Weekend Life

Matty011

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I am currently in the process in applying to USNA and have done extensive research about the academy. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find out what the midshipmen do on the weekends (Yes I know you don’t get much free time) but what do they do?
 

Capt MJ

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It’s a very individual experience. If you’re on a varsity team or club sport and in season, you might be traveling or playing at home, and doing schoolwork every other minute. If the academic rigor is a shock to you, you might walk into town for lunch and ice cream or go to see a movie, but catch up on sleep and schoolwork the rest of the weekend.

If you have a lab-intensive major, you might be hitting the books more over the weekend.

Each year, you get more and more “town liberty,” the ability to leave the Yard for the day and overnight. Life can often look quite “normal,” going to friends’ homes for the weekend, hiking, camping, skiing, taking the train to NYC, heading to the beach.

Plebes get roughly from midday Saturday to later that night for town liberty.

You might enjoy relaxing at your sponsor family’s house.

There are many ECAs to get involved with, once you have your academic rhythms in a good place. All kinds of groups and interests:
https://www.usna.edu/MidActivities/index.php

You might have a love life!

Much will be dictated by your own personality, your wallet, your ability to stay academically sat meshed with ability to manage it all.
 

THParent

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When my DS was a Plebe, he left The Yard (AKA: Prison) very little. When he did, it was with other Plebes to get something to eat that wasn't from King Hall.
For a list of everyone's favorite, go to Capt MJ's thread on Restaurants in Annapolis. He seldom left the yard on town leave just to "walk around", because that seemed like a waste of time to him.
He studied a lot, polished shoes, brass, etc., made sure that his room was clean and orderly in Bravo condition, and made sure his shipmates were squared away as well. There wasn't much time for anything else.

When they refer to the place as "Not College" it really isn't, at least during the Plebe year. When he came home for Christmas and talked to his friends home from their colleges, he was surprised at how much time they had on their hands, and how much they still complained about how hard it was. I sat around the table with them as they were talking, and there was a lot of good-natured ribbing about it, let me tell you.

I think that (at least for him) Plebe Summer was easy. Plebe academic year, not so much. It is a pressure cooker of stress, because these high-achievers realize quickly that they aren't special, but they still want to remain high-achievers. The good thing is that this year, he has a lot more autonomy and less stress after having gotten used to it all.
 

Capt MJ

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I used a very broad brush, because everyone has a different approach. Much will depend on how successful a mid is with time management, prioritization and stress management. Once a mid finds what works for them, they can pop up for air and see what they might want to get involved in on their free time. Make no mistake, despite glowing HS records, very few mids glide blissfully and effortlessly through the academic grind. Someone gets the C, D and F grades, so regular hard work is required to stay above that “sat” mark.

Many get involved with a group or activity as a way to alleviate stress and enjoyably exercise a different part of the mind. I can’t tell you how many times on a weekend I’ve seen mids messing about with their robots behind a classroom building on a Sunday afternoon, or mids out in town volunteering on a Saturday afternoon. My own DH, though a varsity athlete, loved his years with the Glee Club, though the time management was a real challenge. They traveled overseas on spring break, sang at the Preakness and many other high-profile events, and built life-long friendships.
 

justdoit19

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A side observation: I believe my own Mid almost struggles with ‘down time’ nowadays when he is home. Perhaps he is trying to ‘do all the things’, but it seems that he prefers to be busier than he did back in the day. I hypothesize that it’s a result of not having ‘down time’ anymore. The kind where you are already caught up on sleep.
 

NavyHoops

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As mentioned the weekend varies for everyone. I was an athlete. We had games most Saturdays. Liberty consisted of nearly none as a Plebe when in season. It might have been dinner in town with a team mate or my sponsors. Out of season I had more time. A lot of time at my sponsors napping, movies, homework, more sleep and good food. Sometimes I would go to dinner and the movies with buddies. Other weekends I had watch. You figure out what works for you. For some sleep isn’t an issue. If someone is an introvert this might be their time to ‘recharge’ the batteries away from everyone. We didn’t make much as Plebes, they make a lot more now. That played a big role in our liberty ‘back in the day’ as a cab, dinner and movie was about 50% of our paycheck as Plebes. Everyone finds their thing and what works for them and get through it.
 

