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Your Thoughts

sdhitt

New Member
I've been on the USNA thread a couple times asking about USNA vs NROTC Marine Option, but now I'm in a real dilemma. Yesterday, I had my interview with my B&G Officer who told me that I had a great chance of getting into the Academy and doing well there. I realized that I had a lot in common with her, but while absolutely loved the Academy after attending NASS, I didn't. I really enjoyed the program, but I came out of it with less of a desire to attend the school.

I'm still contemplating attending the school, but all I can think about is how I couldn't wait to get home while I was at NASS this summer (even after I got over the 3 day hump of homesickness, about how I don't really want to study engineering (I've been thinking about double majoring in econ and pol. sci), and I'm not sure if I want that much pressure in my life. Still, I have a feeling that a lot of my trepidation comes from the possibility of moving 3000 miles away from my family (I don't do well with homesickness). My dad tells me that the Academy will open up the most opportunities in my life (especially civilian).

On the other hand, I can attend the University of California, San Diego on an NROTC MO scholarship and pursue my love of economics political science in a top undergraduate program. I won't be as far from my family, making my adjustment to moving away less traumatic. I've heard that the San Diego NROTC program is a great program and UCSD is an amazing school (academically). I have a feeling that being a UCSD grad and a Marine Officer would be appealing to an employer if I decide not to pursue a 20 year career in the military.

Bottom Line: I'm not sure if USNA is for me, but I don't want to feel like a failure if I decide to go the NROTC route. I have a feeling like a could grow to enjoy USNA, but I also feel like I'd be really happy studying the subjects that I want to at a civilian university.

I'm sorry to just kind of throw this out here, but I'd love to just hear your thoughts, advice, or experience. I doubt this will make a difference, but I'm a girl.
 

fc2spyguy

loving my warm and comfy 214 blanket
pilot
Contributor
I've been on the USNA thread a couple times asking about USNA vs NROTC Marine Option, but now I'm in a real dilemma. Yesterday, I had my interview with my B&G Officer who told me that I had a great chance of getting into the Academy and doing well there. I realized that I had a lot in common with her, but while absolutely loved the Academy after attending NASS, I didn't. I really enjoyed the program, but I came out of it with less of a desire to attend the school.

I'm still contemplating attending the school, but all I can think about is how I couldn't wait to get home while I was at NASS this summer (even after I got over the 3 day hump of homesickness, about how I don't really want to study engineering (I've been thinking about double majoring in econ and pol. sci), and I'm not sure if I want that much pressure in my life. Still, I have a feeling that a lot of my trepidation comes from the possibility of moving 3000 miles away from my family (I don't do well with homesickness). My dad tells me that the Academy will open up the most opportunities in my life (especially civilian).

On the other hand, I can attend the University of California, San Diego on an NROTC MO scholarship and pursue my love of economics political science in a top undergraduate program. I won't be as far from my family, making my adjustment to moving away less traumatic. I've heard that the San Diego NROTC program is a great program and UCSD is an amazing school (academically). I have a feeling that being a UCSD grad and a Marine Officer would be appealing to an employer if I decide not to pursue a 20 year career in the military.

Bottom Line: I'm not sure if USNA is for me, but I don't want to feel like a failure if I decide to go the NROTC route. I have a feeling like a could grow to enjoy USNA, but I also feel like I'd be really happy studying the subjects that I want to at a civilian university.

I'm sorry to just kind of throw this out here, but I'd love to just hear your thoughts, advice, or experience. I doubt this will make a difference, but I'm a girl.
I fail to see how choosing NROTC over the USNA would be a failure in any way . . .

Your life will be different than most every other college student regardless if you enter either program. Many of the freshmen will be partying until the wee hours of the night many days a week. They don't have to get up for a 0600 PT session at the unit. They also only have to pay a small fine for drinking underage, while you will risk being suspended from the program or dropped entirely if caught. Note I said if caught . . .:watching2

My opinion, if you don't think the USNA is for you, you're probably right.
 

