Paul Szoldra, a former marine Sergeant recently wrote an article about the transition from the military to a college. For the majority of veterans that are used to surrounding themselves with other military personnel can find it hard to fit into a world that contains people that are about 4 years younger than themselves.
So that the transition is successful he has listed 6 tips to will make it easier to adjust.
1. Prepare for the Transition
Soldiers will be used to a regimented schedule whilst in the military, there will be a higher ranked officer dishing out the daily tasks and there is certain amount of allowing somebody else think for you. In a College you will need to schedule your own work, register for your own classes. How you manage your time is down to you, you are now a “Management Major”.
2. Approach it with an open mind
The miliary mindset is different to that of a civilian, it has to be, it’s a dangerous and honourable job. Sitting in class with younger people may initially give you the mindset that they don’t posses anything intelligent to say.
Nobody is right all the time and nobody is saying you have to changed you views either. Simply listening to other peoples opinions can make all the difference to adapting to this new territoray your in.
3. Actively seek out other veterans
If your college offers programs designed for veterans join them! There’s nothing like being amongst other people who are going through similar difficulties and connect with like minded people.
4. Make friends with Civilians
Having contact with other transitional veterans will help loads but if you never interact with civilians your not going to develop. Joining clubs, fraternities and sororities can aid the transition by creating a sort of brotherhood/sisterhood military personnel has become used to being part of throughout there career.
5. Consider a more traditional college
There are lots of ways do get the qualification you require to take the next step in your life. Doing an online qualification maybe a cheaper alternative and easier in the sense that there is no travel, you do it in your own time etc, but you will loose all those interactions that will prepare your for your future outside the military.
A big plus for Those who choose this option is your employer will see that you have chosen this path and successfully managed the transition and the interactions that came with it.
6. Patience takes a lot of practice
It can be easy for anybody to jump to conclusions about younger people but they have a right to be there just as much as you. They are developing in there own way too.
Not everybody arrives at the same conclusion or has the mindset. Embrace your new challenge with an open heart and mind and you will be successful.