Questions about doolie life

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Cap'n Cookies, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Cap'n Cookies

    Cap'n Cookies New Member

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    I'm currently a doolie in my second semester here at USAFA.( 30 days to go) I find it hard to locate unbiased and more realistic reviews of what it's actually like to be a doolie, as everything seems way easier in hind sight. I can't tell if this place is worth it, because I haven't gotten that far, but if you have any questions about doolie year or bct I can answer them.
     
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  2. BlueSkies24

    BlueSkies24 Member

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    I know the academy’s life is a time crunch, so my question is how does this affect things like sleep, social life, and recreational activities?
     
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  3. dcollord98

    dcollord98 Appointee

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    a large part of life here is time management. If you get that down you will have no problem with sleep. I have 21 credit hours this semester and I get 7-8 of sleep each night. Social life is interesting we obviously aren’t leaving base much but you have your squad and it’s what you make of it. You can talk to your squadees about anything and always find someone to do something with, or get together and mess with upperclassmen so they don’t get to enjoy all of the power. As far as recreational activities go there are more clubs than I can count and plenty of things to do on base and outside base for the times you do get to leave. Elements and flights also plan dining outs during the week and those are always a blast.

    Hope this helps
     
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  4. lpoudel860

    lpoudel860 New Member

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    (In your opinion), what is the best and worst part about the first year?
     
  5. charlestonmom5

    charlestonmom5 Member

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    What do you mean "worth it"? Worth what? How bad is it? ~ nervous mom
     
  6. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    From one mom to another (my DD is in her second year), it IS tough. But, it is all in what the cadet makes of it. If they want to be miserable, they will be. If they want to "embrace the suck" as they say, and take advantage of the good and fun, they will definitely say it is worth it.
     
  7. Cap'n Cookies

    Cap'n Cookies New Member

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    It definitely depends on your squadron. How hard your freshman year is very dependent on your squadron; there are squadrons that don't do "training sessions" at all anymore, and there are squadrons like mine that have at least four a week, and sometimes two a day. There are days when I get out of classes at 3:30, go straight to training until 6, eat and shower, and go to training from 7-8. That gives me three hours to do homework, which is often not enough given my class load. And how bad your training sessions themselves are depends on your squad. This being said, there are a lot of people that don't go to a lot of our training because they are IC athletes, or on a club with LOS. So there are some really bad days, and some OK days during the week. The weekends are usually yours, but sometimes there is training for a couple hours. The weekends are your best chance to recover from the week, and catch up on homework. I do a lot of homework on the weekends, so that I have time during the week. I consistently get 6-7 hours. In terms of embracing the suck, there is only so much you can embrace. At the end of the day, you could be placed in circumstances harder than you ever have experienced before, and it takes grit to make it through. To the fun, the fun is what you can make of it. Go off base when you can, enjoy some non-Mitch's food. Join a club that you actually enjoy doing. Do Spirirt missions and hang out with your fellow dooligans. A lot of upperclassmen look back on their doolie year with fondness, but they didn't actually enjoy being a doolie. You won't really enjoy each day individually like you did back home, and for me this year was about survival.
     
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  8. ServantoUSA

    ServantoUSA USAFA '22

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    How much money goes into your pocket? I understand the base pay and such but after all the needed stuff how much do you actually make? Thanks!
     
  9. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    The budget anticipates that doolies will receive a net paycheck of ~$350 per month (some months higher, some months lower). On average, my C4C is spending ~$200/month in out-of pocket expenses (meals at A-Hall or off campus, cleaning supplies, uniform accessories, Boingo, Spotify, etc.).

    Net pay will gradually increase as cadets pay back the advances for uniforms, computer, and first-year textbooks.

    It a cadet is careful, she/he should be able to accumulate $10k in savings during their four years at the academy.
     
  10. falconchic88

    falconchic88 10-Year Member

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    $350 a month for a doolie? Wow, back in the day we made $60! USNA Plebes to this day only net $100!
     
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  11. Dolphin112

    Dolphin112 Member

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    I've attached the proposed budget for class of 2021 showing pay, costs, paybacks, etc. I'm not sure how closely it's tracked but this is what was available last summer.
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. Noppes

    Noppes New Member

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    Do you know of any fellow doolies that have maintained their relationship back home? Do you think it is possible?
     
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  13. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    "Back when it was hard..."
     
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  14. ServantoUSA

    ServantoUSA USAFA '22

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    If I test out of a class, lets say foreign language, will it lighten my load for doolie year?
     
  15. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    Like many other things associated with the academies (and life, in general), I would answer this as perhaps. In many cases other courses will be slid forward a semester or two to fill the slots opened up when you test out of (validate) a course.
     
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  16. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    It depends. The average load is 6 or 7 classes (are they still doing 5 for the 1st semester? I don't remember if we did that). If you validate classes, they will probably slide up classes to keep you with at least 6 per semester. So, if you were going to have a 7 class semester, potentially you are reducing the load. If you were going to have 6, they'll probably shuffle the schedule. That said, by validating, you get more options in which classes you get to take and/or can work with your adviser to plan out when to take each class a bit more easily. I recommend validating, if you can.
     
  17. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    Per the 2017 Curriculum Handbook (pages 23 - 24) for USAFA:

    https://www.usafa.edu/app/uploads/CHB.pdf

    d. Course Load. When planning course loads, cadets should attempt to balance their schedules
    as much as possible. The waiver authority for course loading is DFR.
    (1) For the fourth-class fall semester, the maximum semester hour load is 17.5 semester
    hours; the minimum semester hour load is 13.5 semester hours. Cadets determined to be
    academically at-risk will take 4 academic courses their first semester and Learn Strat 101
    (see para 6-5); the course loads for their first two semesters are determined upon entry
    into the Academy.
    (2) For the fourth-class spring semester, the maximum semester hour load is 21.25
    semester hours; the minimum semester hour load is 14.5 semester hours. The semester
    hour range for academically at-risk fourth-class cadets in the spring semester is 14.5 –
    17.5 semester hours. In addition, academically at-risk cadets will normally be granted an
    academics-plus-summer break slot in the summer prior to their third-class year. If an
    academically at-risk cadet earns a 2.80 semester GPA or higher at the end of the fall
    semester, is academically proficient, and passes all coursework in the fall semester,
    he/she can opt out of the academics-plus-summer break slot, opening the opportunity for
    other summer programs, such as Airmanship, Cyber, Space, and RPA courses.
    (3) For third-class, second-class, and first-class cadets, the maximum semester hour load
    is 22.0 semester hours; the minimum semester hour load is 14.5 semester hours. Cadets
    in good standing may exceed 22.0 semester hours if they have a minimum 3.25
    cumulative or previous semester GPA.
    (4) The minimum semester hour load for the Wing Commander, Vice Wing Commander,
    the four Group Commanders, the Wing Honor Chair, the Deputy Wing Honor Chairs, and
    the eight Group Honor Chairs is 12.5 semester hours.
     
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  18. Cap'n Cookies

    Cap'n Cookies New Member

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    A lot of the 4 degs in my squad(ron) still have their significant others from back home, but it is very hard, and there is always a disconnect because you're going through something they will never understand. It is definitely possible, but I would be careful
     
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  19. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    Google 2% club.
     
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  20. Flygirl22

    Flygirl22 New Member

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    What kind of things do you do in training sessions?
     
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