So, how is your Plebe Doing?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Just Dad, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    Boards change over time, but it seems like last year there was a lot more chatter among plebe parents re: the progress of their DD DS through the 6weeks of PS, and the angst of being a Plebe Parent.

    I hate to beg, but I visit this board (in large part) because of the community it represents. I think your kids are amazing and I think they've found an incredibly rewarding place to study and mature, (sheesh my DD's summer has been pretty ordinary for a Youngster, but EXTRAORDINARY relative to her high school mates).

    So, how is your Plebe Doing? Did that first letter home say "What Have I DONE?!?" How is the snail mail working out for you? (I kinda enjoyed it). Husband driving you nuts? Wife driving you nuts----more than she would normally? Has DD/DS told you about their amazing company mates? Are you smuggling caffeine yet? (don't reveal methods). Any funny stories from your Plebe? Anything that made you proud or something he/she said that let you know that its all gonna be OK?----Something else?

    upload_2017-7-25_12-56-29.jpeg

    BTW, My honest heartfelt congratulations on your parenting job.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  2. anne99

    anne99 Member

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    I think most of the chatter has migrated to Facebook groups and this forum tends to be more for those trying to get appointed. But since you asked... my plebe is doing exceptionally well!
     
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  3. mpk19

    mpk19 Member

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    My DS is loving it! He went in after a lot of research and knew what to expect*. The first two phone calls and each letter has been positive. He has a Napster roommate which has helped immensely! They were one of the few rooms that passed the first alpha inspection. I asked him for advise for future plebes and he stated, " learn how to wake up early!"

    Other quotes from him: "moments are tough, days are long, weeks go fast!", "PEP is fun, interval days suck!", "Battalion run was a blast!", " Braveheart run is awesome!", "USMC Silent Drill team is amazing!"

    He was very impressed with his detailer which he called, " an incredible leader" and the " the right combination of tough and compassionate". He said the best part has been his roommates and squad mates! The worst part has been the oppressive heat and humidity. Looks like it might be a record this year!

    *Not everyone does their research. On Iday, I spoke with a plebe in line that had no idea what was coming!
     
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  4. berserk87

    berserk87 Member

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    My son appears to be enjoying it. There are annoyances, but he had those at home.
     
  5. helmsdown

    helmsdown Member

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    My DD seems to be dealing with the mental part and enjoying the physical part. She had 2.5 days of SIQ with the Plebe Hack. Now her two roommates have it so she doesn't feel as bad coughing up a lung every night. Over all she seems pretty positive. She has accomplished some things she was proud of and missed a couple that she felt she should of completed. She was a bit nervous about the new detailers. She claimed they had the toughest detailer but in the end she said she liked her and she took care of her Plebes.

    I had not heard this from her much before USNA but she has said she was stressed a couple of times. Reciting Rates, shooting and the drown proofing were mentioned as stressful. Since we were lead to believe the second half they spend more time building them up that she will do fine.
     
  6. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    Changing to second set detailers can cause some anxiety since they've just started to get used to the routine and their detailers. There will be some ups and downs for most Plebes over the course of Plebe year but they will begin to get used to things changing and will learn from each experience. Making it through physical and mental tests they thought they couldn't do and realizing they can cope with change that they feared is all part of their development.

    Plebe year is tough on Plebes and parents, but you'll be amazed at how fast it went by in a couple of years when you look back on this time - but don't EVER say this to your Plebe!
     
  7. Happy2BaNavyMom

    Happy2BaNavyMom Member

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    I consider myself "lucky" or "blessed". The 2nd phone call was MY first. (Long story) My DS sounded so fabulous, like he was next door, and told me over and over not to worry about him. It was hard. But he was getting used to it. He had blisters and shin splints, but he didn't want any "chits" because he did not want to miss any possible experience. When I asked what he needed, he told me NOTHING. I finally summoned up the courage to say, "Are you in the 'right' place? Do you have any regrets?" And in that moment, when he responded, with what I really don't remember, and can't quote right now, I felt it. THIS was the RIGHT place for my DS. NO regrets. YES he is was where he should be. I truly wonder how parents did this (Plebe Parenting) before pictures and social media were around. In so many ways, I feel like I am there. Thanks to the people who are taking pictures constantly, but nothing will replace the feeling when I get to put my arms around that sailor in dress summer whites. COUNTING the days.
     
