JUNE 30, 2023 – Joining the military means committing to a hectic full-time job. You’ll be constantly travelling, training, and managing a schedule that goes beyond the traditional 9-to-5 role. However, just because a military role can be chaotic at times, doesn’t mean you can’t find time to invest in yourself. If you want to expand your job opportunities after serving, and work on developing your skills, then you might consider using some of your downtime to invest in your education. Some schools will even allow you to take classes online while you’re deployed, so you stay on track. Today, we’re going to share some top tips you should keep in mind to help you manage your education while working in the military.
Know Your Finance Options
While some military departments will offer access to certain forms of education for free, you may need to seek out additional funding if you’re going to be doing a specific type of course. Student loans can be an affordable financing option, but you may find you quickly hit the annual and aggregate borrowing limits before you’ve paid for everything. In some cases, asking a loved one to cosign a loan can be a great way to get access to funds you may not be able to apply for alone. However, it’s important to ensure your loved ones know what they’re getting into. Anyone considering cosigning a student loan should read up on the responsibilities and risks involved in cosigning, as well as the benefits.
Be Flexible with Educational Options
Going to school while you’re in the military may require you to make some compromises. Every school has different restrictions and requirements in place. You may find that your ideal university doesn’t offer flexible classes or online learning options when you’re deployed or doesn’t serve your specific needs. That’s why it’s important to be flexible. Don’t set your heart on a specific school or course before you’ve done your research. Make sure the facility you choose can flex to accommodate your enlistment. This could mean you need to choose a different school, but you’ll still be able to earn your degree.
Organize Your Schedule
Learning how to organize your time effectively is crucial if you’re going to be working in the military and learning at the same time. At the beginning of each semester, you should be able to go through your class schedule and determine which times you’re going to struggle to manage both your education and your career at the same time. You may need to contact both your supervisor in the military and the counsellors available from your school to swap some dates around if you’re struggling to handle both aspects of your life. However, the earlier you start planning, the easier it will be to adjust.
Get Plenty of Support
Education, a career, and life in general are often easier to manage when you have the right support by your side. Although it can feel isolating to be working in the military and investing in your education at the same time, it’s important to invest time into your relationships. Reach out to your loved ones regularly and keep them up to date on your progress and needs. The support you get from your friends and family members can be extremely valuable to ensuring you reach your goals. They can help with everything from finding you the financing you need, to motivating you through difficult periods and even giving you tips on how to study.
Achieve Your Educational Goals
In a world as fast-paced and challenging as the military, it can seem difficult to invest in your education while you’re also working on your career. However, with the right support, and the tips above, you can still accomplish your educational goals. Make sure you plan your strategy carefully, organize your time as effectively as possible, and make sure you’re getting plenty of financial, emotional, and motivational support from the right people.