Returning Home: Tips for Veterans Going Back to School
Veterans who have recently returned home from service often face a challenging phase of readjustment to civilian life, especially in the context of education. Many veterans may feel like they don’t fit into a traditional classroom setting, or may struggle to cope with learning challenges such as making time for studying while balancing work and family life. However, it’s important for veterans to know that going back to school can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience and that there are many resources and strategies available to help them succeed. In this post, we’ll explore some of the best tips for veterans who are going back to school, to help ease the transition and set them up for success.
Consider Which College Is Best for You
When choosing a college, it’s best to consider the unique benefits of both online and traditional universities. Traditional universities offer a structured environment, face-to-face interaction, and immediate access to campus resources. The routine and discipline of physically attending classes may feel familiar and comforting to those who have served in the military. On the other hand, online universities provide unmatched flexibility and convenience, ideal for veterans juggling commitments to work and family. Most notably, online universities for military are tailored specifically to veterans, understanding and accommodating the unique needs of servicemen and women. The choice largely depends on personal preferences, lifestyle, and goals.
Connect with Your Campus Veterans Resource Center
One of the first things that veterans should do when returning to school is to connect with their campus Veterans Resource Center (VRC). These centers are designed to provide veterans with resources and support to help them succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Some of the services that VRCs offer may include academic tutoring, career development support, peer mentoring, and assistance with accessing VA benefits. By building a network of fellow veterans and support staff early on, veterans can establish themselves in the campus community and have a strong foundation to build upon as they navigate their academic journey.
Build Connections with Your Peers and Faculty
Building connections is an important part of the college experience and can help ease the transition for veterans who may feel isolated or disconnected during their first semester. Veterans should take advantage of opportunities to join clubs, attend campus events, or participate in study groups, as these activities can be a great way to meet new people and build supportive relationships. Additionally, getting to know faculty members can be valuable, as they can provide guidance and support on academic and career issues. Veterans should consider meeting with their professors during office hours or talking to their advisors about their career goals and interests, to get the most out of their academic experience.
Stay Organized and Manage Your Time Effectively
One of the biggest challenges that veterans may face when returning to school is balancing the demands of coursework with work and family responsibilities. To succeed, veterans need to be able to manage multiple priorities effectively and stay organized. This may mean using a planner or scheduling app to keep track of assignments and other deadlines, or breaking down larger projects into smaller, manageable tasks. Veterans should also consider creating a dedicated study space at home where they can focus on their work without distractions. By staying organized and managing their time effectively, veterans can reduce stress and increase their chances of academic success.
Practice Self-Care and Seek Help When Needed
Finally, it’s important for veterans to take care of their mental and emotional health as they navigate the demands of school and readjustment to civilian life. Practicing self-care activities such as exercise, mindfulness or creative hobbies can be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety. Veterans should also be aware of the mental health resources available to them, such as counseling services or peer support groups. Seeking help when needed can be a sign of strength and resilience, and can help veterans overcome the challenges of going back to school.
In conclusion, returning to the world of academia as a veteran presents its unique set of challenges, but it also introduces a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional growth. From choosing the right college that suits your lifestyle and needs – such as an online university for the military – to leveraging the resources offered by Veterans Resource Centers, it’s about finding the right balance and support systems. Connect with your peers, faculty members, and use time management tools to stay organized in your academic journey. Above all, remember to prioritize self-care and seek help when needed. Your service has equipped you with resilience and discipline, two key traits that will propel you to success in your educational pursuits. It’s your turn now to conquer the classroom!