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  8. nolamomma

    nolamomma Member

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    Not sure "enjoying" would be the right words but DD is happy. Got the hack, dislocated her shoulder, and left her room one am with her shirt on backwards. She saw great humor in that as did her detailer and mates. They all did pushups through the laugher while she did a quick change.
    She is truly happy. She tried the "normal" college thing last year and in the first two months called crying a lot. It was not the place for her even though she had all the comforts of a five star hotel -she was still miserable. I mean miserable. We worried if she was gonna make it. Contrast, she has no five star accommodations, gets screamed at every second of every day, has been sick and hurt and I have never heard her so happy. Guess she found her happy place. And thanks for asking.
     
  9. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    Happy2b re: I finally summoned up the courage to say, "Are you in the 'right' place? Do you have any regrets?"

    DD is CL 2020. If I am left alone with her for more than 12 hours I find a way to ask this question AT LEAST once.

    On Fathers Day 2017 DD sent me a Tee from the Mid Store enclosing a note that read in part: "Dad, I want you to know that I am exactly where I need to be; I am living my dream Dad! --and I like to think that I am living a tiny piece of your dream too."

    She arrived home for leave less than a week ago. Yesterday over dinner she was talking about her cruise and how much she enjoyed her time with enlisted personnel. I found my self saying: "Sounds awesome.----- So, are you still happy with the Navy?--Those first 5 years in the fleet still looking good to you?" I just get "YYEESS + an eye-roll".

    I don't think I will stop asking until she signs her 2-for-7 Letter.
     
  10. MIDNMOM

    MIDNMOM Member

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    Both myDS's phone calls, he sounded like he was completely in his element at USNA, even though he had a Plebe Hack.
    I've been telling him, this is his life, his decision. I was a bit worried after his acceptance to USNA over West Point in a very short time. West Point had been his #1 choice but he seemed very content and feels he is where he is supposed to be.
    He told us after the ceremony on I Day, he got yelled at even before the swearing ceremony and thought that was funny. He said it's ok because that is their job to yell at me. He doesn't take it personally. He said they have love and hate relationships between him and the detailers.
    He asked Pop Tart, Rice Krispy Treats and more snacks. I've already sent 5 care packages.
    He is tired but happy, that makes me really happy.
     
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  11. blueandgoldmom

    blueandgoldmom Member

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    First phone call from my DD was upsetting. She was extremely homesick and questioning everything. We stayed neutral and positive and she ended that call with "Mom, you know I'm not a quitter." Fast forward to call #2. Completely different. She was excited, engaged, animated and "finding her groove." Hands down the quality of people around her have made the biggest impact. She is still homesick but it isn't as absolutely consuming as it was earlier. She sounded confident, mature and even thanked us for the amazingly clean house we provided and of course, mom's cooking. Made me smile. Stay tuned to call #3 and PPW!
     
  12. PotentialMidMom

    PotentialMidMom New Member

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    I wanted to reply to this because I found your posts so helpful this past year Just Dad. Following your journey with your DD this past year was so helpful as we prepared to embark on the same one this year. I think the previous poster is correct that our very specific obsessions about tracking our Plebes have migrated to Class of 2021 Facebook pages. Believe me, everyone on this forum doesn't want to read about our anxiety with each letter, phone call or sighting on a photo site! I do think it is valuable for others to know a bit about how Plebe summer progresses though.
    For us, I Day went fairly well and she was calm after the Oath of Office ceremony - the minimal yelling she had endured at that point did not phase her. A week later we got her first letter (written on Day 4) and it was heartbreaking. She was exhausted, sore, overwhelmed and disheartened. She didn't see any way she was every going to know all she needed to, especially with zero free time a day. We did lots of nail biting waiting for the first phone call (Day 10). She was determined not to cry during the first phone call which apparently most of the people around her were doing. I thought it was cool that she didn't want to give her detailers the satisfaction of seeing her cry! She was better than in her letter but I wouldn't say she was happy. She was resigned to making it through and a bit less overwhelmed though.

