I'm now nervous about going to West Point

OGKid96

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Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
26
This forum has helped me a lot with tips of getting into shape, building strength and getting a full idea of what West Point is like. This forum even helped on how I should learn how to do pull-ups. However since my acceptance a sense of dread is now falling upon me when I think about R-Day and other stuff. I fear that physically I may still be behind others by the time the day comes. I have been working on improving my 2mile time for APFT which is now around 16:00 but that is still below the minimum. Now I'm fearing that I could be separated and I don't want to let down all of those who have supported me on this process. Academically, I'm pretty smart so none of that really bothers me but I'm just so worried about my body physically. I'm 200lbs with 17% body fat. I worked hard since last year to drop from 31% buts I'm still scared that I won't be good enough.
 

BTCS/USN

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Jun 10, 2016
Messages
277
OGKid96, If you were accepted then the academy thinks you're good enough. As for your own doubts, you are probably in good company. Most of the other thousand or so of your future classmates have the same thoughts going through their minds leading up to R-Day. You're going to do great things.
 

mom3boys

10-Year Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
2,184
If you were not nervous about attending, there'd be something wrong. On here you see so many posts about how horrible beast is. It isn't that way for everyone. I have the rare kids who enjoyed most of it. My first cadet (now a captain) was in fantastic physical shape. He had no issues at all--loved camping, climbing, all that stuff. The second one was in marching band. He only did sports his senior year to try to improve his chances of West Point. He loathed running. No amount of nagging could get that kid to run before he left for WP. He ended up with shin splints and was put on profile. Humiliating! However, stuff happens and all in all, would say beast was fun. You never know until you get there. Having a great attitude and a sense of humor will take you very far during beast. Who knows? My son might be your squad leader! You can do this. You worked hard for this and you will be just fine.
 

DrMom

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Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,413
OGKid. Say these words out-loud, "They picked me. I've got this."

We have corresponded a lot this year. West Point picked you early. There is something in you--some quality or skill that is valuable to West Point and to the Army. They picked you. You have what it takes to succeed.

You are supposed to be nervous--and it is ok to have doubts. It is normal for your stomach to be upset and to think, "This is a mistake" in the days before R-Day. It is ok to spend the first two weeks of Beast laying in bed at night with tears rolling down your checks while you regret all of your life choices. (And normal...eventually you will be so tired that you don't have time to lay there thinking about anything--but know that this is within the realm of NORMAL.) (By the time it is finished, you will look back and think, "Wow, we did some cool stuff/Glad I don't have to do it again.")

Also, your body will seriously transform during BCT. (Like you might want to do some before and after pictures for yourself so you can say, "oh wow!")

Keep running. Keep doing sit-ups. Keep doing push-ups.

The secret to making it is to not quit. To rise up every day and keep going. Never, never, never, never, never give up.

Remember, they didn't just pick you, they picked you early (not like my kid, sliding in on fumes last week...) West Point wants you. The Army needs you.

They picked you. You've got this.
 

jebdad

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
432
This forum has helped me a lot with tips of getting into shape, building strength and getting a full idea of what West Point is like. This forum even helped on how I should learn how to do pull-ups. However since my acceptance a sense of dread is now falling upon me when I think about R-Day and other stuff. I fear that physically I may still be behind others by the time the day comes. I have been working on improving my 2mile time for APFT which is now around 16:00 but that is still below the minimum. Now I'm fearing that I could be separated and I don't want to let down all of those who have supported me on this process. Academically, I'm pretty smart so none of that really bothers me but I'm just so worried about my body physically. I'm 200lbs with 17% body fat. I worked hard since last year to drop from 31% buts I'm still scared that I won't be good enough.
OGKid - It's natural to be nervous but you will be fine. My 2019 DD is not a runner. I spent the months prior to her beast telling her to get out and run and she did not. I really thought she was going to suffer and be miserable. I was wrong. She did fine. In fact, she would tell you the worst part was the standing around. Lots of hurry up and wait and time on your feet. Beyond that, she would tell you that the physical demands were not difficult. In fact, she enjoyed her time during beast, particularly the field time the last three weeks. Keep working out several times a week, have fun and enjoy your last 60 days with your family.
 

