Leaving USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Merlinity, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. Merlinity

    Merlinity Member

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    Good afternoon, after a long time of deliberation since the day I got on the plane for BCT I am pretty sure that USAFA is not for me. i wasn't going to quit during BCT simply because I would look like and feel like a fool. I wasn't going to drop during the first month because it wouldn't be accurate of the academic year, but now I have the feel of what my life is going to be like. I want to change this world and be involved in my community on a more personable level than USAFA is offering me and the aspect of the Air Force simply does not coincide with my life goals. I want to be a politician, I want to be a thinker and innovator being involved with more things than warfighting and destruction, I want to be able to spend time with my family and not be hung up on work and school all the time because the most common theme in movies related to careers is people working too hard and losing sight of what matters most (time, family, experiences, and friends).

    On top of this, the only friend I have here is my roommate and I basically do not "click" with anyone here. I've joined multiple clubs and dropped two after learning that I don't like the people in them and I don't think the clubs get enough support.

    The idea of "waiting" until recognition poses two problems
    1. It's not the doolie year that's stressing me, it's the idea of the Air Force.
    2. The one thing you don't get back in life is time and that's the one thing I'd be losing the most of.

    Now I have to decide whether to transfer at the end of the semester or leave now and apply as a freshman student for the 2019-2020 school year. The money will not be an issue for school as I have multiple scholarships and a job lined up at home, however, I must decide whether it's better to apply as a freshman or a transfer applicant from USAFA. Currently, my GPA is a 2.85 and I only seeing it getting worse because "doolie year" simply doesn't let you put your time where you want it as there are too many mandatory events that I have zero cares in the world about such as the de-humanizing K-bowls and training sessions.

    With the argument being presented to me that my best option is to stay at USAFA because my future is "safe" and I will have a guaranteed job does not matter to me because it's not the life I want to live. Sure, I'll be able to "5 and dive" but there's no point to be in the Air Force if it's simply not how I think I can change the world. I believe I can change the world in a more effective way than following tradition, which is how most history is made. As Steve Jobs once stated, " the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."

    Should I apply as a freshman student to my top schools again by dropping in the near future and attending my state school for the 2nd semester or apply as a transfer student with a realllyy low GPA compared to high school and the image that I'm "giving up"? Any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Sam2018

    Sam2018 5-Year Member

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    So why did you get on the plane to I-day if you were thinking it wasn't for you back then? Just wondering. It sounds like you didn't really give USAFA a fair shake if you were having doubts other than just nerves before day 1. Did you apply for someone else? Just wondering what changed between applying and showing up.

    As far as when to leave I think you should finish the year, then you will see how life is after recognition. And doolie year is no excuse for a low gpa. There are many doolies who have gpas above 3.0 and most likely a handful with 4.0. Set your mind to bringing up your gpa, get next year lined up and finish the academic year at least. Have you talked with your parents?

    Also USAFA is not the real Air Force. Nothing at all like it really.

    Good luck to you.
     
  3. Merlinity

    Merlinity Member

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    I was told USAFA was my best option by everyone around me so I thought I would give it my all and see if I would fall in love with it; quite the opposite has happened. Parent's don't exist in my life. I'm not making excuses for my low GPA, I just don't think this place is where I'm going to change the world from on top of trying to balance family and relationships outside of USAFA. I just don't foresee anything changing my vision of the Air Force, recognition isn't going to be that life-changing. Sure I won't run the strips and greet in the hallways but like I said it's more the idea of not being able to create the change I want and foresee rather than having a "safe" future.
     
  4. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Interesting statement ... what did you say in your personal statement about why you wanted to attend USAFA ? It doesn't matter what Service Academy you are attending, it will suck if YOU don't want to be there.

    If your decision is made, I really don't think it matters much whether you leave now or at the end of your plebe year. No one gets life credit for "attending"a Service Academy or sticking out the first year, its graduation that counts.
     
  5. Sam2018

    Sam2018 5-Year Member

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    Giving it a shot is not a bad plan.... But I don't think you truly did that. Seems like you were deciding to leave before you showed up. Your choice of course, but years down the road you might regret not really giving it a shot.
     
