I had asthma since the summer between 3rd and 4th grade, but haven't had an attack in about two or more years. My inhaler has been serving as no more than a few-oz. exercise weight in my back pack. If I pass my Lung Pulmonary Test, then I will be eligible to join.
Naval training is 8 weeks long, at a city on one of the Great Lakes. Something tells me that it won't be as intense as the Army's. After all, Army Basic Training is 10 weeks.
I will opt for the "Delayed Entry Program." I will see my recruiter in June, but opt to report for training on September 1st. This is because I want to enjoy my last summer as a civilian. I will not take a job that summer (unless it's something I'll EXCEPTIONALLY enjoy.) I will relax and have a good time going swimming, playing games, and surfing the Internet. That is, however, during my free time.
Also this summer: An attempt to come to terms with my incomplete youth
During that summer, I plan to take some courses at the same set of offices that hosts the Manhattan Workforce Center downtown.
Before I elaborate on that, I've wanted to be younger since I was 13. Symptoms of that include playing games suited for younger people - like the Pokémon Emerald game I downloaded off of BitComet. I haven't played it in a few months, but I have this year. It gave me a little rush of youth that I haven't felt in years.
Now, even though I already have a diploma, this longing to "complete my youth" and learn how to move on, is why I plan to take high school courses at the "Open Door Diploma Program" on 205 S 4th Street. Some reasons why I choose to do so is because I graduated one semester early back in Chapman High, and later felt that I shouldn't have. Another is because Chapman High was such a small school, it didn't offer as many classes as I wanted it to.
Therefore, the classes I'll choose first will be the classes my high school did NOT offer. Once that's through, I will opt for whatever classes I felt I had weaknesses in. Work will mostly be done on a computer, and at my own pace. I will hopefully have a blast doing it. If I've been used to the college routine for the past several years, I should fly through the courses offered by the ODDP.
Once the summer is over and I'm done with the ODDP, I will hopefully feel that my youth has been "made complete." After this point, will I feel the urge to look younger, go back to simpler times, and try to recapture that "youthful feeling" in whatever ways I can find? Hopefully less so, after I complete the ODDP.
For students without a HS diploma, the ODDP has a one-time $50 fee. For me however, it will cost $50/semester. This is still a tremendous bargain because it pales when you think of a state university's tuition.
Once in the Navy
Once Basic Training is over, I hope to see my family & friends again for a brief bit, before I'm shipped off again to parts unknown. My first preference for assignment would be Busan, Korea. So much is cheaper there than here, and I would love to learn Korean one day. (A Rosetta Stone CD I ordered off of eCrater.com is a cracked copy that doesn't work!!!) I'd hope that whatever the colleges are on base will offer Korean. Actually, they will. They have to offer the language of their host country, so once I settle down, I'll enroll there in a second.
Even though my second preference is any of the bases in Japan, their cost-of-living is rather insane, given that the exchange rate is now at an abysmal low. At least I already have some Japanese skill behind me, so I may be able to get around town, but not much more than that.
As for the jobs I'd like to do in the Navy - I want to remotely pilot unmanned predator drones. If I need to choose something else, it would be to design their websites. I'm sure they'll have training for whatever I'd want to do there. They have to have it.
I think and hope that once I'm in the Navy, I wouldn't want to leave. Civilian life after high school hasn't been the best. I've lived in a military family all my life, so that is what I've been suited to. I hope to make it to three years of service, because at that point, they'll pay off ALL my ~$60k in student loans. From Day 1, I'll have my Tricare benefits restored, and that was the most wonderful form of health insurance I've ever had.
The Navy will fill to the brim with job security, and dozens of incentives. Sure, there is the ever-present danger inherent in military service, but it's much safer compared to the other branches. The last time the Navy was struck by insurgents was on the USS Cole almost 9 years ago, whereas the Army and Marines get attacked every day or every other day. Besides, I wouldn't be interested in fighting anybody, unless they were the North Koreans, so while out to sea, and stationed in safer countries, I won't have to worry about combat.
College has been nothing but an unwanted spiral of debt. It's more intense than I'm comfortable with, so I've wanted to take a break from college for some time now, but if I leave, I'll have to pay these loans. If I stay, more loans will come. Therefore, the Navy is the only way out! Let's hope and pray that my health checks out by the time I see my recruiter in June.