MAC_Daddy

Rationalization is the enemy of excellence!
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
48
I listened to a Coleman Ruiz (Navy Seal - USNA grad) once talk about learning to let go of things you have no control over (i.e. fear). It's natural to have anxiety since you are about to enter something you've not experienced before. It's all about managing your expectations. The truth is, you only have control over one thing: your attitude. You've already passed what is probably the most difficult step by being accepted. Breathe deep, now focus on being your best self. That's all anyone, especially yourself, can ask. Be ready to learn from the process and failures that come with it. Be comforted that you are not the first nor will you be the last to experience this doubt. You'll find pretty quickly that you aren't alone. Be prepared to meet the challenge with resilient humor! Save the angst for something else. You are taking your first steps into journey, not a destination. You'll do great!
 

kinnem

Moderator
10-Year Member
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Oct 21, 2010
Messages
13,984
I agree with MAC_Daddy. I would also add though that doubt, fear, butterflies, or whatever you call it, can be a great motivator. Use it for that, but let it go when it's a hindrance.
 

bookreader

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Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
809
For my cadet, running was his Achilles heel. Everything else he could do with ease, but not the running. God made him to be better at other sports-skills. So for his sport during the semester, he chose Sandhurst because it would help him get better at running. And boy oh boy, it really did. He will never win any awards in running, but he can now pass the APFT without any worries. So, you may want to choose a sport that will help you improve at running. Since you have to be involved in a sport, you may as well kill two birds with one stone.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
322
Here's an exercise for you. Close your eyes and think of the things you are best at and which come most easily to you. Now, I can guarantee you that one of your future classmates is somewhere right now fretting (and maybe even posting on a forum) that he or she will not be good enough at those things. Relax. People come in all shapes and sizes with different talents and abilities. You've come this far. You can make it the rest of the way. Oh, yeah, and when you're done with your musings go for another run! Best of luck.
 

OGKid96

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Dec 28, 2016
Messages
26
Thank you all of you. I'll be all of these words of wisdom in mind as I enter the academy.
 

brovol

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May 26, 2015
Messages
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My son really enjoyed Beast last year, all except for the waiting around, which happened a lot in the beginning. He said he had way less running that he anticipated, and it was not at a quick pace.

As far as your apprehension, I would suggest keeping things in perspective. They won't kill you, they can just yell at you. Just take it in stride. There was a time at WP where you might have had reason to wory about being a bit abused. Those days are gone. You will survive for sure, and then the academic year begins.

Whatever your reservations are, I am certain that if you decided not to go, that will likely linger with you as a point of regret for the rest of your life. This is more than doable for you, and when done you will have experienced both a tremendous sense of accomplishment and camaraderie. There is a reason you applied to WP. You are a kid with an American instinct to serve and lead, and have been carefully picked for a select spot which so many others prayed for but were less worthy. Take advantage of this moment of opportunity, without hesitation. One step in front of the other.
 

