What to do.

Hopeful 2020

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I'm currently facing a bit of a dilemma in the way of sports. I'm a senior now, have finished my application, received a congressional nomination, and am just waiting on news from the USAFA. However, I have to choose between falconry and volleyball. I've been a falconer since my freshman year of high school, have trapped and trained as well as hunted with multiple different birds, and currently have two that are at different stages. However, I picked up volleyball my junior year and earned a varsity letter. The problem is, I can't do both, as there are only so many daylight hours. I have to choose between letting my hawks go in order to play my second year of volleyball, or continuing as a falconer with both birds. Volleyball is important as a team sport, but falconry has been my passion and it tears me to have to give it up. Any advice?
 

AROTC-dad

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Can't you do Falconry on the weekends? Or do they require daily workouts with you?
 

Hopeful 2020

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Can't you do Falconry on the weekends? Or do they require daily workouts with you?
Falconry is something I have to do every day, with few exceptions. I can't just allow the hawks to sit for weeks at a time, as they require daily excersize and weight management. The whole idea of the sport is to hunt, and a bird that's only flown once or twice a week will not only be unsuccessful, but it's unethical as well.
 

5Day

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IMHO I would give up the volleyball and continue to raise your hawks. And find another way to to stay physically fit.

There are only 3-5,000 falconers in the US. And very few of those are teenagers. The commitment to become a falconer, raise and care for hawks is daunting. You must be able to spend a portion of each day, every day, with your bird. Some days this is just feeding, some days this is training, and on hunting days you could be spending sun up to sundown out in the field. You need to become educated in falconry and take a state test. You are an apprentice for 2 years under direct supervision of a general or master falconer. Go with your passion.
 

AROTC-dad

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It sounds magnificent!

But here's the dilemma. How will you do falconry at USAFA? You MIGHT be able to do it while attending a regular college, but certainly not during summer training if you go AFROTC. And then when you graduate, then what?

My point is that if you plan for a career in the military, you are only putting off the inevitable by forgoing volleyball in your senior year. On the other hand, falconry looks much more interesting on your resume than two years of varsity volleyball. It comes down to how important one more year of working with raptors means to you.

You will also need to decide how to balance the military and/or college with falconry.

Good luck.
 
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Live without regret. Do you really think you'll regret not doing another year of Volleyball? Or do you think you'll regret letting go of a truly wonderful part of your life even more?
 

Christcorp

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Look, everything is done and you're waiting. Nothing you do or don't do, minus failing classes or getting arrested, is going to have any change or affect on your application. Don't sweat it. Do whatever you want.
 

Hopeful 2020

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It sounds magnificent!

But here's the dilemma. How will you do falconry at USAFA? You MIGHT be able to do it while attending a regular college, but certainly not during summer training if you go AFROTC. And then when you graduate, then what?

My point is that if you plan for a career in the military, you are only putting off the inevitable by forgoing volleyball in your senior year. On the other hand, falconry looks much more interesting on your resume than two years of varsity volleyball. It comes down to how important one more year of working with raptors means to you.

You will also need to decide how to balance the military and/or college with falconry.

Good luck.
As 5Day said, it's really a time consuming activity, but rewarding. As for how I can continue it in the Air Force Academy, their mascot is the Falcon. They have their own hawks and falcons that they fly at halftime shows, as well as doing educational things. They accept 4 cadets from each class to work with the birds, and that's one of my favorite things about the USAFA. I would have no problem doing both, but volleyball practice lasts until dark, let alone how late the games go.
 

AROTC-dad

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I agree with the others.....falconry sets you apart from the vast majority of applicants. I would stick with the birds in lieu of volleyball.

Good luck!
 

Hopeful 2020

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Thanks everyone for your responses and encouragement! It's still going to be a tough decision, but this has made it a bit clearer.
 
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