    Fast forward to this past Sunday and phone call #2 (Day 24) and she sounded much better. She is on the sailing team, sings in Plebe choir (because apparently it gets you out of the dreaded "grey" period once a week :)) and loves her roommates. She is still tired, still sore and still laments never knowing the schedule or having any free time but she is clearly in a much better place. She referred in her last letter to a roller coaster of emotions ranging from extreme lows to other times where "she is standing at attention saluting the flag and feeling proud to be there and content with her life choices". My heart was happy for the first time since I Day.

    Despite all of the information she and I learned on this forum in the past year, I think the one thing she (and I) weren't prepared for is that you are not allowed to interact much with your squad, platoon or company during those first few weeks. You are almost always at attention with eyes forward so there is no casual conversation to allow the bonds of friendship to develop. They are, of course, all going through the same "Plebe summer suck" and are bound by that but she didn't feel personal connections with anyone but her roommates with whom she had a few moments in the evenings. It seems like the 2nd half of plebe summer is the "building up" part (after they were thoroughly broken down the first half!) and there is more opportunity for team building.

    Two more weeks until Plebe Parent Weekend and I will post again with an update but so far the trajectory has been all up. Having gone through this with a daughter who took 100% control of her application process, I can't emphasize enough how this must be a decision made by the future midshipmen. I never even knew how to get on her portal or what she still needed to do for her application. The onerous application process requires you to learn and research information and truly determine if this is the right path for you. Given how challenging plebe summer is, parents need to keep their distance (other than appopriate support of course) and make sure this is a path their child wants to take. Best of luck to all of you beginning this journey now!
     
  13. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Interesting to hear the parent's analyze Plebe Summer from the outside....I've never experienced it from that perspective. One bit of advice from one who has been there , don't try to overthink or guess what they are thinking. I can assure you , they don't have the time to think about or dwell on whether they are in the right place, etc. Perhaps a few minutes as they go to sleep, but most of the day is spent reacting to or avoiding the Detailer's wrath. I use the word "wrath" a bit facetiously, with perhaps a few exceptions which are usually corrected quickly, the Detailers really aren't angry or vindictive-- in some cases it is actually a carefully structured or scripted process to create constant pressure. You will see an changed DS/DD at Parents Weekend, but it doesn't stop there.... its really a 4 year process, and your DS/DD will have ups and downs the entire 4 years.
     
  14. coachkarl

    coachkarl Member

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    Spot on, Old Navy BGO. We tried not to read too much into the letters or the calls. Instead, we stuck with our plan in terms of support - a steady stream of mail & care packages and marking time until PPW. And even once the academic year started, we found that emotions could continue to roller coaster. One Snapchat would be miserable, the next Instagram post would be about how awesome things are, a phone call would be very matter-of-fact. Don't try to understand it, just keep rolling with it.
     
  15. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    It is different going through it as a parent many years after your experience. I understand how important it is to be supportive but they also need to mature and learn to deal with things on their own. Even though she picked the other academy, she is doing well and happy with her choices. Happy may not be the right adjective on the day to day activities but she is where she wants to be. Her birthday passed a few weeks ago and my wife was a basket case as how much it would suck to spend your birthday that way. A very old female graduate sent her a message and told her that after all of her hard work to get there many moons ago, there was no place in the world that she would have rather been for her birthday that summer. That was a positive use of social media but more times than not, social media parent pages actually make it worse on the parents. Someone will mention something and then 100 parents go crazy making sure their kids are not missing out. Now you have a bunch of parents questioning if they are being good parents. My wife comes up with something almost everyday that our girl may need or want because she saw it on Facebook. I tread very lightly because I have to live with my wife, but the kids will figure it out. They do not need mom or dad buying locks or sheets or pillows. We have done our job as parents and it is know time to be proud as they spread their wings.
     
