Is it right for me?

Is it a right fit for me?

  • Yes!

  • I don't think so


Results are only viewable after voting.

navalnaval

New Member
I have always worked hard and pushed myself during my high school career so I could attend the top universities such as UPenn and Stanford or Duke but now I have come across the service academies which appear to be equally as prestigious. I had never given a previous thought to these schools before. I am attracted to these schools because I feel it could challenge me both mentally, academically, AND physically. My only concerns are that:

I don't know if joining the navy for five years after is something id be interested in doing. (Granted i dont know too much about the navy) I've always seen myself studying for longer and perhaps doing research or starting a job.

I'd like to study environmental sciences or marine biology. Will I succeed and be satisfied with the Oceanography major?

I have the grades and athletics and community service to succeed I just don't know if I have the right mindset.
 
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Sydney C.

5-Year Member
Your own self-assessment suggests you've got the academic bones for top tier school but what's concerning in your decision making process is no hint of a desire to serve or pursue a military career, whether that be five years or more. Instead you seem more focused on the pedigree..... "I have come across the service academies which appear to be equally as prestigious". You may have left something out in all of this but if you didn't and your attraction is only because of the academies "prestige" along with a specific field of study, then this isn't "the right mindset" and you'll need to reconsider why you're thinking about go after it.
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
No one can tell you if it's really right for you or not, but your thoughts are somewhat similar to my own. I wanted a school that would give me a chance to excel academically in a hard science (math and physics) while allowing me the chance to play tennis at a high level. The fact that it was the Air Force didn't play a large role in my decision. I did some research, found several jobs that I'd be interested in as an AF Officer and decided to just go for it. Having zero-zip-nada experience with military anything, I had no idea if the AF would be a good fit, but I liked the selfless and motivated culture that I found when I visited. Fast forward 9+ years (wow!!!!!) and I loved both USAFA and my time so far in the AF. I am almost done getting a PhD in physics and couldn't be happier.

My point is, really look at what a navy career (or five years) might look like for you and consider what your goals with "studying longer" or "starting a career" are, because I can almost guarantee going to an SA will be helpful with most career goals. The five years you spend in the navy (not to mention the challenge of an SA itself) won't put you behind, they will give you a serious leg up in almost any endeavor. Good luck and happy soul searching. Feel free to message me if you have questions. Jumping into the military when you really have no concept of it can seem a bit crazy, but I am at least one positive example.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
I have come across the service academies which appear to be equally as prestigious
I just don't know if I have the right mindset.
> What is your end goal ? Attend a "prestigious" college, or serve your country as an Officer in the Navy or Marine Corps ? If you are considering attending because of "prestige" , you have the wrong mindset. USNA (and other Service Academies) is distinctly different than a "normal" college, and unless you have a sincere desire to serve, you will be disappointed, and likely miserable. I'm not saying you have to commit to a 20 year career, but you have to want to serve.
 

pilot2b

5-Year Member
I have always worked hard and pushed myself during my high school career so I could attend the top universities such as UPenn and Stanford or Duke but now I have come across the service academies which appear to be equally as prestigious. I had never given a previous thought to these schools before. I am attracted to these schools because I feel it could challenge me both mentally, academically, AND physically. My only concerns are that:

I don't know if joining the navy for five years after is something id be interested in doing. (Granted i dont know too much about the navy) I've always seen myself studying for longer and perhaps doing research or starting a job.

I'd like to study environmental sciences or marine biology. Will I succeed and be satisfied with the Oceanography major?

I have the grades and athletics and community service to succeed I just don't know if I have the right mindset.
No. It is not the right fit for you. If you changed your mindset, perhaps you could be the right fit for USNA and the Navy/Marine Corps.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
A couple of points. Focus on finding the best college/university for you. It may not be the most "prestigious" one. While it certainly helps to attend a strong undergrad institution, "prestige" is more important at the graduate level. While grad schools obviously take a lot of students from "prestigious" undergrad schools, they also take a lot of folks from "lesser known" schools that are very good and prepare students well. You might find that one of those is a better experience for you.

