want but you’re uncomfortable right now, don’t tap out... being uncomfortable will end. Giving up on a dream because you were temporarily uncomfortable will permanently haunt you, perhaps beginning later the same day you do it. Conversely, if there wasn’t a burning desire to serve in the first place, and they’re absolutely miserable at an SA, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to slog through just because. That’s almost like getting married to someone even after you realize you don’t want to “but it’s too late because invitations were already mailed”.

I’m not confident that every young person can get their head around that, but as an older adult I think you have to present it on the chance that they will.
 
Top