C420sailor

Former Rhino Bro
pilot
...I don't do well with homesickness...
You better start working on that.

Start visiting schools and go to the one that you like the most. It really is that simple. Don't force yourself to go somewhere because someone thinks it will open up more doors for you later in life. More than likely you will hate it and your performance will suffer, offsetting that. Go somewhere you really like and thrive.
 

BACONATOR

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Well.....
As per usual, a fine contribution by BeerMe.

I'd agree about the homesickness. I have never felt homesick in my life, until I was at OCS and felt completely alone and had to work hard to maintain the desire to keep trucking.

If you go through NROTC, there will be far more freedom for you and you will likely feel far less homesick, while you get used to a military future in a more gradual way.

NROTC is in no way a failure, and after commissioning, no one cares where you came from.
 

cclement

New Member
None
The worst thing you can do is try to decide everything right now. Which I know is incredibly hard to avoid sometimes. Just keep your options open. Apply for a NROTC scholarship, apply to the academy, and apply for other scholarships to other schools. Also, don't discount the other services. My dad is the Air Force Academy Liaison officer for my hometown, and he said that Congressmen often like to see that you've applied to more than one program because it shows your dedication to your country and the military. I ended up with more than one appointment to the academies, and several ROTC scholarships. In the end USAFA wasn't right for me, and I went Navy ROTC. I actually didn't make that decision until May of me senior year when I had been planning on USAFA since I was about 8. ROTC just ended up being the right choice for me. Just don't cut something off from yourself right now, because you may find later that's what is right for you.
 

phrogpilot73

Well-Known Member
I don't do well with homesickness
As others have said, you've better overcome that if you want to commission. You can't bear the thought of being 3000 miles away from your family, during 4 years when you get 1 month off in the summer (and you could put in for a West Coast summer cruise some summers), Thanksgiving and Christmas. How are you going to handle being stationed on the East Coast for (at a minimum) TBS? What if you get orders to Lejeune? It's a bigger issue than just deciding which college to go to.
 

Ventilee

Active Member
pilot
Contributor
My dad is the Air Force Academy Liaison officer for my hometown, and he said that Congressmen often like to see that you've applied to more than one program because it shows your dedication to your country and the military.
If you are only applying for one Academy make sure you have a damn good answer for the question "Why did you only choose the XXXX Academy?". Especially because the people interviewing you are probably going to a combination of active duty/retired/reserve Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Naval Officers so slamming another service is not a good idea.

Also, a good chance at getting into any Academy is never a guarantee. I tried twice and both times I had pretty stellar packages. So who knows, maybe someone else will make your decision for you. From the sound of your post though, it sounds like your mind is already made-up. Personally, I am glad I did not get into the Academy, otherwise I would have probably been up until 4 last Saturday studying instead of partying. That being said, the Academies are a unique experience and from everything I have heard it really helps to be an Academy grad in the civilian world.

Don't forget about the Platoon Leaders Course(or is it Class?) program that the Marine Corps has. If you get accepted you will only have two 6-week commitments to do in the summer and you will be fully commissioned when you graduate from college. Do a search on the boards and contact your local Officer Selection Officer for more information.

Of course, this is advice coming from a 21-year old Sophomore that couldn't quite hack it as a hockey player :icon_wink So take it with a grain of salt.
 

exhelodrvr

Well-Known Member
pilot
If you're not sure about the Academy, don't go.

I tend to agree phrogpilot, though: if homesickness is a main reason for your choice of schools, I think you should question whether the military is right for you.
 

wingsB4rings

Four fans of freedom, all day long
None
I doubt this will make a difference, but I'm a girl.
You're right, it sure doesn't. You're no less of a wimp if you are a chick or dude with your personality characteristics (homesickness, trepidation, etc.), in my opinion. You'll either have to swallow/supress those traits pronto or consider a profession in the civilian world. Summer seminar lasts a week, deployments last for months, and with a timid personality you'll get walked all over by peers and superiors (and probably some subordinates) at the academy, in ROTC, and in the fleet. Sad to say I've seen a few of these types slip through the cracks and it's not pretty. Oh, and I'd make that the last time you slid the gender card out there.
 

cfam

A pilot is a pilot. An NFO is something else.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Agree with what everyone else said about the homesickness. If you had trouble during NASS, you will definitely struggle during plebe summer/plebe year.

