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Your Thoughts

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I take from your post that you're still in HS. So don't sweat the homesickness/I don't want to be away from home much yet/3000 miles is a long way thing. Trepidation upon leaving home is natural, as is learning to get over it.

Your bigger issue is not really wanting to go to USNA but feeling like you should. Yeah, it's a great place to be from, but if you're not raring to go, and weren't real thrilled with your exposure at Seminar, I can tell you right now: you won't make it. Not saying you're weak or a failure - the Boat School is tough for anyone, even if you walk in the door 100% raring to go and chomping at the bit. About the only easy thing to do there is quit, and if you come in already feeling half-hearted about it, you'll be back home before the summer's done.

On the other hand, if you get an appointment and decide to go for it, my advice is absolutely commit to stick out Plebe Year. Otherwise you're just wasting a spot that someone else wanted. Make it to the end of the ac year, get a real sense of what USNA's all about, climb Herndon with your classmates. If you decide to walk then, you've got a free year of college under your belt and a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. You can honestly say then that USNA just wasn't for you, not that you quit because it was too hard.
 
Reactions: Mos

DanMa1156

Land of the rising sun. Literally. There's no DST!
pilot
Contributor
Uncle Fester is spot on.

And for the record, I'm an Economics Student here at the Academy and the program here is great. Additionally, the access to D.C. and New York compared to UCSD can't compare. In the next few months, I'll be leading trips to the World Bank, Center for Naval Analysis, IMF, and several institutions in New York. If you're thinking that you can't do Econ or Poli Sci here and that's why didn't like it, then you're wrong. Both are great programs.
 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
I agree with what has been said, but overall, don't feel bad about not wanting to do the Academy. Go to the school and program you want to attend, period. If you are interested in being a military officer, then your commissioning program is a means to an end. Do well in college and you will recieve your commission. Then focus on doing well at your job, whatever it may end up being. I'm going to go out on a limb here (and maybe someone who has been to the other side of active duty can comment), and say that a future civilian employer is going to care a lot more about your x amount of years on active duty than they are going to about your bachelor's degree. Also, there are plenty of opportunities as a uniformed officer to attend graduate school (on the government's dime), which can certainly help your prospects after active duty......those opportunities exist for officers from all different commissioning sources.
 

TheBubba

I Can Has Leadership!
None
Coming from an Academy grad.

1. USNA isn't for everyone. Its a huge challenge. Its also a good time. You'll make friends you'll keep for life, and you'll have an experience that not alot of people have.

2. Going the NROTC route does not make you a failure. All it means is that you decided not to go to USNA. Doesn't make you any less of a person or officer... Marine or Navy.

3. Doesn't matter if you're a guy or a girl as long as you pull your weight. Meet and exceed the standard and you'll be fine. Its the standard for a reason.

My opinion of USNA is that its a great institution and you will have alot of fun and get to do some unique things while you're there. Keep in mind that many of the challenges you'll face at Canue-U specific to Academies and civilian military schools... plebe summer, certain training and alot of the academic requirements.

You'll definitely need to get over the homesickness issue. Especially if you want to succeed at an Academy much less spend time in the military. Plebe year at the Academy, you'll report July (if I remember correctly... my mind fails me in my old age) and not get to go home until Thanksgiving. Once you get your commission (regardless of the source) it can get worse. Sure, its easier to take leave once you get to a certain point in whatever training syllabus you're in. However, you may be on the other side of the country. Once you get to your operational unit, there's deployments and dets to contend with.

Case and point. I'm from NJ. That's where all my friends and family are. I went to flight school in Pensacola, FL, and I'm stationed ar NAS Whidbey Island in Washington. Hard to get further away from NJ and stay INCONUS. When I got my orders to my squadron (VAQ-133, WOrld Famous Wizards), they came with a plane ticket to Afghanistan, no time to take leave and go home. Get "home", and there's dets to NAS Fallon and Nellis AFB. Yeah... I had time to go home and see friends and family. But this just illustrates that you'll be really far from home at times with no way to get home.

If the homesickness is going to be that much of an issue, I suggest you either A) Get over it. B) Go to school close to home or C) Get over it, apply to USNA and an NROTC school and make the decison when you get an acceptance letter.

