Plebe Summer and Plebe Year

<p>Now that the year is almost over for the current Plebes; I was hoping any current Mids on this forum would offer us some advice. I would be interested in hearing their opinion on both Plebe Summer and Plebe Year. How would you rate each of them in terms of difficulty (1 being horrible & 10 being easy). Any advice to the class of '09 to become successful during Plebe Summer and PLebe Year?</p>

<p>To be successful, be a team player...that is about it.</p>

<p>Advice: know your stuff (rates, etc.), do what the 1/C tell you</p>

<p>I thought 1st semester of plebe year was somewhat more difficult than plebe summer (depends on your company). 2nd semester is a lot easier than plebe summer though.</p>

<p>Plebe summer is actually kind of fun once you get over the yelling. Sometimes its hard not to take it personally, but its a skill that you will learn. Don't draw attention to yourself and if you are told to do something, never ever drag your feet. If you see someone having a rough time, stop and help them, you will get the same when you need it. Another important thing is to always keep your sense of humor, no matter how much life sucks at that particular point in time.</p>

<p>Plebe summer is overall pretty lame. But in truth, it's not nearly as lame as the academic year. During plebe summer, everyone is a jack*** so you really don't know any better. However, once the ac year starts, then you finally see the ugly side. I would estimate, through personal experience and rigorous statistical analysis that 40% of the people here are utter tools. Yes, yes, this is not a majority, however all the cool people are hiding from you because they have better things to do. This 40% will yell and whine about the most petty and inane things one could possibly imagine. For instance getting called out by some self-righteous holier-than-thou loser who one moment will sit in your room and watch a movie with you and the next moment get together with his other self-righteous holier-than-thou friends and yell and scream like a little girl because you have DVD's. </p>

<p>Pray to God you get brainwashed well enough to last you the entire year. It only got me through one semester.</p>

<p>Wow, hoorah has it totally right. Academic year sucks because you have the "freedom" to make the "right" choices. But what they don't tell you is everything fun is off limits. If you're having fun, you are, quote "wrong". Don't be fooled by upperclass who are being nice. They are actually hypocrites that will sell you out for a sweet aptitude grade. They are the biggest frauds of all. The only sane thing to do, and i doubt that you will be sane after the summer, is to disappear.
If you are going to come here, don't leave yourself a way out. If you have that plane ticket home, you will use it. There are none here who wouldn't if they had had the chance. You're best bet to make it is to pretend that you are a prisoner. Shouldn't be too hard because you can't go anywhere, there's ****ty food, lots of bugs and rats, and mandatory physical exercise. Just take a state penn, add chemistry, and poof, Navy. At least in jail, no one asks you what's for lunch, and you get to wear jeans.</p>

I have two questions:
1. Why did you choose USNA?
2. What keeps you there?</p>


<p>"I have two questions:
1. Why did you choose USNA?
2. What keeps you there?"</p>

<p>Here are 2 sets of answers:</p>

<li><p>Because I wanted to be an officer and serve my country. Didn't realize I was going to be treated like a child for the entire time I was here. Leadership training my a$$---this is like a day care center where they torture you!</p></li>
<li><p>Man, I figure that I've put up with this BS for THIS long--I might as well finish the year. Maybe it will be better when I'm and upperclassmen--aw hell, at least I'll get to treat the new plebes the same way I've been treated--that would be cool.</p></li>


<li><p>Choose USNA? I didn't choose this place. It chose me! Once I got in, everyone was patting me on the back, teelling me how great I was . . . mom and dad were so proud--how could I say no?</p></li>
<li><p>I don't have the courage to quit. What would I do once I got out? What would my friends and family say? Nah, I started this nonsense so I'm darn well going to finish. </p></li>

<p>Asking specific advice from midshipmen is ok--but that's about it. You have to be away from the academy for a while in order to have any persepctive on what has gone on there, and how it has impacted you. </p>


<p>There's a lot of cynicism floating around in this board, so to start off, this post is not sarcastic. I'll try and convey what I have been subjected to over the past 10 months. Yes, there is yelling by the upper-class. Appearantly people were ignorant to this fact. Yelling is a staple in the Plebe diet of training. </p>

