My 18-year-old daughter spent last year at the University of Evansville studying business, economics and Spanish. Now she wants to join the navy rather than going back in the Fall.
Her biggest complaint is that college wasn't challenging and she had ridiculous amounts of free time even when working 20 hours a week off-campus. She had a full load and was in the choir, but still spent only about 5 hours a day in class or working on assignments.
They made her read books that she a) has already read, or b) doesn't want to read. (She was assigned The Scarlet Letter for the 4th time in her life.) She says, "I'm going to read books anyway, and I'd rather choose what I read myself than be told what to read by a stranger." She suffered through 2 semesters with a really snobby and nihilistic professor who basically said that if it hasn't got **** on it, it isn't literature.
The navy will pay her to study, give her opportunities to travel, and add structure and activity to her days. She expects to take advantage of the college possibilities, which are available even aboard ship. She wants to work in cryptology, which would be conducive to a job later in Spanish or any other language
I'm trying to think through all the angles of this. I'm not worried about my daughter taking care of herself (she has traveled halfway around the world by herself several times, beginning when she was 13.) But I fear she might find after she makes the 4-year commitment that she's not going to get as much opportunity as she expected.
I understand why she's dissatisfied with the level of conversation around the dormitory (hair, movies, boys, hair, clothes, hair, boys, etc.). But what if she joins the navy and find that the mess room conversation is even worse? What if the requirements of the service prevent her from really studying effectively, so she ends up 4 years from now with a smattering of courses that don't add up to a degree? What if she doesn't qualify for cryptology, so instead she has to do something dull?
If you know about life in the navy, please tell me what you think. What questions should we ask before the decision is made?