  6. BBQ-Devil

    BBQ-Devil Member

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    I’ll give you the same advice I have given my son who is a Class of 2023 hopeful

    Even though his is 100% certain he wants the USNA, you really have no way of knowing for certain if the path you are on is the one you really want until you are there and experiencing it. People do change their mind and that’s OK. It’s life and you are still a teenager.

    If he is fortunate enough to get in and decides at some point it is not what he expected, commit for one full year. See that year through and make sure you have really tried. If at that point a military career is not for you then leave and enroll at Big State U and follow your dream. You will have a full year of an Ivy league education under your belt that you can take elsewhere.

    Good luck.
     
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  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I would hardly call what you have done "giving it your all" at this point in time. Give it an entire year.
    I do find it nice to know that you already have the maturity and skills to change the world. Maybe you should leave now so you can work on that. I, for one, would like to see the world change for the better.
     
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  8. Humey

    Humey Member

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    I would think completing the year and putting it in the bank and transferring to a civilian schoool with some credits would make the most sense. If you leave now, you will have to start as a freshman which may not necessarily be the worst thing. I am however amazed they you applied to and accepted going to USAFA. Your goals and philosphy seems to be quite opposite of what the academy and the military stand for. Maybe that isnt correct either and its more that military life isnt conducive to being a free thinker. In reality having a a sucessful military career could be a great stepping stone to changing the world. People do take you more serious if you put yourself on the line. I mean you could get a BA or Masters in something and then wind up working for a non profit that wants to change the world and all you wind up doing for the next four years is bringing coffee and doing office work. As for civilians colleges, while they are probably 100% more flexible (maybe not the right word), classes and what you study are just defined as any SA. I mean if you take European Lit, you are going to study Shakespeare and not some random author you may like. Not trying to attack you but honestly I cant see why you accepted it outside of people telling to you do so.
     
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  9. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    The OP earned the right to attend and try it out. This is the reason that cadets/mids are allowed two years at an SA before they are financially obligated. There was apparently enough interest and curiosity to motivate the OP to show up and give it a go.

    But it also is clear from the OP's earlier posts that there was a strong distaste to following orders and a inclination toward questioning authority. Not challenging big strategic issues, but little things, such as why no cell phones. The chances of success were nominal at best, based on prior postings.

    I salute the fact that the OP showed up and has been honest enough to express some very personal feelings.

    In my opinion, if the OP is that unhappy, then he should just make the move now, go home and regroup.
     
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  10. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    @Merlinity. I found your post very clear honest and mature. You have absolutely earned your way to USAFA, be proud of that. But it is clear to me you’re not happy there and you have already made up your mind. I think your plan to leave now is better. You can as you said apply as a freshman if you leave before the term ends. That is better than applying as a transfer student. I applaud your decision to go on to something you feel that you can do better whether that be to change the world in a big way or a small way, go and make a difference to yourself and to others.

    I thought I would never advise anyone this way but in your case I felt different. Go and work somewhere you desire. Earn an income and refresh your college experience somewhere awesome! Good luck son. I’ll pray for you!
     
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  11. Velocity2012

    Velocity2012 Member

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    After long years as an executive, my career advice is if you truly have made the decision to leave - leave. IMHO, if you've made the honest decision with yourself that USAFA is not the place for you it will be better for your mental health, and those around you, for you to move on. I however, whole heartedly disagree with your premise that you cannot change the world as a USAFA grad. My DD is currently a cadet and I have every expectation that she will in fact do just that. Ultimately the only one that can change is the world is someone with perservance and belief in what they are doing who has the ability to bring others along with them. USAFA teaches teamwork, and IMHO, that seems to be an area of potential weakness in your current state. I would leave now, take some time to re-evaluate my goals and direction, and start as a freshman next fall.
     
  12. usafa411

    usafa411 New Member

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    Do what is right for you. It isn't for everyone. The road that you are on is a hard road that gets better after the first year. ( I know) BTW/Many people have under a 2 gpa c4c year and are on acpro, 2.85 isn't bad at all c4c year and you are probably in the top 400 in your class out of 1000+. It will get better! If you stay you will make plenty of friends more like yourself, they are out there. NOW to your original question. Many schools know that USAFA is hard academically and 2.85 isn't bad at all. Transfer the credits if the schools will take them. You should be able to get most scholarships back if you paid the deposit. I know I thought about it and researched it and called the schools. The school I had a substantial free ride was willing to extend it for me. I decided to stay at USAFA and I'm kind of glad I did. My very low gpa as most c4c have is now a 3.7. Whatever you decide it will be right for you. Go with your gut and your heart. If you go and sounds like you will...I wish you the best of luck.
     