  16. Mermaidmom2021

    Mermaidmom2021 Member

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    DD had a very difficult transition the first 5 days. The feeling of isolation was almost paralyzing for her. She spent 4 years at boarding school,so she was not unfamiliar to the concept of being homesick, BUT not being able to bond with her new family was brutal. They also get no mail the first 5 days. This was single handedly the biggest shock to her. After sports period started, she could see her team and coaches, things turned a bit. The first call was full of tears but zero doubts she made the right choice. She has been plagued with plebe hack, shin splints, and swimmers ear. SIQ for 2 days let her heal, rest and write/reconnect with people who have been supporting her. She struggles with rates, gets lots of writing assignments, but loves her roommates, squad and respects her detailers.
    Second phone call was 100% better. She was excited about the change in detailers. She wrote it was nice to feel like they had a little bit of an upper hand, as the plebes knew each other and what they should be doing (mostly). I thought that was hilarious. Now, her platoon and company are constantly looking out and supporting each other. That was what she was looking forward to most. We are on the downhill now and very much looking forward to being able to text/snap check in when we want!

    Congrats to all of our plebes and parents/families!
     
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  17. MIDNMOM

    MIDNMOM Member

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    Someone posted FB page that there were 1215 plebes reported at I Day but now 1205 and more are expected to follow.
    Is this number ( 10 DOR in 3 weeks) normal compared to previous years?
     
  18. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    There is no way to pin down a real normal to one number in one year. The larger the class, the more we might see - or not. These numbers, and all the voluntary/involuntary attrition statistics, sliced and diced for departure reasons, demographic characteristics, personality types, PS policies, class size, when in the 4 years they left, and many other elements, over years and years, are tracked and analyzed in depth. We would have to break out a recession analysis and take a look at, say, a 10 year period, check out the big outlier years. There is probably a normal range of DORs as a percentage of the incoming class.

    We also don't know if that FB-sourced 10 number includes "broken" plebes who have to leave. Rest assured all those who request to drop are counseled by their chain of command, chaplain and others to determine if it's "oh, crap, I am truly in the wrong place" or a transitory falling out of love with USNA.

    When I was a BattO, a study had just shown introversion-oriented plebes were DORing in higher numbers during PS than extroverts, so some adjustments were made to personal time. Another study showed validation test performance improved when the timing was changed to a phase where detailers were professionally brisk but not "pressuring loudly."

    There are stats upon stats to feed the mathematical officer production modeling algorithms.
     
  19. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Regression analysis. Not recession. My iPhone disputes me at times.
     
  20. GNBA2020

    GNBA2020 Member

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    I was on the Yard a few days ago visiting my DS Youngster who is there for Block 3 pre-season varsity sport training. The Plebes are all over the Yard running to and from. Some are sailing, some are marching, some are doing a bit of PT. Each time they passed my DS, they yelled "Sir, good afternoon, Sir." He told me if he could catch their eye, he'd give them a wink and they would smile in return. As a recently graduated Plebe parent, I can tell you that 99% of those I saw looked great - the transformation is occurring. Even though he is not allowed to interact with the Plebes, my DS said he is certain that by now, they've adjusted to the new detailers and they've got this PS thing down though he did chuckle when he could hear the detailers barking out PT orders.

    PPW is right around the corner and really an incredible time - almost wish I could do it again. Can't quite say the same for my DS. He is glad he went through PS but very happy it is in the rear view mirror.