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United States Naval Academy

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I'm an old geezer having graduated 20+ yearsQuite BrightEconomics
I'm an old geezer having graduated 20+ years ago, but have remained very connected with what's going on at USNA in recent years. Going to the Academy is still one of the best decisions I've ever made and from that experience and my career in the Navy, I have had incredible opportunities personally, professionally and culturally. My friends and classmates are still tight after decades and we love reminiscing about our four years on the Severn River, especially plebe year antics. Nothing easy is worthwhile and during our time, the Academy experience was tougher than today's more nurturing approach. Everyday you are pushed to juggle an overflowing plate and the leadership responsibilities as a midshipman will serve you well in the fleet. ROTC may be a better fit for some, but the Academy is the ultimate in preparing you for a naval career. Even if you're not sure if you want to stay in the Navy beyond the five yrs obligation, it;s still a great choice for college.
4th Year Female -- Class 1991
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Useful Schoolwork: C-
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I would urge students considering the academies toNot so brightHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
I would urge students considering the academies to choose ROTC or alternative officer programs instead. I believe that most students who are able to be successfully admitted to USNA are ultimately failed by USNA's restrictive environment and its inability to modern times which greatly retards their social development and ability to work with people within and without of the military. Students who attend the academy are undoubtedly some of the best and the brightest but at the end of the day the Academy hinders rather than advances their development as young officers and people. While the Academy may be a good fit for a small fraction of USNA students, the obnoxious bureaucracy and ancient system of restrictions provides students with the worst aspects of the military while programs alternative officer programs like ROTC provide their prospective officers with the best of both military and civilian college worlds with meaningful field exercise training and exposure to the diversity, social maturation, and academic freedom provided by college life. USNA's students come in as the cream of the crop from their hometowns and yet, after being allowed off-base for a handful of hours per weekend during plebe year, people still wonder why they start behaving as they do with binge drinking, synthetic drug usage and even sexual assaults. There is no excuse for such behavior but, for pete's sake, let's give these young men and women some fresh air and let them take a walk-off campus during the week and relax some of the absurd weekend policies so they can come back ready for success. I wouldn't abolish the academies as some would but I would definitely advise the administration to get over the romanticism and optimize academy leave policies so as to prevent the midshipman from going insane or getting miserable and depressed as many of them do. Another negative aspect of the academy is the "soccer mom" culture which pressures the midshipmen into acting like they are absolutely in love with the place to outsiders when in reality most of them are completely miserable and would transfer out if not for the tremendous pressure from family and classmates. Honestly, a lot of the time it feels so artificial and even cult-like when everybody here knows everyone else is miserable but they put on a fake smile even though they dream of doing ROTC at a civilian school. Ultimately, I would like to thank prospective future officers for their willingness to serve but I strongly advise attending a different officer program to become the best officer and young leader you can be.
2nd Year Male -- Class 2015
Friendliness: A+, Useful Schoolwork: F
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To be honest, I wish I hadn't wastedNot so brightEngineering Department
To be honest, I wish I hadn't wasted so much effort to try to get in. Long story, but I would have rather gone to a ROTC university, and ultimately, I left in the second year. I wanted not so much to go to the Academy, as to be a naval officer. So, I did become a naval officer (OCS) and ultimately had a great career that culminated in command-at-sea. But wanting to be a naval officer isn't enough, and wanting a degree isn't enough (I have three graduate degrees now). I think you have to want to go to the Naval Academy. Period. I was an introvert in a lot of ways and I think that hurt me. Twenty-five years later, I still have nightmares about this place, though one enduring friendship continues. I continue to wish that going ROTC had been an option in my (very unique) situation...I'm sure it would have been fun to have a normal college experience instead of doing either USNA or the route I eventually took to get my degree finished.
1st Year Female -- Class 1993
Campus Maintenance: A, Education Quality: F
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