Beyond that, my advice it that if you even THINK YOU MIGHT WANT TO GO TO USNA, apply. Remember. You don't have to accept the appointment if you don't want to go.


Cheers,
Bubba
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
All good stuff posted above. Regarding your perceived compatibility with USNA; If NASS wasn't a good experience, then the USNA is very likely not for you. I have been a Blue and Gold Officer for awhile now. I have sent 13 kids to Annapolis and interviewed dozens more applicants. Every one of the guys I have interviewed LOVED NASS and said it firmed up their decision to go to the Academy. But every year I have guys that went to NASS and don't even return my calls let alone complete the app. Seminar is designed to help you make a decision and that decision may very well be not to go to USNA. You seem to fit that category.
 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
Seminar is designed to help you make a decision and that decision may very well be not to go to USNA. You seem to fit that category.
And to reiterate what has been said, there is nothing wrong with this if it is true for you. I'm one of those guys who never seriously considered the Academy, and in hindsight I'm glad that I didn't. Perhaps it would have been far different than I had imagined, but I know myself pretty well and I don't think it would have been a very good fit for me. If this is the realization that you are coming to, then there are plenty of other great ways to get commissioned into this fine Navy.
 

Ducky

Formerly SNA2007
pilot
Contributor
The only advice I have for the OP: Make a deicision ROTC or USNA and never look back. Go forward and be the best damn Mid in either program. That will ensure you won't be the next guy on AW explaining how he blew his golden opportunity and is asking how to fix it.
 

AJB37

Well-Known Member
One thing about UCSD is that all of the ROTC programs are partnerships with the other campuses in town, so you'll be driving across town to USD or SDSU. Also enjoy the protesters picketing the recruiters during the career fairs.
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
You're young, common to be a little hesitant and maybe get homesick a bit. Normal I think. Do what you think is right, what you want and don't look back. Going NROTC is not failure of any sort. Oh yeah, you're in San Diego....it doesn't get much better than that. Enjoy your time in college, enoy the civilian life. It doesn't suck, normal college life that is.
 

sfrankie08

Member
pilot
i agree with earlier post..doesn't matter if you are a girl/guy
i'm a female grad of the boat school..it was just the path i chose to become an officer.
nrotc is not a bad/worst route. it's just a different one that gets you to the same end goal. i'd agree with earlier posts though, if you are having doubts that the academy is not the place for you then it probably isn't. also keep in mind though that NASS is NOT the academy. Yes you sleep in the same beds/bedrooms. But we don't wake up every morning, PT, run around lifting logs and stuff. We go to class, play a sport, 2/3 formations a day, you eat and then you pretty much do your homework. Every now and then you will have drill or a parade or a lecture or something. You won't be going out every night like my twin did and get drunk. You won't skip classes, you won't get to leave the yard when you want to. If that is ok with you, then go to the academy. If that doesn't even remotely sound like the college experience you want, then don't go. It is NOT a failure. Do what you want to do, major what you want to major in. You can't go your whole life making decisions based on what other people expect/want. It is YOUR life...

PS. most everyone gets homesick..it happens and you'll find your own way to deal with it.
 

ChunksJR

Staff wennie, on the sundown tour
pilot
Contributor
nrotc is not a bad/worst route....
Point/Counterpoint to follow and it's been done here quite a bit...


...We go to class, play a sport, 2/3 formations a day, you eat and then you pretty much do your homework. Every now and then you will have drill or a parade or a lecture or something.....
We go to class, play a sport with your fraternity/sorority/ROTC/freshman hall intramural team, 2/3 formations a week, you eat and then you hang out with the girl/boy friend in their dorm and watch movies until 2am and sleep through the first 15 minutes of the class the next morning making you regret the movies until 2am. Every now and then you'll drill on Tuesday AND Thursday or a parade or a lecture or something. You're in your uniform 2 days out of the week. The rest of the student body looks at you funny when you stop and salute the flag going up and down and don't understand 1/2 of the fake ribbons that you wear.

