Duty. Honor. Country. Having produced two U.S. presidents, numerous gener als, and 74 Medal of Honor recipients in its 210 years in existence, an institu tion such as West Point doesn't need to hear outside praise. The rigorous admission process (you must be nominated by your Congressional representa tive just to apply) is just the start of the character building process on the way to "working hard to develop yourself into the best student, leader and officer you can be." "It's a lot of work, you don't have a lot of free time, but the educa tion you receive will pay dividends in the long run," says a sophomore.
"Leadership is what West Point is all about," and cadets are held to "high stan dards" of ""selfless service to the U.S. people and Constitution" from the sec ond they set foot on campus. The heavy academic load is "rigorous and very challenging," but the professors (both civilian and officers) are "very person able" and "truly strive to stimulate our minds with the material they are teach ing." "They provide relevant and exciting application to material covered in class" and are "role models for the cadets to look at and emulate" (almost all professors live on campus). "I have never had a teacher here that doesn't love their job. They really are here for our assistance," says a cadet.
The classroom system "forces students to take responsibility for their own education" and "countless opportunities" are presented to cadets, "whether they be academic, athletic, or a hobby." Classes are rarely bigger than eighteen cadets thereby setting the conditions for one-on-one with the professor, and are "100 percent discussion based," so...are always interesting." As one physics and nuclear engineering major sums up: "West Point is not just an institution of higher learning. The academy is a culture that immerses me in academics, discipline, and physical rigors."
Since all activities and meals are based off a daily schedule, "everything is run like a clock, and we are expected at certain places at certain times." "Food in the mess hall is free to cadets, but very low in quality," and gets worked off quickly in the many trips to the gym. All students are athletes and "must play a sport at some level." There is "a strong culture of athleticism, national ser vice, and freedom to pursue whatever you are interested [in]," but for the four years you are at West Point, "life doesn't include parties" and "it doesn't includ[e] drinking or drugs."