Hesitant on joining ACF (Army Cadets Force) Watch

Kanarii
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Hello!

Since I was a young girl, I've always been glued to my Xbox and shooting games. Due to that, I had a dream to become a soldier (this dream is no more, but I've considered it a few times before) and around the time I reached the adolescent age (maybe 13-14?), I discovered Army Cadets.

I would’ve loved to started back then but my local detachment would’ve been in the next town other and my family were struggling financially (we still do but, I’ve been able to research more) so I was never able to take up the opportunity.

Now, I live in my hometown with around 3 detachments (and a 4th one soon to come) but I am hesitating. I did apply to get details for the nearest detachment and I am looking to start next year…but I am still very anxious.

I am 16 years old, quite closed off and introverted. I started college earlier this September and that’s the first time I’ve been in education since Year 10 (I dropped out around December 2016 because of my mental health and a lot of issues). I’ve settled into the environment well but I am still quite anxious and there are certain things I am not comfortable with.

Additionally, I am quite unfit but I’ve been trying to be more active so I am not a complete couch potato when it comes to doing Cadets. I heard they help you improve with your fitness so I hope I won’t fall behind on everything.

As well, I am not so good with people. I don’t think I have any friends who would be interested in joining with me (whether it be because of issues or just simply no interest) and even if they did, none of them live near me…so I’d be joining alone and well…I don’t exactly feel keen on starting conversations.

Since I’ll be 16, I am sure I’ll be training with the younger Cadets (12-13?) and maybe some older ones, but I am not sure if I will be comfortable or even interested? I do really want to try it out though next year!

I am really set on giving it a chance, I am just getting 'last-minute' nerves and need some 'reassurance'. I've given a look at other cadets (air and sea) but I think I would enjoy the ACF the best).By the way, I am not looking to get anywhere too far (especially considering how late I am joining) but I am looking to build my confidence and get myself out of the house even for a hour or two.I won't need to worry about my course as I am doing really well. So, ACF would be a nice thing to do.

So, what do you think? I am not looking to be discouraged but happy to hear all sides. I probably will go ahead and do it anyways but this is just me gathering more direct advice and information, instead of having to surf the Internet.

Much appreciated!
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qwertyuiop10936
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Trust me if you have issues with your mental health (like i did when I was in the cadets) don't go.
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Kanarii
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(Original post by qwertyuiop10936)
Trust me if you have issues with your mental health (like i did when I was in the cadets) don't go.
In terms of my mental health, I was never officially diagnosed but more like I was just really negative and felt down a lot. My outlook on life and the world as a whole was moreso pessimistic.

But, now it's more of a very optimistic outlook and I am just trying to build my confidence and be more active outside of the college and digital world.

Would you mind expanding a bit on your experience if you don't mind? I would appreciate hearing all sides to people's experiences in Cadets.
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qwertyuiop10936
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(Original post by Kanarii)
In terms of my mental health, I was never officially diagnosed but more like I was just really negative and felt down a lot. My outlook on life and the world as a whole was moreso pessimistic.

But, now it's more of a very optimistic outlook and I am just trying to build my confidence and be more active outside of the college and digital world.

Would you mind expanding a bit on your experience if you don't mind? I would appreciate hearing all sides to people's experiences in Cadets.
I was there for around 2 to 3 years (14 - 16). I like you wasnt diagonosed but was depressed and anxoius all the time. From my experience the instructers just use mental health issues to pick on people.I stopped just before going to college because I was being pressured to go on camps ( which cost 15 to 60 pound each)and couldnt afford it, and they said there was no point in me coming if I couldnt afford to go on the trips. However it varies alot depending on what company you join.
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Kanarii
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(Original post by qwertyuiop10936)
I was there for around 2 to 3 years (14 - 16). I like you wasnt diagonosed but was depressed and anxoius all the time. From my experience the instructers just use mental health issues to pick on people.I stopped just before going to college because I was being pressured to go on camps ( which cost 15 to 60 pound each)and couldnt afford it, and they said there was no point in me coming if I couldnt afford to go on the trips. However it varies alot depending on what company you join.
Are the camps the annual Summer ones where they go? Or is it seasonal based maybe? Or something else? (sorry for the amount of mindless questions there)

And will there be equal treatment? I'm a girl and I don't wish to be treated differently from the boys or whatever. Whether it be more favourable or less.

I haven't taken a trip to my local detachment yet, which I should plan on doing soon...but my closest one has two Cadet Forces. Don't know what the difference would be between the two or what, but should I consider seeing both or not? Hoping if I do check out the Cadets, it'll be a decent company
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qwertyuiop10936
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(Original post by Kanarii)
Are the camps the annual Summer ones where they go? Or is it seasonal based maybe? Or something else? (sorry for the amount of mindless questions there)

And will there be equal treatment? I'm a girl and I don't wish to be treated differently from the boys or whatever. Whether it be more favourable or less.

I haven't taken a trip to my local detachment yet, which I should plan on doing soon...but my closest one has two Cadet Forces. Don't know what the difference would be between the two or what, but should I consider seeing both or not? Hoping if I do check out the Cadets, it'll be a decent company
Theres around 4 to 5 camps a year, an annual camp(summer one), christmas camp, easter camp and a couple of others. I'm a girl and whilst I was there there was no unequal treatment between girls and boys even though its alot harder since we were meant to carry round the same stuff as the guys. If you look up what companies they're in you should be fine. My company ( one company) was good when it came to the competitions but bullying was rife there and no one did anything about it.
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Kanarii
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(Original post by qwertyuiop10936)
Theres around 4 to 5 camps a year, an annual camp(summer one), christmas camp, easter camp and a couple of others. I'm a girl and whilst I was there there was no unequal treatment between girls and boys even though its alot harder since we were meant to carry round the same stuff as the guys. If you look up what companies they're in you should be fine. My company ( one company) was good when it came to the competitions but bullying was rife there and no one did anything about it.
Okay, I see.

Thanks for the information, it really helps a lot on giving me more of an idea what Cadets can/will be like.

Much appreciated and I am sorry that you weren't able to enjoy your time there. Bullying really does suck (I moved primary schools in Year 5 due to it) but hope you're doing fine now.
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Drewski
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Have to remember that every unit is different, it very much depends on the staff there. Go along to your nearest and talk to them - with a parent, ideally - and decide if you like the sound of them.
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Kanarii
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(Original post by Drewski)
Have to remember that every unit is different, it very much depends on the staff there. Go along to your nearest and talk to them - with a parent, ideally - and decide if you like the sound of them.
I'm hoping to visit one of them soon - with a family member hopefully.

Just wondering, is it better to go alone or go with a friend if you know? I don't feel too fond going alone but I don't believe any of my friends will do it/are able to anyways .
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Drewski
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(Original post by Kanarii)
I'm hoping to visit one of them soon - with a family member hopefully.

Just wondering, is it better to go alone or go with a friend if you know? I don't feel too fond going alone but I don't believe any of my friends will do it/are able to anyways .
It would be better to go with a family member, there are things that they'd probably like to know.
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Kanarii
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(Original post by Drewski)
It would be better to go with a family member, there are things that they'd probably like to know.
Okay, thanks for the advice!
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Talon
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As above, going with a family member is a good bet, but if that isn't possible I would just walk in yourself. The start of the year is probably an ideal time to do it.
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