The WORST Choice to Have to Make


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Nov 13, 2008
Not really off topic, but it fits here better than anywhere else....

I am standing in front of the biggest decision of my life, bigger than anything I've ever had and bigger than anything I hopefully ever will have:

How do I choose between my dream university and an amazing career OR my Austrian citizenship?​

PROS Dream Uni
(the USNA) - not in order!:
- dream university!
- amazing career in the Navy I could imagine myself doing for way more than 5 years
- free
- get to travel around the world and help people
- challenging mentally, physically and personally (I love challenges!) and lead people
- you get that amazing feeling of being pushed above and beyond your limits, and doing it SUCCESSFULLY!!
- pretty much 100% job security upon graduation
- all the many merits of the school, and there's hundreds, that you all know!
- I'll be so annoyed at 50 if I didn't take this chance (but I will also miss my citizenship...)
- trampoline into a political career
- amazing bonds of friendship; give your life for your friends; teamwork
- honour, serving your country, ....

CONS Dream Uni

- I'd have to give up my citizenship in Europe (by law in Austrians, the Americans aren't so bothered)
- meaning that I would give up the right to live, work, move, etc that all Europeans enjoy in Europe!! :eek:
- my family doesn't support me
- my Dad lost his brother when he was 13 as his brother (19) was driving back to his barracks (accident: train + car = you get the picture) from home during his 6 months mandatory military service in Austria (very emotional reaction therefore)
- my Austrian Grandparents might not be able to take/understand it... (Austria = world for them, it really does, no exaggeration here)

What would you do? Dream uni or citizenship? --> basically, me or my family?

ps - I know there's more in the pro section, but giving up all those rights in Europe count as like one con each pretty much, or?
Most of us are Americans, we really don't care about Austrian citizenship, we are probably the wrong people to ask.

I'd venture a guess that most SA cadets/midshipmen who want to serve as an officer for the United States of America don't give a rat's a** about "living, working, or moving to Europe like all Europeans enjoy."

For us, it's a no brainer - serving the USA. :thumb:

If you are that conflicted about it, I would say stay in Austria, go to a civilian university, keep your ties with your family.

This cannot be a 51/49 "preponderance of the evidence" decision - this must be a 100/0 "beyond a reasonable doubt" decision.

You cannot go into military service for the USA with these lingering doubts. You may be asked to put your life on the line for the USA.

Your life, for the United States of America. Are you willing to die for the United States of America?

I don't think you are ready for that.

Go challenge yourself at some Ivy League school, nothing wrong with that.

Austria and the culture, your family, the ties you've made while living there - all will cloud your thoughts and make it impossible for you to swear allegiance to the United States of America.

I believe the saying is "Duty, Honor, Country" - there can be no misunderstanding or conflict as to what "Country" means - its means the USA, not Austria.

Good luck with the decision, but I think you already know what is more important to you.
I don't doubt them, never did. But my parents are making me.

Yes, I am.

[EDIT]: I was thinking about Luigi's post and I've made myself recognise that my qualms are that I might hurt my family. I know for a fact that I want to go to USNA, but I also know, as any child with loving parents knows, that I don't want to hurt my parents, especially my dad and Austrian grandparents who will have such a bad reaction.
If I were on my own, it'd be quite simple really, Austria would be a passing thought: I want to go to USNA. period.
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I have been following several of your posts :)

I'm wondering a couple of things -:

How long have your parents known that this is what you want to do?
How long have you know this is what you want to do?

Since, like many parents, they are not immediately jumping up and down with joy, I am guessing they have not had much time to digest this information. You, on the other hand have probably been thinking about this for a rather long while- I would guess. THIS is the big problem when our children keep these rather large things from us- sometimes with what they feel are good reasons but usually with not such good results. Then, before you know it- its DEADLINE DAY and guess what. Your son or daughter comes to you and says "Oh, by the way, this is what I want and uhhh - need to send it in right now." And as parents we may have no time to even think it through. It would be no different than if we suddenly came to you on November 15th and said "Oh, by the way Katie, I have the application here for Oxford- I think its a great idea. It needs to be send in right now". And you had never ever even thought about attending Oxford. It's not that it's a bad place it's just that you have been given no chance to think about it and now you are cornered because there is no time. It creates a feeling of panic with some of us.

