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Life as a Cadet.

Z4CHHZ4CHH Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
Describe life as a cadet.

Compare it to a regular college student.

Tell about the rewards.

Tell about the hard work.

Tell about how life in those four years will be.
Post edited by Z4CHH on
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Replies to: Life as a Cadet.

  • raimiusraimius Registered User Posts: 2,360 Senior Member
    Well, that's a very broad question. There is no single answer. If you are an "average" cadet (i.e. not an IC or on any competitive team) there are some answers.

    Right now, the day lasts from 0700 to 2300, but that can change. Revele sounds at 0700, which means that freshmen are already out of their rooms. I usually get up between 0600 and 0620. Breakfast is 0725 to 0743. Classes begin at 0750 and go for about an hour each. You can expect to have between 2 and 5 classes per day (as each class meets every-other day). Lunch is around noon, with an hour afterwords for military/squadron stuff. Classes end at 1623. Dinner goes from 1700-1900 and is buffet style. 1900-2300 is time for studying.

    Freshmen are trained from time to time. This varies by squad. My squad has an hour of training 3 days a week.

    I can't really compare the academy to "normal" college, since I did not go to one.

    Pros-You can make some really good friends. There is not much lying-honor code. Stuff like Jump and soaring over the summers.

    Cons-freshman year is not always fun. Sometimes people seem to treat you like a four year old. Rules up the ying-yang.
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    I love life here. I'm fortunate this semester to have an amazing training staff, so we are rewarded and punished fairly. So, we are doing well.

    Yes, freshman life is generally supposed to suck, but it makes the good moments awesome. I have made the best and most mature friendships here compared to high school.

    You would have to live it to understand it.
  • CWJones411CWJones411 Registered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
    What kinds of classes do you take? How much studying/ tests do you have? How are the teachers? What is the overall attitude of the students? How much time do you have for clubs and activities?
  • go navy81go navy81 Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    Hey guys and gals, proud to say my daughter has received an Appointment to USAFA with the class of '11. Although, as you can guess by the screen name, I'm USNA 81. Don't know a whole lot about AF Cadet life and routine. Does AF have regular dress parades where the whole Wing (?) marches? At Navy, we used to have dress P-rades every Wednesday afternoon in the Fall and Spring. Go Falcons!
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    Before the snow we had noon meal formation (15 minutes) mon, thurs and fri. We has Wing wide parades every wednesday (45 -60 minutes).
    Once the snow is gone, that will start back up, but that's not going to be for awhile at this rate.

    Last semester my classes were:
    engineering 100
    Honors computer science
    japanese 221 (3rd semester level)
    Honors Calculus 3
    Chemistry 222 (analytical chem, advanced class)

    This semester:
    Honors Physics 110H (mechanics)
    Economics 200 (only freshman in it I believe...argh)
    Scholars (honors) behavioral science
    Scholars History 101S
    Japanese 222
    Military Strategic Studies (MSS) 100

    My major is Bio-chemistry with a minor in japanese.

    Unfortunately for most, this will not be your schedule. I am one of 45 freshman in the scholars program (basically honors program I guess) which is taught very differently. IE, my history class is not the normal world history with battles, people, and dates, but based on human evolution around the use of the sun's energy (no text books: 3 original books called "Children of the sun", "the end of oil" and "something new under the sun"). My behav Sci class (psychology) doesn't use a textbook, instead we learn based on the publishings of Darwin, James Williams, and Skinner. So, my hist grades are:
    300/600 divided in 3 papers
    100/600 seminar points (all classes are taught seminar style, so these are based on contributing)
    200/600 = final.
    No final in psychology.

    But, all but history have 2-3 GR's (tests) in them spread among the semester and usually some project or research paper.

    Teachers are wonderful. I have about a 50/50 split between military and civilian teachers. They are all very committed to us the students and are almost always available for extra instruction (EI aka tutoring). Their purpose is to serve our educational needs. The students are a mix too. Some are enthusiastic about school (as I find in my honors classes) while many are not. It varies a lot.

    I study about 2 hours a day. Not a lot really. I get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, plenty to be honest.
    I can do that with going 2 hours a day to the gym. So yes, you have time for activities.

    Really, the nature of 4 dig year makes clubs and stuff hard, but they are possible for sure. I also tend to have more time than my peers, so I'm not the best person for the typical cadet day. However, some of you, simply by being here, could possibly be in my shoes soon.
  • CWJones411CWJones411 Registered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
    How much choice do you have when you pick your classes? I know there is a lot of math and science in the curriculum, but how much choice do you have when it comes to humanities and social sciences? Also, when do you decide your major? Do all freshmen decide before they arrive?
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    Depends, if you validate a lot, then you have many choices, I could have taken a completely different set of classes. But, most freshman are bound to many core level classes at the freshman level. After that you have more freedom usually as major's classes are taken.

    Most decide their major 1st semester sophomore year, I decided very early to get in my major's courses in my schedule ASAP.

    Usually, the humanities and social sciences are a lot more free to pick and choose or substitute, not so much the case with mathematics.
  • CWJones411CWJones411 Registered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
    What does it mean to validate?
  • Z4CHHZ4CHH Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    hornetguy are there easier classes to take than what you have? :p
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    lol yes. I am probably in the hardest classes freshmen can take. The normal schedule would include calc 1, general chemistry, MSS 100, engineering 100, History 101, English 111, calc 2, general chemistry 2, behavioral science, geopolitics. I validated (got credit for a class) most lower level classes, and then if I didn't, I am pretty much in an honors version.
  • Guy4ChristGuy4Christ Registered User Posts: 594 Member
    Validation is actually one of the best things you can do, though. I validated Calc 1 and 2 which put me into Calc 3, a sophomore class, my first semester. Although it was tough, after this year I'll have almost my entire math requirement finished for my major, as opposed to junior year. Plus, I'll have finished all my required classes sooner and have more free time as an upperclassmen.

    As for "life," it's nothing like a real college, not even as an upperclassmen. But that's not to say you can't be content or have fun...to the contrary...I have a blast. You just gotta know how to adapt to not having your day to yourself.
  • redhead89redhead89 Registered User Posts: 722 Member
    hornetguy, which classes did you validate? Once finals are over and my class rank is set in stone I'm going to be spending more time prepping myself to be able to validate some of those tests.
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    I validated:
    english 111
    calc 1
    calc 2
    chem 141
    chem 142
    Biology 215
    japanese 131
    japanese 132
    unarmed combat 1
    computer science 211

    I should have taken the AP tests for economics (macro and micro) as well as physics. I'm done with physics 110 (mechanics) homework through March and I fall asleep despite my best efforts in econ. I took econ senior year and mechanics twice before in high school (PAP and AP levels).

    Take as many AP exams as possible so you can validate as much as you're comfortable with. While many advise against doing so, if you start out in advanced classes, I think the GPA difference of not taking "easy" classes will balance when you have 1-2 classes less than your peers as an upperclassman.

    Also, be careful about trying to prep. If you aren't certain on the material, then moving a class up (chem or calc for example) could hurt you without the basics. But you seem like a very smart one, so I would highly suggest you knock as much as possible out redhead.
  • raimiusraimius Registered User Posts: 2,360 Senior Member
    I agree with Hornetguy's advice. I validated Calc 1 and 2, but realized that I needed more practice with Calc 2. Taking it really helped.
  • penQuinzpenQuinz Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    if you validate something, can you decide that you don't want to skip that class, but instead retake it?
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