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  13. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

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    even Civil Air Patrol adks you give them a year if you become a member....

    just saying
     
  14. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    Pull chocks now. Punch out. Why be be miserable any longer.
     
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  15. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    @Merlinity: in looking at your 16 posts, it seems you have been struggling with this question since April. Now that you have a few months under your belt, if you are still questioning I recommend you punch out at mid-year and move on. You probably won't become an astronaut but looks like being a politician was a close second. Good luck.
     
  16. skismuggs

    skismuggs 5-Year Member

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    I'd usually say never leave USAFA on a bad day, when you are down and feeling unhappy, but instead leave when everything is going well and life is good there. But it seems that you have never and will never get that day there. It's not for everyone. Leave now but hold your head high. Good luck.
     
  17. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    Merlinity,

    I can relate with you bigtime! I'm the son of a career senior officer (think 0-7 and then a civilian equivalent of an 0-8) so when I finally was appointed to USAFA, I thought I had it made. I tried twice; I lived at USAFA, graduated from Air Academy high school...etc...etc...

    That being said...I was a 4.0 unweighted GPA type in high school...and I graduated 878 of 952 in my academy class; I was an AC PRO ACE! Five semesters on AC PRO. I hated the place; I loved the place, I cried a lot, I gave up many times, I resigned three times. Each time my AOC tore it up and said " your reason to quit sucks...come back with a good reason or get back to work."

    In your case...I don't know; only you do. Do you totally NOT want to serve? If the honest answer is YES then your decision is made and nothing anyone says here should matter, you should resign. If you're not sure, IMHO you should finish the year. See how it goes, where you end up, and how you feel after recognition. Maybe even do the summer programs and see what you think from that? Then..make a decision. It's all free anyway so no harm, no foul.

    Just my thoughts tonight...random as they are...but I hope you'll consider them.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
    (and retired senior officer, 878 not withstanding!)
     
  18. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    There is some wise advice out there that says, "Never run away from something, always run towards something."

    Do you have something to run to?
    I can't say I know exactly how you feel. At USAFA I always knew the only ways out for me were graduation or being kicked out (and that almost happened). You know, deep down, if the academy is the right place for you. If it is not, you should leave. If this is a temporary "life sucks right now," you know that as well. If so suck it up and keep going! If you want to be an officer, make a difference, and serve in the USAF, USAFA is a great path (but not without it's challenging days!) If that is not the route you want, GO DO WHAT YOU ARE CALLED TO DO!

    I'm a religious guy, and have had doubts about my path. I absolutely prayed, "God, if You want me to do this, I'm going to need some help!" Things haven't always worked out the way I thought they might have, but every time I prayed that prayer, something interesting happened. I'd recommend it, if you are ready for some adventure.
     
  19. Vaquero

    Vaquero Member

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    I would echo Raimius. Though I've not attended a service academy, a grandson is presently a doolie. While never feeling like the OP in the sense that USAFA is not for him, he has certainly had his ups and downs. He is likewise religious and told me that this has been the most spiritual experience of his life as he has relied extensively on prayer to get through and survive; and that in all instances, he has felt answers to his prayers.

    For the OP, have you made your decision and possible alternatives a matter of prayer?
     
  20. Oscar Whiskey

    Oscar Whiskey Member

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    It all depends on you. If you really want to leave and do something different -- do it. There is life after the Academy. I have several friends who left USAFA before graduation - some of their own initiative and others who would have loved to stay but couldn't due to grades, honor, etc. Only you can make this decision. My only other piece of advice is that doing the whole year to transfer with two semesters behind you seems like a good idea. But only if it doesn't mess up the scholarships you currently qualify for. Do your research on what make sense as far as funding -- leaving in Dec or Jun. It's up to you.