catlover2

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Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
124
I'm in 20' and I can tell you that everyone comes to R-day with the same exact fears. I had some serious anxiety of just not being good enough or not being able to catch on. I thought I was going to be the most out of shape, the dumbest, whatever "est" you can name. I fell out of two hill runs during BEAST, I had a horrible first APFT, my pullups were weak, and I sucked at everything from remembering knowledge, to land nav, to qualifying on the range. I lost my knowledge book half way through, found it, and almost lost it again. I carried around several rocks so I could stop forgetting things and I even lost some of those rocks. I saluted a sergeant. I got dropped about 6 times. I fell asleep during Briefs. BEAST makes you act unnatural. The easiest things become the hardest. Realize you will make several mistakes and they expect that. Your chain of command is other cadets and they are learning just like you are. Also, your classmates will be the same, sometimes better, sometimes worse. Relatively almost everyone comes oblivious to what is going to happen. Beast itself and West Point seems daunting before you get here but I can assure you that once you get here and finish BEAST, you find your niche and you blend in. Do the best you can in all you can for as long as you can and you will be fine. All BEAST is is just showing up and doing what you're told. You'll do things and wonder why you're doing them, you'll hate some things, you'll love some things but just do it. You don't have to be a know-it-all or a complete PT stud. Some kids say BEAST was easy and some say it was one of their worst experiences but one thing that is certain is you'll finish it, be better because of it, and almost forget about it once school kicks in. Good luck. This might not necessarily be consoling or what you want to hear but there is no uniform experience for everyone during BEAST. Just because a kid said it rocked and it was soo easy don't assume that'll be your experience, same goes for it being the worst thing ever.
 

Dadof2

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Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
355
OGKid96,

Our DD went through everything you described, and maybe worse before IDay at USNA a couple of years ago. The previous posters are right on - you already have what it takes or you would not have been selected. It's going to be hard for sure - physically, academically - everything. But look at the numbers - a huge percentage of people selected make it through just fine. You can too.

For DD, the trick was not thinking too far ahead. You are going to have some good days and some really crappy days. When the going gets tough, focus on getting through that event, or the next meal or anything short term like that. She was not much of a runner and started with one of the slower groups but she tried hard and never fell out of a run. Soon she was moving up to faster and faster groups. She never became a great/fast runner over Plebe summer but detailers noticed her hard work and determination to improve and were impressed by that.

Don't let your fears cheat you out of this opportunity. Just truly try your best, never give up and don't think too far ahead. You will be fine and you'll be so proud at the end of Plebe summer and won't believe what you were able to accomplish. And if you decide after a semester or year that it really isn't for you then you will be making an informed decision based on knowledge instead of fear. Good luck.
 

bookreader

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
809
This is what my cadet thought about during some of the tougher days of Beast: They (cadre) can't kill me and they can't stop the clock.
 

classof2022

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
56
My son really enjoyed Beast last year, all except for the waiting around, which happened a lot in the beginning. He said he had way less running that he anticipated, and it was not at a quick pace.

As far as your apprehension, I would suggest keeping things in perspective. They won't kill you, they can just yell at you. Just take it in stride. There was a time at WP where you might have had reason to wory about being a bit abused. Those days are gone. You will survive for sure, and then the academic year begins.

Whatever your reservations are, I am certain that if you decided not to go, that will likely linger with you as a point of regret for the rest of your life. This is more than doable for you, and when done you will have experienced both a tremendous sense of accomplishment and camaraderie. There is a reason you applied to WP. You are a kid with an American instinct to serve and lead, and have been carefully picked for a select spot which so many others prayed for but were less worthy. Take advantage of this moment of opportunity, without hesitation. One step in front of the other.
Was your son a runner in high school, cross country or track? How much running did he do a week?
 

brovol

5-Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,622
He was not a runner in HS, he played baseball, soccer and swam. He had to work on running, just like everything else. He ran two or three times during the week, and either Saturday or Sunday he and I would go to the high school to do a simulated CFA. I actually worried about him passing out during the run portion because a few times I could see he really pushed himself. He did get dizzy and it took a while to get good a few times. I told him that he needed to watch himself, but he still pushed. On all phases of the CFA he improved substantially, except for the shuttle, where he improved only slightly, and never got more than a little better than average for the shuttle. We got him a pull-up bar for the doorway in his bedroom, and he did pull-ups many times every day. When he did the CFA for real he had an audience of friends who were pumping him up just by being there. Everyone knew he was trying to get a West Point appointment. He told me he felt like he was flying for his run.
 
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