rising freshman looking for advice!

brainman

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I'm a rising freshman in North Carolina.

I have held an interest for the military since I was a child (my father is active duty in Fort Liberty) and I learned about the Naval Academy when my brother first got accepted when I was in third grade. I have already begun thinking about my academic progression throughout high school, along with my athletics, leadership, and community service. I know it will be extremely competitive, considering I am a female in an area where there is a lot of SA interest.

I am enrolled in JROTC, 1 AP class, and 4 Honors classes for my freshman year. I plan on doing XC and Wrestling, and continue to pursue Public Speaking, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (martial art), and Civil Air Patrol. This summer, I also have attended USNA Summer Stem. I want to know if there is any advice for my upcoming high school career, anything I can do to make myself a competitive candidate as early as possible. Below I have listed some of my current stats.

2yrs of Speech and Debate: Competed at district, county, and state level. Spoke at a school district showcase. Chosen to give a speech at my middle school graduation. First in County for Extemporaneous Speaking as of my 8th grade year.
4yrs of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: Placed top 3 in over 15 state-level competitions. I am already registered for the National-level competition in 2025.
National Junior Honor Society
Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program
A Honor Roll throughout my 8th Grade year
Varsity Science Olympiad: Placed top 10 out of 45 in 2 events at the State Level Competition
Civil Air Patrol: C/SSgt. Attended Encampment and was awarded Honor Flight. Completed 2 Orientation Flights.
 
Great to have your sights set early. Spend meaningful time digging deep into the USNA website. Click on every link, tab and page so that you know exactly what you're aiming for, not just for the four years at USNA, but for the five (minimum) years afterward. Check your motivations also, to be sure you want to be a commissioned officer first and foremost (and not just hold a specific job, e.g. pilot, submariner, SWO, Marine).

Also, this advice we got from an SA admissions consultant (who shared important perspective though we ultimately went without any consultant): Take the hardest classes your school has to offer, especially in STEM and English, and excel at them. Seek leadership roles in which you have legitimate opportunity to make a meaningful impact, not merely win an election or hold a title. Be a great teammate and leader in your athletic endeavors.

His explanation was simple: USNA is going to test your ability to excel in a very time-limited setting amid high stress. So the best way to show you're capable of that is to excel under those very conditions in high school, across three dimensions: academics, athletics, leadership. Best wishes!
 
Welcome. Way to plan ahead! Ensure to look at the USNA admissions website as it gives a great plan for targets for each year of high school. Look at class profiles as this also gives a great idea of what USNA is looking for. It sounds like you have a great foundation academically, extra curricular activities and athletics. Keep doing what you are doing. Find opportunities to lead. That doesn’t mean you have to be a Captain or President of something. It means to find an opportunity to lead anywhere. Good luck.
 
@brainman. in additions to what MidCakePa & NavyHoops say (all good advice), become a "mentor" to some students that need help, get involved with tutoring students, be helpful in Math and English class (this can make a case for your Math & English evaluations to show servant leadership). Don't try to do everything, but do try to Excell at everything you do. The advice about taking the toughest math and English classes your school provides is key. XC will help you many ways. Be able to demonstrate you have had "applied Leadership" in several ways. Good luck. PM me if you want other specific advice or ideas.
 
I'm a rising freshman in North Carolina.

I have held an interest for the military since I was a child (my father is active duty in Fort Liberty) and I learned about the Naval Academy when my brother first got accepted when I was in third grade. I have already begun thinking about my academic progression throughout high school, along with my athletics, leadership, and community service. I know it will be extremely competitive, considering I am a female in an area where there is a lot of SA interest.

I am enrolled in JROTC, 1 AP class, and 4 Honors classes for my freshman year. I plan on doing XC and Wrestling, and continue to pursue Public Speaking, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (martial art), and Civil Air Patrol. This summer, I also have attended USNA Summer Stem. I want to know if there is any advice for my upcoming high school career, anything I can do to make myself a competitive candidate as early as possible. Below I have listed some of my current stats.

2yrs of Speech and Debate: Competed at district, county, and state level. Spoke at a school district showcase. Chosen to give a speech at my middle school graduation. First in County for Extemporaneous Speaking as of my 8th grade year.
4yrs of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: Placed top 3 in over 15 state-level competitions. I am already registered for the National-level competition in 2025.
National Junior Honor Society
Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program
A Honor Roll throughout my 8th Grade year
Varsity Science Olympiad: Placed top 10 out of 45 in 2 events at the State Level Competition
Civil Air Patrol: C/SSgt. Attended Encampment and was awarded Honor Flight. Completed 2 Orientation Flights.
This is a few years old, but worth listening to, as he offers great advice for freshmen...

https://www.foxnews.com/video/6308968380112
 
OP has been given great advice here. Love that they are starting early.

Only thing I would add is take standardized tests early and prep for them. Retake as needed to get those scores up.

I like @Don't Give Up the Ship’s advice re tutoring. That is a form of service and leadership of your peers. Something USNA is always looking for in their candidates.

@Devil Doc is concise and on point as usual. :)
 
Focus on getting good grades freshman year to set yourself up for success early, continue to do extracurriculars you’re passionate about.

Sophomore and junior year, study some for the ACT/SAT, take one of each, decide which one you like better, then study more for it the second time around. You don’t need to take them freshman year tbh…
 
OP has been given great advice here. Love that they are starting early.

Only thing I would add is take standardized tests early and prep for them. Retake as needed to get those scores up.

I like @Don't Give Up the Ship’s advice re tutoring. That is a form of service and leadership of your peers. Something USNA is always looking for in their candidates.