illesq

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My DS is a current Plebe and while this past weekend is only the first of the Academic Year, I thought I’d share his comments. On Friday after class, he studied with friends at Bancroft - seemed to be a more relaxed / social evening. On Saturday morning, he had an early and intense team practice (he’s a varsity athlete) and then hung out with his teammates in the locker room. He spent the day in DTA with several friends (had lunch and dinner out) and then watched a couple of movies with his roommates back at Bancroft. Sunday he slept a little later and spent the day at Nimitz (library) doing homework. I had a long conversation with him on Sunday afternoon and was taken by the fact that his weekend had a great / heathy mix of study, athletics and social.
 

helmsdown

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As mentioned the weekend varies for everyone. I was an athlete. We had games most Saturdays. Liberty consisted of nearly none as a Plebe when in season. It might have been dinner in town with a team mate or my sponsors. Out of season I had more time. A lot of time at my sponsors napping, movies, homework, more sleep and good food. Sometimes I would go to dinner and the movies with buddies. Other weekends I had watch. You figure out what works for you. For some sleep isn’t an issue. If someone is an introvert this might be their time to ‘recharge’ the batteries away from everyone. We didn’t make much as Plebes, they make a lot more now. That played a big role in our liberty ‘back in the day’ as a cab, dinner and movie was about 50% of our paycheck as Plebes. Everyone finds their thing and what works for them and get through it.
They may make more now but DD could definitely blow through half of her Plebe pay with dinner and a movie.
 

DKTKT

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My DS is a current Plebe.... He spent the day in DTA with several friends (had lunch and dinner out) and then watched a couple of movies with his roommates back at Bancroft.
My DS is also a Plebe - I thought they didn't rate media as Plebes? But they can watch movies in their room? Aren't movies "media?" Or maybe what they rate is company specific? DS handed off his music headphones to his sister because he doesn't rate listening to music yet. I am confused.
 

THParent

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Different companies make different rules. The Plebes in my DS' Company never rated media, last year.
 

THParent

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upload_2019-8-26_14-18-3.png
I have heard that this joint is popular. Plebes - just keep walking.
 
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NavyHoops

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Acme has many nicknames. They have all been earned. I think I spent a good chunk of my money there when old enough to drink (out of season of course... no booze in season). I think restriction was a result of a night there twice. Trust me, Mids have fun. Fun is different as a Plebe. It changes a lot after Plebe Year, especially when someone turns 21.
 

Old Navy BGO

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DD turned 21 last week. The weekend's "After Action Report" suggests that Mids are able to find things to do in Annapolis.

Midshipmen are 18-24 ish kids. They find ways to keep themselves entertained just like other college kids. In my experience (long ago), the entertainment was often more "intense" , trying to keep blow off steam and socialize in a more time and opportunity compressed atmosphere. We also found "fun" doing things that might be be considered strange in a normal school.
 

Capt MJ

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Ahhh... the Acme, perennially in the news for underage drinking ID violations and fines (yes, mids stupidly get fake IDs, a real no-no in the military world). Source of many, many bad liberty decisions over the years. A regular mention in misconduct reports for over 20 years. It’s like toe fungus, won’t go away.
 

TheSavage44

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I'll start off by saying that there is no Saturday liberty if Navy Football is playing at home.
As for liberty,
Plebes: only have liberty from noon to midnight after "Saturday Morning Training" have to be in the seasonal dress uniform when on liberty.
3/C: liberty until midnight on Saturday and until 1800 on Sunday and have to be in the seasonal dress uniform
2/C and 1/C may begin liberty following the conclusion of their final class on friday and may go out in civilian clothes and drive on the school grounds.

Noone is allowed to stay out "overnight" unless they've earned an "overnight"/"weekend" via superb performance or being granted one by the Commandant/Superintendant (usually occurs if Navy wins at football or beats Army at any sport).

Most Plebes and 3/C will stick around downtown Annapolis and visit the various restaurants, hang out at their Sponsor family's house, or hang out at the local mall/movie theater. Most of the 2/C and 1/C will frequent the bars/restaurants on Friday and Saturday nights, or take their cars and drive wherever they'd like around Annapolis, Severna Park, Baltimore, etc.

A fair amount of Mids from all four classes will occasionally head to New Carrollton and hop on the Metro and take it to Baltimore or Washington D.C. for the day/weekend if able.
 
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