You mention that you might want to "start a job" right after school and think that is irreconcilable with a military career. Trust me, being a Naval/USMC is a full-time job. And then some.

As for whether a SA is right for you . . . no one here can tell you that. Looking back from the "other side" of college/grad school, I can only say that some 17-yr-olds know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives and that never changes. Most, however, find that their views, goals, etc. change quite a bit through college and beyond.

You might want to apply for Summer Seminar as that will give you a decent sense of what SA life is like. You could also request a spring CVW, where you would be able to spend time with a mid, attend classes, etc. Most folks who do one or both of these programs realize pretty quickly that a SA/the military is what they want or, conversely, that they want no part of it.
 

Enthalpy

2021 USMA Dad
NavalNaval, Continue to research all the schools for the career you feel you want to pursue. From other post on this board The USMMA is also an option when it comes to Oceanography.
My recommendation would be research, reach out as you are and gather as much information about all you options and make an educated decision. Visit as many schools as you can. No one can tell you if the Academies are for you, only you can. If you are doing what you are passionate about time will fly and 5 years will be gone in the blink of an eye.
Good Luck and Godspeed.
 

THParent

Member
The only thing prestigious about the USNA is that it's awfully hard to receive an appointment there. (Well - they do have a subcritical nuclear reactor on campus - which is pretty cool.)
Admittedly - it looks pretty great on a resume later - but if you're not ALL IN for the military, you should just go to college.
Many (but certainly not all) who hope to receive appointments, are already planning for a career of 20+ years with the Navy or Marine Corps.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
The only thing prestigious about the USNA is that it's awfully hard to receive an appointment there. . .
but if you're not ALL IN for the military, you should just go to college . . . Many (but certainly not all) who hope to receive appointments, are already planning for a career of 20+ years with the Navy or Marine Corps
I have a somewhat different view. If one considers the US News categories to equal prestige, all of the SAs stack up very well. Ditto with scholarship recipients (e.g., Rhodes, Marshall), ability to get into good grad school, etc.

I don't think you have to be "all in" for the military. I don't know that I was and I think many successful plebes have a few doubts. The fact is many appointees don't really know what the military is about beyond what they've read or heard from friends/family/BGO. Even those from military families may not fully understand it. I do think you need to educate yourself about the military and be excited by it.

I can't speak for those appointed today but I can assure you that I wasn't planning on a 20-yr career when I was 17. You haven't even lived 20 years so you have no idea what that means other than on a theoretical basis. Many candidates I deal with are somewhat overwhelmed at the thought of another 9 years b/c that's almost as long as they have memories of life. That said, I think you need to be open to a career in the military. Although it's funny. . . I found that many of my classmates who were going to do 20 yrs plus were gone after 5 and some who were certain "5 and dive" were still there 30 years later. You never know.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
I found that many of my classmates who were going to do 20 yrs plus were gone after 5 and some who were certain "5 and dive" were still there 30 years later. You never know.
--Exactly .....I was one of those classmates who thought he was a lifer, but things changed between 17 & 30 years old (wife, kids, Soviets quit playing submarines, etc -- I never imagined the P-3 would be around for another 25 years !). THP is right, alot of candidates come in with dreams of 20 year careers and stars, and that's all well and good...I don't do anything to discourage them, but am also realistic enough to know that not all will. What I look for is a desire to serve, and open mind about a career.
 

navalnaval

New Member
I want to thank everyone who gave me feedback. I applied to Summer Seminar 2018 to see if it somewhere I can see myself for the next few years +.
 
I want to thank everyone who gave me feedback. I applied to Summer Seminar 2018 to see if it somewhere I can see myself for the next few years +.
My son is alot like you, took lots of AP classes, is in IB, needs to be challenged mentally & physically- USNA was not on the radar until attending college expo his Jr year, he applied to summer seminar and started the application processes for his congressional nominations- he attended the last seminar due to an already booked school summer trip that interfered with the first two sessions. When he came back from SS he had made up his mine USNA was his #1.
 

SCMids

Member
Your first consideration should have been service to your country. If that is not your driving force, this pathway is likely not for you. Sounds like you have great civilian options. You should take one unless you find that service in the military is your first desire.
 
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