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Hello all! I would first like to say that this is my first post, and I have enjoyed reading as much as I can handle from this website as I can. (Also, I am new to the forum, bare with me) I am a high school senior to be from Columbus, OH, and will soon be turning 18 in September. I have been interested/obsessed with helicopters for several years now, and it really kicked off with career shadowing day my freshman year at high school, in which I got to bum around a local shop called Helicopter Minit-Men. We stay in touch with the owner and it is an excellent resource, as well as old man - young man friendship. I have also met and gotten to know a chief pilot at Due North Aviation, which is very close to Columbus. I liken him to the Mr. Miyagi of helicopters, in that he's just doing his thing in the middle of nowhere and that, now and again, that determined kid (me) comes out to bug him! I tell you this to show that I have been very proactive in my exploration of the helicopter industry, and that I wish to set myself apart from the kids my age that still don't know what they want to do... I know what I want to do. The main struggle is HOW to go about doing it! This is the year where we are to send out the college applications, and my main struggle is how to fit aviation in there? I am fairly smart (not to sound arrogant), and there is the possibility of going to college for an unrelated degree and forming a "backup plan" with it, and going through the civilian route of training for flight. I could also do an "aeronautical science" degree to finance pilot training via student loans, but that provides little backup plan. Then there is the possibility of WOFT, and with a CW3 for a neighbor just down the street (although he is not a pilot), I have a good resource and guide for this. I should also note that my family and I are tremendously respectful of and thankful for our military. However, my parents seem to change opinion very quickly when their baby starts talking about flying for said military... I should also mention that money IS a bit of an issue. I know, I picked the perfect industry to hope to enter... Any information or guidance you all can provide to me is GREATLY appreciated. I understand that I can get most information to make my decision by reading what is already written, however, I just hoped that you could give direction based on my situation as it stands.