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Though many people complain about their service academy experience (especially the dropouts, in some perhaps effort to self-validate their decision), it is a hard-but-strongly positive life altering experience to go there, succeed, and graduate. The Upper classmen can be jerks, and creativity is not found here in droves (I came from a creative world of artists and authors), but if "you never quit you will never fail", and this includes finding creative venues, and means to serve in a way each midshipman can best do. I left with improving grades in a math major but nothing stellar,, and early in my life I always felt USNA helped me develop alot of social "baggage". But in the life picture now looking back, and as I stand 3 decades later, with a PhD (I learned the discipline to obtain it from USNA), decades of difficult aviation under pressure, the vast opportunities to be in the middle of countless superb leadership trials, the chance to command and rund large intitutions of a complexity more than most CEOs, I can tell you, I owe a vast debt of gratitude to my USNA experience. IMHO, you do not have to be severely extroverted, conservative, hostile to the creative juices, to succeed at USNA -- where foremost you learn to succeed under great pressure, juggling emotional, professional and academic challenges few 18 year olds would know before entry. Whether or not one makes a career of the Navy after USNA, the experience will make you a "quiet" force unlike few other experiences can, no matter your makeup. Not unlike the transformation crossing the finish line of one's first marathon race, it can give you inner and outer tools that will help for life, not to mention school recognition and networking utility (which I have found extremely positive, and tends to give my Harvard buds a run for their money
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