Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GI Bill gouge ....

One thing about being retired that I don't like, is that I miss the opportunity to give professional and life advice to young Sailors - especially young men who do not have a father worth a d@mn in their life and/or an older brother that has a clue. Well, there are still opportunities here, I guess.

Young man, it is your decision to reenlist or move on - either decision is fine by me as long as you have thought it through and are doing it for the right reasons. I just want to make sure you are fully informed of your options, and want to see if there is anything I can do to help you best succeed in whatever decision you decide to take.

If you leave, just know that in my opinion, the YN2 that leaves today is tomorrow's Congressman, CEO, or community leader. I want you to have the best opportunity to serve and to get out of your service all you put in. I want you to have a great experience in our Navy, and as you head out the Quarterdeck back to the real world have nothing but good memories and satisfaction of a job well done.

If you decide to leave, you have to take advantage of the best GI Bill benefits this nations has provided its veterens since WWII.

Go. To. College.
We'll talk about how to succeed in college first; and after that let me help you out a little with the wisdom of an Old Bull to a Young Bull. Don't listen to LT X, LCDR Y, and unquestionably ENS Z. They all went to Annapolis. They don't know squat.

Without going into details, let me just say that I was re-elected as social chairman for my Fraternity for a reason and leave it at that - except to say I had a well rounded college experience; ahem.

First, you need to go to the best university or college you can get in to - and you need to make the absolute best grades possible. You should also assume that you will need to get a Masters and/or Doctorate down the road. Don't listen to the naysayers or logic-sponges - make that your entering argument. Talk to your Professors and instructors and ask them how to get there WRT grades and courses. Let me put it this way - if you have a 3.5 GPA you are close to failing; less than a 3.5 and your options narrow considerably. Less than a 3.0 - well - good luck with that.

You also need to know this - if you were smart in the Navy, you are showing up as a Freshman with a few college credits under your belt. Sure, you could still take 18 hrs a semester and pop out in 3-4 years - but really ... what's the hurry?

Do a CO-OP program - study a semester in Europe - double major, but most of all use those college credits to keep your semester load to 12-16 hours, max. Take 3 hrs or so over a summer session if you can. Easy to do even with a full time job - though I would keep that job thing to a minimum as well.

By keeping low semester hours, you'll get better grades and won't burn out. No shame in taking 4.5-5 years to get a degree either - especially if a technical one.

Minimize outflow of $$$$. If you can live in a place where you only need to rent a car now and then to get around - do it. No car = no car payment + no parking fees + no insurance + no gas bill + maintenance. There are a few places you can actually do this and not be labeled a loser. Don't get anyone pregnant. Drink cheap and at a minimum. Sober to quasi-sober guy at 1am trumps slobbering fool every night of the week. Expensive spring breaks are overrated.

Get the most out of your college time - not everything you need to experience is in the classroom.

Now that I have the geek stuff out of the way - let's get to what is important; and I return to the statement about you as a Freshman.

You are going to be a young man in his early 20s who has seen the world, knows what real work and study is like, knows what real stress is like - and your competition is going to be a bunch of soft, emo, 18-yr old Nancy-boys.

In that light, it is criti
cal that you see the deeper meaning of the following article from The Washington Post.

Women apply in greater numbers than men to most colleges in the D.C. area. They make up at least three-fifths of the applicant pool at a number of schools, including the College of William and Maryin Virginia, Goucher and St. Mary's colleges in Maryland and American University in the District.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that some schools are favoring men by admitting them at higher rates than women to try to preserve a male-female balance on campus. Conventional admissions-office wisdom dictates that colleges dominated by either sex are less appealing to applicants in general.

William and Mary admitted 43 percent of its male applicants and 29 percent of its female applicants in fall 2008, according to its institutional data. Vassar College in New York's Hudson Valley admitted 34 percent of the men who applied and 21 percent of the women. Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania admitted 19 percent of male applicants and 14 percent of female applicants. Wesleyan University in Connecticut admitted 30 percent of the men and 25 percent of the women. Female applicants far outnumbered male candidates at all four schools.

Dude, (I'm GenX - I can use Dude, we started it and you're getting out) - do I really even need to tell you more? They have too many women and as a result it is easier to get in as a male than a female.

For the geek; DC is a nightmare place to work in the military - but good googly-moogly is it a great place to go to school. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a top shelf internship or CO-OP program. All the schools have multiple European semester programs to play with - and if you need reserve money - paid USNR billets abound. And as a single man in his early 20s, if you got tired of going out with 18, 19 or 20 year old women .... the ratio of 22-26yr old single women (with their own paycheck) to straight, single men is, just, ... DC. And you don't need a car, and if you do - cheap rentals are all over the place.

Enough of the geek stuff though - look at the happy hunting ground you have to work with. Gaggles of smart young ladies from "good families," who don't have enough real men to make their college experience fulfilling.

Again, look at the type of competition you have to work with. 95% of Freshmen females want 0% to do with any boy that reminds them of High School. You are just the man to help them feel more mature.

When you are in a target rich environment and bring superior firepower and training .... well all Salamander readers know what that means - Fullbore Friday .... Fullbore Saturday .... and probably Fullbore Thursday as well.

Sigh -
youth is wasted on the young.

Hat tip L.J.


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