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Have I sabotaged myself?

Last post 04-17-2005, 5:11 PM by spectreboy1221. 2 replies.
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  •  03-17-2005, 8:32 PM 2851

    Have I sabotaged myself?

    I'm a high school Sophomore and am starting to have troubles focuing in school.  It has been my dream to fly for as long as I can remember.  I am very interested in the Raptor but will fly anything they will let me.  I have had a lot of stupid obstacles thrown in front of me and am not fitting in well at school or having the greatest time with my family.  I, though I was outscoring 99% of kids nationwide and had completed most of what I need to accomplish in elementary school before I got there through a very good private school, somehow I never made it into GT classes.  My school is heavy on the politics.  This year I'm being allowed to catch up in math by taking Algebra 2 Honors and Geometry Honors at the same time.  When combined with my Enlish GT class and Chemistry my work can get a little heavy.  This year I have felt unable to think clearly and assimilate information as quickly as I used.  I am unable to focus in many of my classes.  I hang out with the cool crowd but really have no friends.  I never do any work out home or study.  I never had to study before and I learned everything right as I was told.  I don't do any homework outside of school.  My family really upsets me and I have spent tons of gas just driving to be away from them.  I still manage 3-4 A's and the rest are B's.  Athletically I have great endurance.  I swim well, play tennis, and can run great distances(I'm not the fastest sprinter though).  I only play tennis as a sport though and am lacking uperbody strenght.   I started going to physical conditioning but I'm still weak.  I max out at 130 so and am 6'2" 140lbs so I'm pretty weak.  My vision is pretty poor.  I'm sorry for making that so long and probably poinltess.  If you actually read it thanks.  I'm pretty down on myself and just have been thinking about the future.  Yeah all this whining and depressing stuff makes me sound like the perfect candidate to be entrusted with a 40 million dollar aircraft doesn't it?

    My first concern is about vision.  I want to know if laser eye correction is acceptable and if not why.  I have to wear contacts and without them my vision is quite limited.  I'm also wondering if I have ruined my chances with how I go about academics and extra curiculars.  I know the physical strength and academic aspects are all on me and my only limitations are those I impose on myself, I'm just having a hard time staying motivated because it seems like no matter how well I do it doesn't matter. 

    I wanted to go to USAFA but I don't think my high school career is up to par.  I am still very interested in becoming a pilot and plan to attend Purdue to get a degree pertaining to engineering or aviation.  So basically what I want to know is do I still have a chance after pretty much wasting my high school career?

    If you actually read it thanks and sorry for typing so much stuff.
  •  04-17-2005, 12:03 PM 2892 in reply to 2851

    Re: Have I sabotaged myself?


    I'm not sure if you're still hanging around, but as no one has given you an answer yet, I thought I'd give it a shot..

    There are several options available if you desire to become a pilot.  If you are willing to fly anything, including helicopters, then the options are ever greater; however, I'm going to assume you wish to fly a fighter, so I will only go through those..

    As you have indicated, going to the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) is one of the options available to you.  While the USAFA is very competitive, I do believe you could make it if you were determined.  Are you involved with any extracurricular activities in school?  These can be very important; athletics are quite important at the USAFA, so you may consider joining a few school sports.  Other things, such as the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) and having a Prive Pilots License could be quite helpful as well.  You still have a few years left in high school, so if you were determined, you could probably improve greatly; the most important thing is discipline.  Discpline seems quite unattractive, but in actuallity you only need to discpline yourself to achieve the goals which you set for yourself; thus you are determining what happens in your life, and the work you do is done on your volition with the hope of achieve your goal; this is actually quite rewarding..  Anyway, things you may want to consider are sacraficing anything which seems to be getting in the way of your studying: spending time with friends, girlfriends (you'll find out in the end that they're crazy anyway..), or a job.  Concentrate on your work, but don't pressure yourself to do more than you're capable of, or you will just end up quite angry and thus less able to study..  Most importantly, however, is to have confidence in yourself; you will be much happier in your life, and more able to do what it is that you want to do.  If you feel like you're not as physically strong as you could be, you may also consider starting an aggressive, military style work out such as the following: http://www.teenbodybuilding.com/brent2.htm  However, like I said before, don't push yourself too far or you could get hurt.  You must take the ACT or SAT, so try you best to do well on these.  However, it's a bit impractical to actually study for these, so instead try to really learn and remember the things you learn in school, especially math.  Then you have the application process, which involved a congressional sponsorship and an interview, but I don't know much about this, so I won't try to guess at it.

    While the USAFA gives you the greatest chance of becoming a pilot, it is also the hardest to get into.  There are several other options to becoming a fighter pilot, though, so you should really consider these as well (in fact, in my opinion, these options may be better)..

    You could enlist in the USAF, try to become a crewchief or something comparable, and then try to get commisioned as an officer.

    You could also attend any number of colleges and enlist in Air Force ROTC.  This way you are able to attend a variety of colleges and get a degree in whatever you'd like, and then when you graduate (you may have to take the Air Force Officers Qualifying Test) you will be commisioned as an officer into the USAF.  There are, of course, some AFROTC obligations during college, but they're nothing like the obligations you have while at the USAFA.  Moreover, enrolling in the AFROTC  will give you money to help pay for college.

    Simliar to this, you could enlist in the Air National Guard.  In the ANG you attend basic training, then an AF technical school to be trained, but following this you are only part time (2 weeks each year and 1 weekend per month).  The ANG committement is 6 years, during which time you can attend college, which the ANG will help pay for.  Following this, you can take the Air Force Officers Qualifying Test (AFOQT), which is like a college level ACT, and then you can become commisioned as an officer.  Then, you can apply to a pilot slot with any ANG unit in the country (of course, you would probably choose to only apply to units which fly the F-15, F-16, or A-10); if you're accepted then you will become a pilot, and serve part time (though part time as a pilot is much more frequent than part time as anything else in the ANG).  Actually, I'm not sure if you have to become an officer to apply for a pilots slot; instead, I think you could just take the AFOQT, then apply for a pilot slot, and if you get  one, attend officer training.  Likewise, you could actually not enlist in the ANG at all, but instead just attend college, take the AFOQT, and still apply for a Pilot Slot.  In this case, however, you would most likely have to be a Certified Flight Instructor, as well has have a degree in aviation or something similar.

    The Navy has simliar programs to the AF.  They've got the Naval Academy, Navy ROTC, and enlisted men.  Because of the simliarities, I won't go into detail..

    As per your question about your eyesight; don't get surgery at this point.  You can be accepted as a pilot without perfect eyesight, and they will pay for you to get PRK surgery, I believe it is.  For more information on the eye requirements in the USAF and USANG, please refer to their sites FAQ's (airforce.com and  goang.com).

    If you've got any further questions, please feel free to email me.
  •  04-17-2005, 5:11 PM 2895 in reply to 2892

    Re: Have I sabotaged myself?

    Hey. I'm in 8th grade and i say screw the fighters and on with the army aviation units.  After my dad spent around a year at fort rucker, his life was all set for him and he was an expert chopper pilot.  He is one of the best trained apache pilots in the world currently fighting in Iraq, buthe also spent a couple years in the nightstalker business which is a small group of highly trained pilots that can make a perfect touch down on the Eifell Tower if they needed to.  It takes manly warriors to do what my dad does.  you must be blood thirsty wanting revenge on those damn Iraqi soldiers slaughtering our troops right now.  fighters are cool, but from i think, the only trill to them is the speed.  Now if you fighter jocks are as girly as i think you are, take my advice, and "Be all you can be!"

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