Plebe summer isn’t easy. It’s tough for the parents too, but please don’t worry. Statistically, your kids will make it and be fine. Now here is the secret: the education they get is awesome! The experiences they have are amazing. Wait until you see your kid sailing in the summer sun with a huge smile on their face because they are sailing the boat. They’ve learned one of the skills that man has used since days on the Nile River or as a Viking going to sea. It isn’t easy. Even for the best, brightest, and hardest working kids it can be a terrible grind. There aren’t enough girls for the guys. Too many guys for the girls. Not enough sleep. They don’t always get what they want, but our mid can’t imagine a better place. My wife and I have graduate and doctoral degrees from universities from small liberal arts schools to Ivy League to international powerhouse universities, and I think I can say without reservation that the Naval Academy provides the best educational experience I’ve ever seen. When my mid tells me what they are working on, I get excited. He gets lost in it because his professors teach the material well. If they have any questions or doubts, they can make appointments with the instructor for extra help and it’s not like I had at any university. They get honest and helpful assistance and assurance. They academic staff really cares about your kid. Trust me, even during days of “shutdown”, without promise of Pay, his instructors worked with them. Plebe summer isn’t that bad. The worst part will be the heat. Maybe a moment for some where they wish they’d gone to a party school. They’ll get used to it. It’s harder for the parents because you don’t know, but they will be fine. They are safe. They get the food and care they need. We lamented how fast plebe year went by because we knew he’d only get three more years of the greatest place on earth. Then they finish plebe year faster than you think and they have Herndon and graduation. And you have them for Summer and they are off touring the east coast. While their college friends are “adulting” and “taking a first taxi ride”, our kids have worked on a patrol boat off the east coast and visited the great cities and seen the great sites of NYC, Philadelphia, Boston, and sailed through Cape Cod. They’ve learned to navigate, to sail, but more importantly, to trust in themselves and their classmates. Buckle up mom and dad and have the Kleenex handy because your kid is about to become a Mid and that’s the greatest thing in the world. You’ve done everything right. You’ve been a great parent. Let them fly now and watch how strong you’ve made them.