Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Rebel668, Mar 20, 2014.
I have an upcoming overnight visit to West Point. What should I bring?
In addition to clothes (nicer - not jeans, according to USMA), DS brought workout clothes, homework for study hours. He didn't take a sleeping bag or pillow. USMA said to bring a robe or pajamas, since the bathrooms are down the hall. I don't know how the weather is where you're from, but be prepared for changing conditions, and temperatures right now are in the 40's.
Yeah, wear like khaki's and a polo (not a suit but not jeans).
Bring workout clothes, your escort will more than likely want to work out while you're here so you'll have to go to the gym anyway, might as well get a workout in.
Bring some hw, but don't plan on getting too much done.
Bring questions, your escort doesn't know what you do or do not know, so ask them as many question you can think of.
Overnight Visit - negative side
DS recently completed overnight visit and was pretty positive about WP prospects going in. Although he liked the campus etc, the 4th class cadets he came in contact with were apparently negative about their experience and not necessarily the tight group one would expect. They recommended prospective appointees like him to go to a regular college if available. Not sure if this is what others have experienced, but the overnight has turned into a negative experience and may very well affect his final decision to go elsewhere. This was not the result we expected. Does anyone have any positive advice, although it could be too late to change his impression? Thanks.
Mentor1-My DS received TWE last year, so he proceeded with Plan B. He has been in a prestigious program, yet he re-applied and received BFE yesterday. Many fellow students have asked him why he would choose a service academy route when he is having a FUN college experience ( his Frat brothers are truly perplexed), but the answer is apparent for those that have been called. If your DS knows that answer than no persuasion is necessary.
Thanks for sharing this experience and congratulations on your DS persistence.
Like many others here, DS has also received TWEs, which were very crushing at the time. He has several friends and relatives who have graduated from academies and has a pretty good understanding of the programs and expectations. You are right, some have the calling and others may not. The later the BFEs, the more time that HS classmates can influence them to join them at State U....which might end up being the right place...
Very typical of cadets attitude during the "gloom period", especially as plebes. It is dark, cold, grey and wet from OCT-March.
What he heard is cadets just talking smack. What your DS should have asked those that expressed that, "Are you resigning and not coming back next year?" I bet to a person they would say that they are all definitely coming back.
I've heard once or twice that service academies are hard. Great places to be from; very hard to be at. Happy factor increases with proximity to graduation. Only thing that gets ya through is the desire to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
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To answer the first question: The packing list is provided. You will get an email from admissions giving you all instructions and a list of items to bring. My recommendation is to pack warmly (just in case warm spring weather hasn't hit New York yet) and to look nice. I wore a button down shirt with a sweater and a warm pea- coat. I also wore khakis and sperry boat shoes.
Also bring warm exercise clothes. You might go on a run or work out with your cadet escort. So bring sweats and running shoes.
Bring a pillow and a sleeping bag because they provided me a bunk to sleep on, but no pillow or blanket.
Finally bring some homework to do to keep yourself busy while your cadet escort may be at work.
To talk about the cadets lack of happiness and enthusiasm at WP, that is because of the environment. It has been a while since they have seen their family and friends and haven't had much fun for a while. But don't get deterred thinking that you will be miserable as well if you go. Remember that it is tough, but WP is just providing hardships and fatigue just to sharpen you into being the best person you can be for your country. Don't let some bad states of mind of the cadets make you lose sight of what you've worked so hard for.
Mentor1 - During my overnight visit, many of the Firsties and Cows randomly said to me in passing, "It's a trap." However, I find it to be mostly in good humor.
As for my overnight visit, it was somewhat "non-routine." My escort was not informed until the day of. Also, as a result of odd conditions including the -1 temperature with wind chill, there was a Code Red which relieved a good amount of people of duties, allowing me to sleep in past breakfast, which I assume never happens for Plebes. My visit to West Point showed me a normal college experience that I do not expect when I arrive and settle in.
Mentor1- as soon as I saw "friends and relatives" I couldn't help but think how much of going to West Point or any SA was external pressure in an attempt to live up to some ideal. If you get into the psychology of it all, the visit with cadets telling him he should go to a civilian college may be his way rationalizing turning down an appointment while deflecting any of the personal guilt of not living up to that pressure of friends and relatives who went. If he went in hoping to hear someone say don't come here, then that is what he was going to take away without getting to the root of why or whether that source even has a valid basis to give him that recommendation.
When my DS went for his visit, he said that several students said to him, "run man, run!" but he felt it was mostly said in a jokey way. That being said, his plebe escort was extremely positive. I've read on this forum, numerous times, that it's something very common to the plebes there, especially this time of year. Most do return for the next year, and for the next two years after that. My husband was a SA grad and said that he probably thought about leaving at least once every day of his first year. It's just what the first year is like. But he's never regretted the decision.
That really is a good point.
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Yes, some very insightful tips and thoughts. Thanks. For those who have not been on the overnight visit, just be prepared. Additionally, it's a little more difficult for them to figure what really is their plan B, or C...can they change as the senior year progresses?
It's worth mentioning to try to get some time with upperclassmen if at all possible. DS had an appt with the company commander, a informal q&a with bunch of yearlings, 1SG, etc.
And that helped balance the typical gloom period plebe input.
It also gave him some examples of "what right looks like". It's a small sampling of individuals, but definitely a different perspective than that of a plebe who has been under some very rigid constraints.
Don't know if that was company policy, just a good plebe, or what.
This is one area that I think USMA could enhance their overnight visits, by formalizing some of those types of interactions.
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