...You won't be going out every night like my twin did and get drunk. You won't skip classes, you won't get to leave the yard when you want to....
You won't be going out every night and get drunk. Occasionally you will. You'll either learn to balance your life properly or you'll fvck it away and have to face that. You will skip classes, and won't get in trouble for it...until you realize that you have an exam and made a piss poor decision NOT to get the notes required for that exam on that damn class you missed. You'll have a girl/boyfriend to enjoy when you hate school and your job. You'll have a job to enjoy when you hate your boy/girlfriend and school. You'll have school to enjoy when you hate your job and boy/girlfriend. You'll have to do your OWN laundry :eek::eek:. You'll have to make your OWN decisions and live with those consequence. You'll love it. You'll hate it. You'll ring up credit card debt. You'll have great school pride and never regret not going to the academy. You'll also have your freshman year to "test the waters" with no military commitment, unless things have changed.

Disclaimer: this is my experience, with the benefit of hindsight in my 8 years in the military. Everyone has their own.

As Mark Twain said: Don't let your studies interfere with your education.

Either option is great. Good luck and keep pluggin' away.

~D
 

RedFive

Well-Known Member
pilot
None
Contributor
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 hate to beat a dead horse, but whether or not you fail as an officer depends on you as a person, not on how you get your bar. BDCP is a good option too. Why spend four years putting your uniform on once or twice a week and doing all the bs when you can get paid to walk around in your shorts and sandals?

(just don't fail ocs :icon_wink )
 

Wingnut172N

Tumbleweed
pilot
Coming from a Boat School Mid who did NASS, realize that first and foremost, USNA is a college. We go to classes and take exams just like everyone else.

Yes, we're restricted to staying on the yard during the week, but if you're the caliber of student who is applying to USNA and NROTC, you probably didn't do much hard partying during the week anyway, right?

Despite all the rules and regulations (or maybe because of them) you'll make very good friends here. Some of my best memories of USNA so far come from Plebe Year, when it was most restrictive.

I'd say complete your application to NROTC, USNA, and all other colleges, then sit down with everything that comes back and make your decision then. Remember, you're not obligated to the Navy until you're a 2/C at USNA.

Also, not everyone here is a jock/tool/future moto-marine etc...we're normal folks. You'll find your niche if you decide to come, and I think the homesickness will go away after the first few weeks of plebe summer; you'll be too busy.
 

beaver_believer

New Member
To OP: I think you need to consider what is really important to you.

You said that you are trying to decide between between USNA and a Marine Option program. Of all the Marine Options I know at my unit, not one of them would have chosen USNA (I actually know of at least one who turned down an appointment). I don't mean any disrespect to the Academy, but due to the way the selection process works, it is really a gamble as to whether or not you can get service selected to the Marines.

If you go NROTC, on the other hand, you are guaranteed to go Marines (provided you make it through OCS). And if you aren't dead set on being a Marine… you aren't meant to be one.


For what it's worth, I don't have any regrets about choosing ROTC - and my commission will be worth just as much.
 

TheBubba

I Can Has Leadership!
None
To OP: I think you need to consider what is really important to you.

You said that you are trying to decide between between USNA and a Marine Option program. Of all the Marine Options I know at my unit, not one of them would have chosen USNA (I actually know of at least one who turned down an appointment). I don't mean any disrespect to the Academy, but due to the way the selection process works, it is really a gamble as to whether or not you can get service selected to the Marines.
This is definitely something you should take into consideration. If you definitely want to be a Marine and want it guaranteed, then NROTC, PLC or going straight to OCS may be the route for you.

And if you aren't dead set on being a Marine… you aren't meant to be one.
BULLSHIT. I know a few Marines who were not dead set on being Marines (officer & enlisted) that love being in The Corps and wouldn't want to do anything else. I know a Sergeant that enlisted b/c his best friend in high school did, and he said "what the hell... I'll go to San Diego with you". Hadn't thought about even joining the military until his buddy signed the papers. A guy I went through API became a Marine because he couldn't finish his teaching certificate. Both love being Marines.

Where are you in the pipeline? Nice statement in your first post dude.


For what it's worth, I don't have any regrets about choosing ROTC - and my commission will be worth just as much.
Good on you.
 
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