Seeking advice from setbacks/withdrawn MIDN, and all USMMA folks:

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by 2020KPGDJ, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. 2020KPGDJ

    2020KPGDJ New Member

    Aug 16, 2016
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    I was a member of the USMMA class of 2020, right around 1 st tri midterms of this (plebe) year, I got injured, had surgery on my knee and got set back. I’m at home now, healing and will be taking classes at a local college to get some ancillary credits finished (calc, chemistry, English, econ, etc.). When I heard about my setback I was pretty distraught, but at the end of the day I realized it was the right thing to do. Being injured, especially as a plebe really isolated me from my class and made me feel very alone, with few friends. Regimental life is something that I enjoy and believe to be incredibly valuable, and paired with math and science is one of the few things up here that I enjoyed and was good at (unlike the sailing, mechanical engineering, sea navigation stuff, and pretty much anything having to do with the water or the industry that we did in class). However, I began to struggle in my class and the regimental life after the surgery. Being away from Kings Point has made me seriously question why I came in the first place, for a commission to serve. Growing up I always had an affinity for technology and computers, but never cared too much for the water or the maritime industry, (like I said, it was solely based on that commission). When I got the letter in the mail, I accepted my appointment without a second thought, focusing only on a tuition-free education to spare my parents the cost of college. Being home makes me miss Kings Point, but also makes me realize that maybe it wasn’t the best fit for me. I feel as though the best two options are as follows: Go back to KP, and just suck it up, study something I don’t enjoy and graduate with my commission and an amazing sense of pride, belonging, and purpose OR go to a local college, walk on to ROTC (which the local college does offer, and apply for a DoDMERB waiver, which I don’t think will be a problem, it wasn’t for a friend of mine who had the same operation done), study something I have more of an affinity for, and get my commission and degree. If you have any ideas, as parents, alumni, current midshipmen, or anything in between please help me out and let me know your thoughts.

    P.S. I know there is probably going to be some flak for my decision to come to KP in the first place if I didn’t really know what I was signing up for, I have accepted that it may have been the wrong decision.
    murfthesurf and KP2020Dad like this.
  2. KP_2020DAD

    KP_2020DAD New Member

    Aug 28, 2016
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    I am the father of one of your fellow 2020 plebes. I have followed your story from the beginning and have a lot of respect for how you handled yourself during this difficult time. It's clear that your motives for going to USMMA were honorable. As a parent I wouldn't want my son where he wasn't happy and didn't feel that he could excel. My opinion is that this decision is yours, you need to do the right thing for you and that your parents will support you no matter what. Best of luck.
    AROTC-dad, grace and CMW like this.
  3. KP2020Dad

    KP2020Dad DS - USMMA '20

    Mar 2, 2015
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    I'm another father of a 2020 advice to him would be to start by identifying a decision timeline. When do you have make a final decision concerning next year? Winter break, Spring...? With that in mind, don't make a rash decision. You may feel differently next month, next Spring. Take some other classes, that interest you, over the next semester. Don't worry about the "flak." Those that love you and support you will still be there no matter what you decide. Being part of the various "Parent's Groups," I know there are many, outside of your family, that are in your corner. Take some time and don't let your decision be based on current emotions. Weigh the pros and cons and you'll do what is best you. Take care and good luck.
  4. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2009
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    As a 2x setback, once for medical, I feel I may have something of an informed opinion on your situation.

    1. Personally, I don't think decisions to leave KP should be made while away from KP. Its just too easy. Go back and give it another trimester to be sure. You will never regret staying "too long" but you definitely could regret leaving too early.
    2. Don't feel like you have to have all life's answers right now, there is plenty of time to figure out what you want to do, many of my classmates have made career change(s).
    3. There is definitely merit to the idea that one shouldn't study something that one doesn't have an "affinity" for, but that doesn't mean there are a lot of tangible benefits and growth opportunities to finishing what you started ... refer to No. 2
    4. You would be neither the first nor last to attend KP solely for the commission and/or with no interest in the maritime industry

    As for catching said flak ... while I am not a fan of your choice to attend, whats done is done and all you can do is apply the lessons you have learned regarding your decision making process as you continue to grow up.

    In the end its your decision all any of us can do from here is give you things to think about when making said decision ... welcome to adulthood. My inbox is always open.
    forumjunkie, KP2020Dad and cmakin like this.
  5. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

    Aug 26, 2010
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    Well stated (as usual). While I was never set back, I certainly had my doubts early on. . . and came very close to packing it in a couple of times, but instead, stuck it out. Presently, I am very glad I stuck it out. Anything that is difficult now will be just a small bump in the road when you look back on it. . .
  6. Fairhope dad

    Fairhope dad Member

    Jan 31, 2016
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    I can understand your dilemma. My son was medically dq'd this year from KP. He was class of 2020 with you. You made of heard about him. He was dismissed for failing a Methocholine Challenge given to him at NorthShore. He failed the test after round 5 of 6. His first pulmonary function test came back abnormal so he was sent to a specialist. With a professional administering the test he passed with 90% and the doctor informed the Navy that his lungs were healthy. A certain person in Health Services demanded the Navy give him the Challenge. The doctor told my son that he didn't want to administer it to him. He told the Academy he didn't want to administer the test. A certain person demanded it. It seems that the test is not always conclusive in determining asthma. My son finished 25th out of 380 people in the 5k the Saturday before. He beat at least 3 cross country runners. I've seen him run 10 miles in less than 90 minutes as a junior and a senior in high school. He was all county and two year co captain of his team. The bottom line is my son is allergic to cats, pet dander and dust mites. I asked him what the doctor prescribed to him for his asthma. He said nothing, I didn't need anything.

    He loved his fellow classmates and this was the hardest part for him. He really didn't enjoy being there but told me he would have made it because he committed to it. What hurt me was him thinking he was a failure. With his physical accomplishments and his ACT score he was in the top of his class at KP. Things happen for a reason and I do believe he is better off and happier now that he is at a school who honored his tuition scholarship and gave him a $5000 a year engineering scholarship on top of that. He's working at a golf course and is a pledge at a great fraternity. You need to decide if you want to go back. We can all give you advice but it's up to you. My son didn't have a choice. It wasn't meant for him. You will be successful if you keep trying no matter what you decide. Good luck and its your life. You make the decisions.
    ForGod&Country likes this.
  7. cruisemom67

    cruisemom67 DD USMMA Class of 2020

    Feb 4, 2016
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    I am a parent of your fellow plebe. Very proud of all the medical setbacks for how they handled the situation.

    In assessing where to go from here, you need to ask yourself, "what is my end game?" Is it something that will benefit by an excellent degree from KP? You were at the hall of distinguished alumni. There are astronauts, doctors, lawyers, political leaders who all attended KP. They obviously didn't plan to sail forever. You know the culture at KP. You know how tight knit everyone is, and how the Alumni Association helps other KP alums. What is it you want from life?

    I do agree that you should give it one more try. Don't make a decision away from KP. Best wishes to you, and my PRAYers that you will make the right decision.

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