Many bright-eyed freshmen enter the corps every year, hoping to have a different college experience than their peers.
Graduating as a civilian, or as a member of the corps, is a decision often faced by new corps members. Ultimately, some decide to drop out.
“The corps is not for everyone, said Major Carrie Cox. “It’s about finding what is the right fit for you for your college experience, and what type of college experience you want to have, and in the future as well.”
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets consists of 1,066 students, and this year almost 40 percent of the Corps consists of freshmen. This was the largest incoming class since 1968.
There are several reasons cadets may decide to drop out of the corps. This ranges from disorderly conduct, to time complications with majors, as well as health issues.
Freshman political science major Brandon Smith, who always dreamed of being a marine, decided to leave the Corps a few weeks ago after he realized a peanut allergy would stop him from serving in the military.
“You wish you could do something about it, but sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on,” Smith said.
Other food allergies, wool allergies, asthma, ADHD, or mental disabilities may also affect a person’s entry into different branches of the military. Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets follows the same medical standards the military would. For this reason, Smith was not allowed to join the ROTC.
“If you were to have an attack, it could hamper the mission of those around you, and they may not be able to take care of you,” Cox said.
There are many other reasons some students decide to leave the Corps.
Freshman Collin McAtee made the decision to leave the Corps because of a time clash between the corps activities and classes for his art major.
“As an artist, I probably need 10 hours per assignment to just go chill in the studio,” McAtee said.
He was worried his grades would suffer as a result of the corps strenuous time commitment. Since leaving, his grades have risen.