<p>Plebe Summer and Plebe Year will be different for every single person depending on what company you are in, who your upperclass are, etc. Over the summer you can depend on rack races, uniform races, being asked to do a multitude of tasks in as little time as possible, and just constant hasseling by the firstie detailers. You will not enjoy every moment, but there are those few moments that make you feel really good: qualifying in rifle and pistol, doing well in drill, finishing hard PT sessions, surviving the day till personal time, it isn't all bad. </p>

<p>Ac Year gets better in some ways because the firstie detailers become first-class midshipmen, which means they're busy doing capstone projects and preparing themselves for graduation, plus the freedom of moving around without escorts. The training falls upon the 2/C who rate and hassel for the better part of 7 months. Life eases up after spring break, and now that finals are almost upon us, the upperclass hardly bother the plebes. Of course, that's just my company. I know of another company who had an Alpha room imspection for their plebes at 0630 this morning, and are on "all-calls"...only 27 days left till Herdon, too. So the amount of trouble a plebe will get is all subjective from company to company. Other than that, you need A LOT of common sense. Watching a movie on a saturday night in your room is a smaller rule to break, but copy/paste an English paper is a far worse offense. If you're going to watch a movie, or break a rule, you have to be aware of your surroundings. They teach this over the summer as "situational awareness." Know who is around, what they are doing, and if you get caught, own up and take the punishment. The old addage concerning playing with fire and getting burned is very appropriate for the academy. No one has ever graduated without breaking a rule here and there, but plenty have graduated with no conduct offenses and 0 demerits.</p>

<p>As far as being successful during the summer, I suggest keeping yourself in the middle, and excel when you get the chances. If you are at the bottom, you are a constant target for an example of failure. If you are at the top, you may be looked highly upon, but everytime you stumble it will be 10 times worse than the middleman. Plus, if you are at the top and make your classmates look poorly in front of the detailers, they may take offense to it. Help out your classmates as much as possible, especially if you're coming from NAPS. But don't sacrifice your own time to learn rates, or you'll just look bad, and the detailers won't allow the excuse of "i was helping my shipmates." If you are deficient in an area heading into the summer, work on it as hard as possible and hopefully your squad leader will notice improvements. Also, take care of your classmates, as they will be with you for the next 4 YEARS. You don't want to make enemies right off the bat, because you will be forced to call upon them for assistance, so if there is a way to work out a situation, take the least confrontational path as possible. </p>

<p>As for the Academic Year, grades are huge. Try and work as hard as possible for the first semester, I'm not even kidding. By the end of the year rolls around (right about now), you'll want nothing to do with school work. I'm not saying you can just blow work off, but by having really good grades first semester while you're really gung-ho and fresh about the academy will create a buffer for when you're burnt out on the place. That is not cynicism, that's the truth. There is not a single mid on the yard who is not tired of classes, just the same as every other college in America. We're all just looking forward to the beach. Time management is crucial since there are many military obligations such as briefs, "Bore-us-all (Forrestal) Lectures," and the all mighty "Come-Around" for professional knowledge. Pro Know by itself will usually take a few hours every week to learn and prepare for come arounds with the upperclass. Keeping up on pro knowledge will be a good point in your favor (along with good grades) if you are ever in conduct trouble, and in bargaining with your company officer to get special chits.</p>

<p>Good luck to those who were accepted directly, and especially to those who were admitted to the "prestigious 5-year program" and are headed to my old stomping grounds in Newport, RI. Any specific questions concerning varsity athletics, academics, or just general plebe life can be e-mailed to me: <a href=""></a></p>

<p>I'll try to provide the best information that I can find, including specific tips on getting through plebe summer if anyone needs them.</p>

<p>I think all prospective Midshipman should read the above post. This Midshipman has managed to give the most balanced view of what life at the Academy is all about. If you want the best Midn08</p>

<p>I'm not trying to say midn08 is wrong, but how can you say that he has the best gouge on the academy if you never spent a day as a mid? You are correct, but I see that you (moms) are picking and choosing the advice that you like the best. That's crazy.</p>