@Devil Doc is concise and on point as usual. :)
@Devil Doc is a world expert on trouble.
 
Great stuff already.

I’ll add to make sure you are plugged into information systems. Get on USNA’s mailing list (my sons joined at their MOC’s service academy days). Also connect with your nominating sources. Check out their websites. Attend their service academy days or information sessions. And get on their mailing lists as well.

Visit with your high school counselor and let them know your goals. They may have good input. Especially in a SA heavy district.

Lastly, consider ROTC scholarship programs. Apply for those as well. It’s not much additional work and is a good plan A Or B. Do an admissions tour of a college that has a unit and visit the unit during your college touring. Usually it’s a selection line item when setting up your admissions tours.

Good lick to you!
 
Great stuff already.

I’ll add to make sure you are plugged into information systems. Get on USNA’s mailing list (my sons joined at their MOC’s service academy days). Also connect with your nominating sources. Check out their websites. Attend their service academy days or information sessions. And get on their mailing lists as well.

Visit with your high school counselor and let them know your goals. They may have good input. Especially in a SA heavy district.

Lastly, consider ROTC scholarship programs. Apply for those as well. It’s not much additional work and is a good plan A Or B. Do an admissions tour of a college that has a unit and visit the unit during your college touring. Usually it’s a selection line item when setting up your admissions tours.

Good lick to you!
Thanks for the feedback! I am eligible for a presidential nomination because my father has served in the military (my brother also applied under a presidential nomination). Should I still be looking into/applying for other nominations? I've asked around, but I have yet to come across a clear answer.
 
I would also like to ask-

My main sport at the moment is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is recreational and not a school sport. I have looked into other forums and found that because it is not a team sport and considered an "opponent versus opponent" sport, it may be weighed as less compared to other school sports that I plan on doing. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I assist in coaching the children's classes and have accumulated over 40+ volunteer hours maintaining the facility. I also compete in state-level competitions, and I am in the process of registering for a national-level competition in the upcoming spring. Would this look good on my profile? Or should I bring more focus to my school sports? I am very passionate about Jiu Jitsu, and I believe it would show commitment (the core values, get it?) and character to pursue what I love. Any thoughts?
 
Thanks for the feedback! I am eligible for a presidential nomination because my father has served in the military (my brother also applied under a presidential nomination). Should I still be looking into/applying for other nominations? I've asked around, but I have yet to come across a clear answer.
Oh there is certainly a STONG CLEAR ANSWER of YES.

Have you looked at the USNA admissions site? It’s stated, directly from them, to apply for every nomination you are eligible.


Everyone qualified for the Presidential notation may receive it. Which means you have one nomination. But only a few actually receive an appointment charged to the Presidential nom source.

Instead, say you receive also a Congressional nom, two Senatorial noms and the VP nom. Then you have a total of 4, vs 1 opportunities for USNA to find a spot for you. Make sense?
 
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A few other thoughts on extra-curriculars:

Does your school have a math team? If so, get involved there. There is a big benefit that both your classroom scores and your standardized test results will see from exercising your math brain in that way.

Make sure to apply for Girls State.

Look at opportunities for national science competitions like Regeneron ISEF
 
I would also like to ask-

My main sport at the moment is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is recreational and not a school sport. I have looked into other forums and found that because it is not a team sport and considered an "opponent versus opponent" sport, it may be weighed as less compared to other school sports that I plan on doing. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I assist in coaching the children's classes and have accumulated over 40+ volunteer hours maintaining the facility. I also compete in state-level competitions, and I am in the process of registering for a national-level competition in the upcoming spring. Would this look good on my profile? Or should I bring more focus to my school sports? I am very passionate about Jiu Jitsu, and I believe it would show commitment (the core values, get it?) and character to pursue what I love. Any thoughts?
I would advise you to stay focused on Jiu-Jitsu. If you can squeeze in cross country or any other sport that interests you and helps you maintain your cardio, do it.

Our son did Tae Kwon Do for over a decade. Didn't play any high school sports. TKD is considered a year-round sport by the Academy as I am assuming Jiu Jitsu is. Sticking with one sport, and excelling in that sport, as well as teaching it shows commitment and passion. DS ran black belt tests, mentored younger students, taught adult and youth classes, and was able to talk about all of that and lessons learned in essays and interviews.
 
Thanks for the feedback! I am eligible for a presidential nomination because my father has served in the military (my brother also applied under a presidential nomination). Should I still be looking into/applying for other nominations? I've asked around, but I have yet to come across a clear answer.
The USNA website, your primary official source, directly recommends candidates apply for all noms for which they are eligible. Anyone who qualified for the Presidential nom and supplies the documentation, receives it. In that sense it is not competitive. But - only 100 appointments can be charged to that nom source in each class. If 600 or so candidates also receive that nom…

If you have not yet read every page, link and drop-down menu item at usna.edu, taking notes on key points, recommend you do so. Most answers are there. Put in the time and effort to educate yourself at the core info source.
 
Hello @brainman the rising freshman. Once I got over my rising freshman/9th grader bias I read and reread your three posts. I must say, you write at the college level. Post grad level even. Good for you. I've been a National Honor Society reader five of the past nine years and your writing, use of words, grammar, and thoughtfulness is superior to any NHS essay I've ever seen. Amazing.

I have no additional advice apart from what's already been given and the fact you are a female cuts your chances of getting into trouble tremendously. Good luck with your "academic progression throughout high school."
 
Apply for ALL noms you are eligible for. If you love Jiu Jitsu stick with it. This an item you might want to look at an additional LOR from your coach who can speak at the level you compete, coach, volunteer, etc. That would help show that this isn’t 3 classes a week for fun, you compete seriously.
 
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