After serving in the military, returning to civilian life can be quite a daunting experience. For many veterans and ex-military service people, returning to life as a civilian often means enrolling in education in order to secure a good career. Going from being surrounded with fellow military people and taking orders to taking charge of your own education and enrolling on a course where you’ll be surrounded with people often significantly younger can be a huge, and often scary change to make. However, veterans will be glad to know that the army has taught them many skills which will help them to succeed in college, such as drive, determination, and coping techniques for dealing with stress. If you’re a veteran thinking of going back to college, here are some tips to help you succeed.
Prepare for the Transition
Being mentally prepared for the transition from army life to college life is essential. Many colleges run open days and taster days which you can attend before the term begins, and if you have the option to attend such an event, it’s a great idea to do so as it will help you get some insight into what to expect and give you an idea of what you need to prepare for. Learning to take charge of your own studying and exam preparation when you’re used to being told what to do by a senior officer can be difficult at first, however preparing yourself and practicing is key to success.
Guidance Counselling and Peer Support
Many colleges take on veteran students each academic year, and there will be guidance counsellors who are fully qualified to help you make the transition and settle into college life without a hiccup. It’s a great idea for veterans to take advantage of any counselling or advice services offered by the college, as this provides you with a lifeline and somebody who you can turn to if things ever get a little too much. If your college has other veteran students, you might want to consider forming a society or simply meeting up with them regularly to swap ideas and give each other support.
Last but not least, if the idea of enrolling in a traditional college is too much for you, or if you have a full time job to keep up with whilst you study, online learning is a great alternative which you may want to consider. Not only that, but online study is often cheaper, meaning that there’s less worry about how you’re going to afford to pay tuition fees. Learning online is a flexible option and you’ll still need to learn how to control your own schedule as all learning will be done from home at your own pace, but it comes with many benefits and is the perfect option for those looking to fit learning around a full time job or family life. See USD Online for a range of veteran-friendly courses.
Transitioning back to civilian life doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems with the right mind-set and support!