NASS is designed to be a much easier intro to what you'll experience during plebe summer, so if you hated it, it should be a pretty good indicator the Academy isn't right for you. I won't lie and say I enjoyed every aspect of NASS, but I came out of it still excited to attend the Academy, something I'm not getting from your post.

As far as the engineering is concerned, you will take some engineering courses regardless of your major at the Academy. I was a history major, and I took two semesters of Electrical Engineering, a semester of Thermodynamics, Aerospace Engineering, and Weapons systems, along with numerous math/science courses.

Bottom line: don't let others influence you to attend the Academy. It has to be a decision you make, because they won't be going through it with you when it sucks.
 

wlawr005

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Agree with what everyone else said about the homesickness. If you had trouble during NASS, you will definitely struggle during plebe summer/plebe year.

NASS is designed to be a much easier intro to what you'll experience during plebe summer, so if you hated it, it should be a pretty good indicator the Academy isn't right for you. I won't lie and say I enjoyed every aspect of NASS, but I came out of it still excited to attend the Academy, something I'm not getting from your post.

As far as the engineering is concerned, you will take some engineering courses regardless of your major at the Academy. I was a history major, and I took two semesters of Electrical Engineering, a semester of Thermodynamics, Aerospace Engineering, and Weapons systems, along with numerous math/science courses.

Bottom line: don't let others influence you to attend the Academy. It has to be a decision you make, because they won't be going through it with you when it sucks.
And NROTC guys have to take two semesters of calculus and calculus-based physics, no matter what their major is. Also, weapons systems, thermo, and engineering are covered in the requisite Naval Science courses.
 

Picaroon

Helos
pilot
If you're not sure about the Academy, don't go.

I tend to agree phrogpilot, though: if homesickness is a main reason for your choice of schools, I think you should question whether the military is right for you.
Everyone gets some homesickness... but I'm sure he'll get over it. That's what time and college do--they cure homesickness.

However, it's easier to transition if you're closer to home. Rule of thumb: live close enough that you can get there by car, but not close enough that it's easy! That way for serious issues and holidays you can get home, but you won't be tempted to be home every weekend instead of becoming independent.
 

SynixMan

Staff Life
pilot
Contributor
To the OP: You're what? 17/18? Lots of people have those concerns at that age, moving from one phase of life to the next. Wanting to go to a college not on the complete other side of the country is a common thought. If it was serious panic attacks from not talking to your parents every day, well that's another thing.

I went to a college close to home (~45 mins away) as I had the same worries over being very far away without a safety net. Looking back, I did fine with it, and kind of wish I had gone to school farther away. But there was no way 18 year old me would understand that. Not enough perspective. However, after Christmas break freshman year, I didn't go home again for 6 months except a day for easter. You grow and move on. If it's a good school with an NROTC unit and the major you want, that's all that really matters.

Just don't be the person who goes home every weekend and misses out on all the fun. Be smart, but enjoy it.
 

exhelodrvr

Well-Known Member
pilot
Everyone gets some homesickness... but I'm sure he'll get over it. That's what time and college do--they cure homesickness.

However, it's easier to transition if you're closer to home. Rule of thumb: live close enough that you can get there by car, but not close enough that it's easy! That way for serious issues and holidays you can get home, but you won't be tempted to be home every weekend instead of becoming independent.
Everyone gets homesick, but if you can't handle it then you shouldn't be in the military. And if it is a determining factor in your choice of schools, it seems questionable that sdhitt will be able to handle it.
 
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