November 3, 2016, by Brooke Chaplan – For veterans wanting to leave their military mindset and return to the civilian world and a university, they are in for quite a few challenges. There are habits to break, psychological issues of varying degrees and sometimes serious physical disabilities. College after active duty may seem scary, but below are some tips for veterans to transition back into a university setting as a civilian.
Take Advantage of Schools With Great Disability Programs
Every soldier who has seen war has a hard time assimilating with the civilian world, especially college life, and having a disability makes it much more difficult. According to a report done by CBS, there has been a drastic increase in the number returning soldiers with disabilities. Finding a college that offers disability services similar to the program at UC Clermont College makes picking up where you left off much easier.
Try and Find a Campus Where It Is Easy to Connect With Other Veterans
Attending a university with an enthusiastic program for vets can help you and other former soldiers realize they are not facing the transition alone. Take advantage of colleges offering classes or orientations specifically for vets. It is a quick way to meet your peers, so you can all pick up where you left off together. It makes it easier.
Spend Just as Much Time With Civilians as Fellow Vets
A group of friends who happen to be transitioning vets is important, but it is also important to integrate into civilian life socially by broadening your horizons. Doing things outside of the veteran-group sphere in small steps is a constructive way to pick up where you left off. If a vet were to attend a sorority or fraternity, then it would help create a brand new sisterhood or brotherhood in the civilian world.
Strongly Consider a Traditional University Instead of Online Only
Important interactions with fellow veterans and civilians will be impossible if you seclude yourself to a computer screen for a learning environment. It is understandable to want to do an online program for family and financial reasons, and some vets may only be able to handle education in solitude for psychological reasons. For the vets wanting to pick up where they left off, going to classes, being part of organizations, and attending events is the best way to leave the military mindset and become a civilian again.
These tips seem to build upon each other, which is good because it promotes taking steps. They establish the importance of having a diverse social circle. Leaving the military mindset and picking back up is probably harder than any civilian can imagine, especially if it involves jumping into a university environment. Do your best and you can succeed.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.