Lost

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Jwa, Jun 14, 2019 at 2:37 PM.

  1. Jwa

    Jwa New Member

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    I had went to USAFAPS last year and I withdrew a month before graduation. USAFA had been my dream since I was 15 and I had applied 3 times before I finally got an appointment to the prep. I even went as far to enlist to make me getting in easier and because I couldn’t wait to be apart of the Air Force. I wish I could put into words how much love and dedication I had to the Air Force but that has shifted since my time at the prep school. I was not only surprised but disgusted at the lack of my classmates ability to do the right thing. This disappointments only built and built, and when I finally had one of the most traumatic events of my life happen to me and no one did anything to help me regardless of how much I asked, I finally left. It has been a few months, and I feel such a loss of identity without both the academy and the Air Force, but after everything that has happened a part of me regrets my decision to leave because I deserved to be there after all the hard work I had put in. I have thoughts of reapplying but in my eyes there is absolutely no way they would want me there nor would I get accepted. I guess I just need some help to finally let that dream die and move on.
     
  2. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    JWA -- I can only hope that you had the opportunity to discuss your reasons for leaving with your Chain of Command, and perhaps a Chaplain before resigning, and this wasn't a rash decision in the face of the traumatic event, That said, attending a Service Academy is not for everyone, and it sounds like USAFA (or USAFA Prep) didn't turn out to be as you expected. It reminds me of the one of the Chapter prefaces in David Poyers, Return of Philo McGiffin (a book about USNA ), " USNA is kind of like a Steam Bath, once in, its not so hot..."

    I'm not sure there is much I can say to help OP, but for those heading to any Service Academy, the Service Academy may not turn out to be all you expected. There will be those that "lack ...the ability to do the right thing, " or more accurately, what you perceive the right thing to be. I always refer to it as " the Good , the Bad, and the Ugly, " the students (and officers) at the Service Academies are not all the same , and you will see everything. Go with an open mind, but stick to the principles that got you there in the first place. Finally, if you really don't like what you see, keep in mind that the Service Academy is not the real world (or as we call it on the Navy side, "the Fleet"), and things will be different. (Not necessarily better depending on your expectations, but certainly different).
     
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  3. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    So many things here. First off, the USAFA isn’t the one and only way to reach your goal. There are other ways. What IS your goal?

    What did you do the three years of reapplying? Were you in school? Or 3 years of enlisted? I ask because maybe there is another passion for you. Maybe ROTC? Maybe just going to school with GI Bill? What about ANG?

    I’m speaking as a mom here. To me, it sounds like USAFA is/was an ideal you had in your head and it didn’t live up to that ideal. You reacted to that disappointment and are maybe regretting your decision? My mom advice would be to tell you there are lots of other passions. I would have my own child focus on the future, coming up with other goals. Working towards those. Whatever they are. Instead of regretting the past.

    Life is FULL of opportunities! Soooo many. I have no idea if reapplying would be a good thing. Given that you were disheartened a couple times before. But maybe finding something else would be more healthy. It’s hard to know from a post. Can you find a trusted adult (Chaplin? Coach?) to speak with? It sounds like you are looking for direction.

    Know this though. In 5 years all of this today wont be a thing. I suspect you will find a niche. And blossom! Someday all this will only be a fleeting memory.

    Routing for you.
     
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  4. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Terrific advice above, so I have nothing new for @Jwa. But for incoming cadets and midshipmen who are lurking here, I offer this:

    You’ve achieved a wonderful thing: offer of appointment to an SA. If you’re like DD, you’ve had your eye on this for a long time — long enough to have built it up, idealized it, romanticized it. Plus, you’ve had people in your ear, telling you how incredible the place and experience are. Not to mention all the times you've heard people say, with an admiring gaze, “the best and the brightest.”

    Is it all true? Yes. And no. No place is perfect. No place is as good (or as bad) as people say. If you enter an SA with rose-colored glasses, believing that the place and the people can do no wrong, you’ll be terribly disappointed. Are midshipmen and cadets a cut above students at other colleges? Generally so, but not uniformly so. There’ll be some bad apples. And some negative experiences. And things that don’t live up to your expectations.

    But if you know that — and accept it — going in, you’ll be fine. As they say at USNA (and likely elsewhere): “USNA is a great place to be from, but not a good place to be.”
     
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  5. Jwa

    Jwa New Member

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    I definitely appreciate the replies I have gotten so far. I 100% believe I did my due diligence in seeking out my chain of command but time and time again things were brushed under the rug and made as though they were my fault. I wanted to be there so badly and to make it so no one would have to deal with what I dealt with but I couldn’t take it anymore. I regret my decision only because I strongly feel if things had played out differently I could have graduated because I was doing great in everything else. I feel as though I have nothing else to look forward to without usafa and the Air Force. My parents don’t fully understand the pain I went through and are disappointed in my withdrawal, thus making me feel like I have made the wrong decision even more. So many people helped me get to USAFA and to have left makes me feel like I have stepped on the people who helped me make my dream come true. I do agree that I may have put the SA on too high of a pedestal which has made this disappointment such a gut punch. But even with that realization I still have so much trouble letting it go.
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    I think someone asked above what your overall goal is/was. Is simply attending the Air Force Academy your goal, or is becoming an officer in the AF your goal, this matters because it will help you in getting advise on what the next steps could be.

    I don't mean to pry and you do not have to get into the details but, without knowing the particulars of why you left and under what conditions, it is hard to know what your options could be.

    Are you still enlisted in the AF?
     
  7. THParent

    THParent Member

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    What follows is just my opinion. I know nothing more than what you posted, so I had to infer more than analyze.

    Just to be clear, it appears from your first post that you pulled out of the prep school, and you were never appointed to the USAFA. To unilaterally decide that your experience at the prep school would be the same as at the USAFA, was the act of making a decision in a vacuum.

    If you did in fact do your "due diligence in seeking out my chain of command but time and time again things were brushed under the rug and made as though they were my fault." maybe these things were your fault, and what you perceived as being "brushed under the rug" were how the military deals with people who are at fault. There exists that possibility - at any rate - right?

    Then again, nobody joins the military that they think they're joining.
     
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  8. Jwa

    Jwa New Member

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    Both were/are my goal, and no I am not still enlisted.
     
  9. funnyesq

    funnyesq 5-Year Member

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    a Couple of things...

    1. You are young. Often young (and old for that matter) make mistakes.
    2. Never "assume" that you will not get X or in your post "be accepted" or "get an appointment." The motto in life should always be: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." You are guaranteed NOT to get something you do not ask for. There is always a chance to receive IF you ask.
    3. One poster commented that it's possible that you were wrong and that the powers that be called you out on it vs. "it was swept under the rug." Sometimes, a negative response is not what we want to hear but could be what we "need" to hear. You do not elaborate on what happened. It sounds like you could have graduated and instead chose to withdraw. It sounds like upon graduation, you would have had your appointment but you withdrew anyway. If you really wanted the AF, then you should have stuck it out.
    4. Going forward with whatever you decide to do, re-read my number 2 above. Re-read it until you fully understand it and it becomes a part of you.
     
  10. the number

    the number New Member

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    Jwa,
    The kids that are in the running for a Service Academy are the best and the brightest this country has to offer and you are in that group. An appointment, a commission or serving in the military is not the end all be all. The truth of the matter is you probably can make more of an impact on this world, make more of a difference not going the military route. Refocus your energy and drive. Don't beat your self up over a decision that you made. learn from it and move on. Let it go.

    It sounds like the USAFA chapter has closed. Its time to start a new chapter.