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My son is interested in the Naval Academy, what can anyone tell about their experiences with the Naval Academy?

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I have a friend that is curretly attending USNA, he loves it there but says the courses are very intense. The first year is the hardest especially because they are learning how to adapt to a whole new different environment. They only have time to basically study, so don't expect a lot of phone calls. Their rooms are a little bigger so any home goodies are def a plus. I visited the Naval Academy and is a really great place, he'll love it there. They also get to travel in the summer to do different programs depending on the major, I think, so dont quote me on that. some of the activies they do is sky diving, mountain climbing, etc. Their athletic department is also very good.
My son just graduated from the boot camp in Great Lakes, he absolutely hates it. The very first letter he wrote was telling us to try and get him out. He says all they do is yell at him constantly and their always in his face. My son is a very shy and has never been in any trouble. He doesnt know how to handle the situation. He's not used to being yelled at for not making his bed correctly, or not writing a certain letter correctly on a piece of paper. When we call and try to talk to anyone all we get is the run around. The Navy station told us that if he doesnt want to be their all he has to do is tell someone and they will let him out. WRONG......They lie whenever possible just to get you to join, and then as they say
" You belong to them". If your son is a VERY VERY strong person tell him to persue itbut get all the information he can and not to believe what theNavy recruits are telling him. Tell him to go online and try to talk with other people in the Navy if he wants the truth. MY son is very upset and I am afraid that this experience is going to do permanent damage if we cant get him out. Best of luck to you and your son. Hope you dont end up going through what we are going through....
My kids joined the regular Navy. My brother, however, went to West Point. I know the military academies are very similar. They are physically hard all four years, its the academics that are really tough though. My brother said it was the hardest four years of his life but wouldn't trade it for anything. He is a Colonel now and is getting ready to retire. Hook up with Naval Academy grads in your area. They are very honest about the experience and are not like the recruiters. Its not a regular college and they don't get to party and socialize much, that's probably why they look like wild animals at the football games!!! :) Anyway, Go Navy Beat Army! My brother would kill me! haha. Good luck, just research and get all the information you can.
Laurie
Thanks, I am interested in any input I can get. I think my son would like it he is very intense, but its so hard to advise. Thanks again for your comments.
Judy
My daughter went to the Naval Academy, majored in aero engineering and is now in secondary flight school. She both loved and was totally irritated by the academy. She found much of the military stuff to be just a pain, but also loved being a part of the Academy and wouldn't now trade it for anywhere else. She made some amazing friends who still keep in touch and loves flying. Her younger sister was thinking about going there and she had some interesting insights. She thinks the school is great, but said that the 5 year committment coming out is something to consider. Is your son interested in a specific career in the navy? (ie surface warfare, marines, pilot or NFO, submarines etc) They have something called a "drag" weekend, where your son can go to the Academy and shadow a mid all day Fri to classes, spend the night, meet varsity coaches if he's into any sport there and eat the dorm food to get an idea of life there.
They do 2 summer training sessions and are home only about 3 weeks. Some sessions are required for everyone and some are elective based on interest. Classes are hard, as they have regular classes any college has, but also military training, but the teacher to student ratio is amazing. Upper classmen in their companies will help the underclassmen.
It's an amazing place for the right kids. If your son gets in and can't stand it, they have their first 2 years to opt out and go back to civilian school.
If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them as I'm albe.ome
My daughter is enlisted and is working on her appointment to the Academy. She loves being enlisted and will love being an officer. She will bring a special kind of advise along with her having already worn the black shoes of the enlisted personel. She has found her calling with the US Navy and for a mom, that is the best ever!
I hope she gets her dream and becomes an officer - she will be a darn good one!
Go Navy!!
My daughter graduated the Academy. I agree with another mom's comment that while she loved it, it irritated her too. She did a sport which was a big help and had her study habits already in place before she went there.( a big plus) The first year is the hardest. Family support and encouragement are mandatory. I think that for her, it was a great experience and she went into the fleet prepared for the most part. The school work was unrelenting as is their schedules. They have to be prepared to give up a "normal" college experience and if they can come to mental grips with that they do fine. Her twin went to a large university and there was comments as in, " she doesn't understand, I have no free time!" or I have class every day from 7:30 to 3 PM. with no breaks. She realizes now the value of the education she received and the experience that she had there. While challenging for everyone in the family on many levels, I think it was a good thing. My son, who decided that the super hard math classes at West Point were not for him, is on a full ROTC scholarship with the Army and happy. Each kid must find their own way if this is what they chose. Plus it is a great fun being a parent of a midshipman, I miss that!
My sons a 2007 Alumni and he had an amazing experience. One of his main concerns was ensuring he went in top shape. We actually were referred to the website www.usnaprep.com and they offer free advice from alumni as well as offering fitness and nutrition programs. Let me know if you have any more particular questions!

~Y

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