I would caveat that by saying you need to learn to balance academics, fitness and the military component. You may not fail out based on demerits but you can be suspended for a semester or more based on demerits. VMI often uses the 3 legged stool as an example of good balance and 20 years after matriculation I think that remains true. Strive to be the best in all areas. I am not saying neglect GPA or anything but all of those areas are a part of being a VMI alumni.Grades are most important. Study and take a demerit for unshinned brass. Show up in shape, it will be one less thing to stress. Ratline and ROTC will be mandatory activities, but you will find you will need to make critical decisions on how you spend your time, there will not be enough time for everything so take a demerit and study. You will not fail out of VMI because of demerits, you will due to poor grades. You will not commission if your GPA sucks.