<p>Well, honestly, that's because he's providing advice. Not personally attacking other mids or threatening incoming plebes. Tone/bearing is important.</p>

<p>I'd certainly welcome your thoughts and advice as well.</p>

<p>Tsk...Tsk....Tsk... Some are still bickering I see. Not to add more fuel to the fire, I just want to thank ya'll for adding constructive answers to the original question. Very informative! Exactly what I've been told it will be like. I don't think anyone is expecting a bed of roses anyhow and it helps to know the good, bad & the ugly before anyone gets where they're going. Haven't been here in a while b/c I'm on a waiting list so this may or may not pertain to me but I find the info here very useful so I hope its not shut down. Parent's enthusiasm is a given as mine proved but ya gotta love 'em & see it from their point of view. They're just watching our backs. They've got something invested in this as well. US! So love to all you Mamas! And Dad's! C'mon guys, all us kids going to academies (or not) just want to know what goes on in your daily lives. Knowing what to expect gets rid of some of the angst. Keep posting that good info!</p>

<p>Is it still common for plebes to have to memorize the top three newspaper articles every morning, so they can tell it to their upperclassmen?</p>

All plebes are suppose to read 3 newspaper articles a day and be able to speak about each one for 1.5 minutes (national, international, and sports). In reality, usually upperclass only ask for one, maybe two if they are rating you. At my table, when eating chow as a squad, I have one 2/C who asks, "Anything interesting in today's news?" Basically this means share an article or two (any one of them) that might be funny, interesting, important to know, etc. This 2/C likes space articles - so anything with NASA or aero is usually good.</p>

<p>In my opinion, and I welcome anyone who disagrees, I think the articles are not really a rate because it is important to know what is going on in the world/nation and when someone asks me an article, I am more than happy to share it. Military articles, certain sports teams and championships, and ethical/moral articles that can generate conversation are usually good ones to pick (i.e. Schiavo case). </p>

<p>However, the articles don't necessarily have to be the top three. During plebe summer, learning articles is tough becasue each plebe has to shower, memorize the menu for the next 3 meals, read the 3 articles, Class Bravo the room (clean/neat), and learn additional rates (i.e. 11 General Orders of a Sentry, Code of Conduct, weapons fore to aft on DDG, etc.). Also, when you are eating chow during P.S. the way my cadre asked, was he went around the table randomly picking one person at a time, while picking 1 of the three categories at random, too. So it was impossible to guess which article you might be asked. If you didn't know that one, you got asked the other two and then the next day you had to know four.</p>

<p>Again, I think KateLewis says it best. Don't assume parents don't know what they're talking about...many parents on this thread are Academy graduates themselves and so yes, they do have a clue about what's going on during plebe year.</p>

<p>Oh that helped.... Sure 09hopeful found it very useful. To the mids: Can u guys have MP3 players?</p>

<p>"many parents on this thread are Academy graduates themselves"</p>

<p>Judging from everything I've read over the last few months, I don't think any of the PARENTS on here are academy grads, though I welcome anyone to correct me. </p>


<p>Yep. That was a big help too. GEEEEZ! Knock it off already! Hey can you guys have MP3 Players?</p>

<p>No media privileges as Plebes, unless as a temporary reward. That means no speakers on the computers, no DVDs on the computers, no headphones on the computers, no downloading of copywrited music ever, unless you pay for it (i-pod has a system that charges 99 cents a song, I think), in which case you can only do this as a youngster. Just had a conversation today with my plebe on this topic. Plebes can listen to whatever at their sponsor's house.</p>

<p>Media privileges begin with youngster year. Do plebes ever break this? Only those there could answer.

<p>In our private conversations with parents and candidates we've met through college confidential, we were surprised that indeed many were USNA alumni or had older siblings who had graduated from the academy.</p>

<p>Which brings up another point. If it's such a dreary place, what parent who had personally experienced life on the Yard, would subject their child to the same fate?</p>

<p>Thanks for setting the record straight midmom.</p>