Not wanting to disappoint your parents speaks much about your relationship with them- that you have a very good one and a strong one. And, if you attend the USNA you will need that behind you. You don't want to sacrifice that. It could be right now what they need is more information, more time and more understanding. You didn't just toss a new school they hadn't thought about into the mix but you tossed them an entire new continent !! They must be scared silly.

As for leaving a country where you feel an allegience. Don't take it lightly. Have you visited the USA? Coming to visit and go to school is one thing, coming over to attend a military academy, renouncing your citizenship and promising to serve in the military is another step entirely. Your parents do speak with a lot history behind them. I'm sure they only want you to hear them out. My family has some history in this area- my father left Germany after WWII. He became a US Citizen AFTER he visited this country for several years and after he served as an enlisted person in the Army. He has never looked back as far as his citizenship goes. Even though all his family remained in Germany he made a new life here. That is what changing his citizenship was really all about- a new life, in a new country and he is through and through American. Yes- it hurt some of his family but they learned to accept it. All things that you need to think about.

You sound like a very smart girl.

The USNA will still be there next year too :) Something else to think about.
I'm guessing that you're asking this because you hold dual-citizenship while living in the US- not living offshore while wanting to come here. That would make little sense considering your excitement and the fact that you said you were almost sure you would get into USNA (not a lot of people from outside the states get accepted). I am sort of in the same boat as you, except i had gotten rid of my alma matter's citizenship years ago. Now, i love the country (Caribbean Country) but i couldn't be more against the way the country is "functioning" (or "dis-functioning"), so my decision to back the US government 100% was an easy choice.

My mom (of country's decent) still asks me where i belong. I feel bad brushing off the country i was born like it had done something bad to me, but the truth is that i back up democracy and look forward to being part of the most influencing military in the world.

So if were you id ask myself why the reasons for backing this country's military would create a better world? And ultimately, if you cant answer that, then you're simply just trying to take advantage of the free education, and an (almost) guaranteed steady job.
kgrmom - That's a really valid point you're making, that they just need time. It just seems to me that they've decided that I'm not going there, and period. 'Schluss, Aus, Ende' as we'd say in German :smile: But you're right, they probably just need to digest it.

However, I am American - I was born in Chicago and spent a year (the only one in America) going to high school as a sophomore at New Trier. They're thinking I'm choosing between my two countries I think, they don't understand that I'm choosing America because ... Ok, gonna stop there, no idea to word what I want to say the right way.. basically, I think they think I'm choosing. Plus the military - not so good from their POV.

As to your questions,
1. I first mentioned it two years ago
2. I've known since... well I don't really know, I can be quite indecisive at times. But the military and everything with it - the heroism especially - has always (and I mean always) drawn me, and so has water. But I guess at one point I just realised that this is the one thing so far that I've decided I want to do, and actually want to do. When that was exactly, I couldn't tell you.

Thank you!, always fun to hear :biggrin:

And yes, it will be. That's why I am going to apply at least and even if I get an appointment, that doesn't mean I have to go...

unitedstatesAFA2013 - Nope, offshore wanting to come home.
Did I say that? Really???! Because I've never actually thought that I was gonna get in - that's why I ask so many questions here :redface: I'm sorry if I said I was sure I'm going to get in, because I actually doubt it - at least not straight into the Academy.
I think maybe I see pieces of my own daughter in you through your posts :rolleyes: She tried for USNA last year and made it as far as the wait list and then could not get her medical clearance. It was a very long year .

She is now doing phenomally well through NROTC at her 1st choice college (after USNA) and couldn't be happier. In fact, she is so happy where she is that her comment about re-applying is that she wouldn't. But as a parent the military aspect continues to give us anxiety. Now she is exploring the "Marines" and is "seriously thinking about it". And after all that "I love the water" talk !!!! lol Do we like it.... nope....; Will we support her... absolutely, and have told her so. That military piece concerns every parent.

You hang in there :smile: