Featured Image Caption: A Woman in a Military Uniform Holding a Baby
Being a military family comes with a lot of changes and inevitable adjustments. One of the most daunting transitions is moving from a military lifestyle to civilian life, particularly when it comes to education. As much as exiting the military may seem refreshing to some, it may seem intimidating to individuals who have been serving for many years. For most military veterans, transitioning to civilian living may involve pursuing higher education. In this blog, we’ll discuss the tips and tricks on how to make a smooth transition to university for military families.
Decide Between Online or Traditional
Deciding between online or traditional education is a significant first step. Each type of learning environment has its unique advantages. Traditional on-campus education offers face-to-face interaction, fostering a sense of community and providing direct access to resources and facilities. On the other hand, online education provides flexibility, a crucial aspect for military families often coping with unpredictable schedules. Additionally, tailored online colleges for military understands and accommodates veterans who are transitioning back to civilian life. It allows for learning at your own pace, anywhere, anytime, making it a practical option for those balancing family, work, and studies. Understanding your personal learning style, schedule, and resources can guide you in making this central decision.
Understand Your Benefits
As a military veteran transitioning to university, it’s crucial to know the numerous benefits that come with your status. The GI Bill, for instance, offers substantial educational assistance to veterans who have served at least 90 days of active duty. These benefits can cover the full cost of tuition at public universities and may also provide a monthly housing allowance and a stipend for books and supplies. Additionally, Yellow Ribbon Programs can help cover the extra cost if you decide to attend a private university or a graduate school. Understanding and leveraging these benefits can significantly ease your transition to university education.
Join a Veterans Association
The best way to integrate into university life as a military veteran is to join a veterans’ association. Connecting with people who share your experiences and background can result in a more comfortable transition to higher education. This association can act as a support system for all members. They offer guidance, mentorship, and genuine connections with individuals who understand the military lifestyle.
Utilize Your Military Experience
Part of what makes military veterans unique in the college application process is their experience. Veterans have years of serving in leadership positions, working in adverse conditions, and possibly learning foreign languages. You can use these skills to your advantage when applying for university. Take the extra step to highlight your experience in your resume or during an interview, showcasing how your military experience aligns with the initiatives of the university. The experience you have gained in the military will also help you prioritize, be more disciplined, and excel in your education.
Stay Involved in Your Community
Military life thrives around structure, and it helps veterans stay connected and aware of their community. After transitioning to university, it’s essential to stay actively involved in your community by becoming part of clubs and organizations. The involvement will help in fostering relationships and create a sense of belonging to the new environment. You get to meet a broader range of people and be part of a like-minded community, which can be beneficial in the short and long-term academic goals.
Seek Professional Guidance
The university system can be overwhelming, particularly if it’s your first time. Seeking professional guidance can be advantageous when it comes to transitioning to higher education. Most universities have a dedicated support system for veterans who are equipped and trained to offer guidance through the process. You can make use of this resource to ensure that you are adequately prepared physically and mentally for the transition to university.
Transitioning to University for military families can be daunting, but with the right support system, tools, and resources, it can also be rewarding. As a veteran, don’t hesitate to use benefits, join a veterans’ association, take advantage of your military experience, and stay involved in your community. Seek the professional guidance and support needed, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help along the way. Ultimately, transitioning to higher education opens doors for a new world of opportunities, and with the right steps, it can lead to a new life for military families.
By Rachelle Wilber
who is a freelance writer and residing in San Diego, California area. Rachelle finds an interest in all topics and have Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies.
Member since September, 2018
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