If you have been serving in the military, getting back to civilian life can be a challenge. This is true if you are going into business or if you are going back to school. There are more and more learning options for veterans and you should try to take advantage of some of the programs offered to you. There are also things you can do to make the transition from soldier to student easier and more rewarding.
Tips to Go from Being a Soldier to Being a Student:
Pick the right school.
If you want to go to culinary school, you are going to find school that specializes in that, right? You can also find schools that are more friendly to veterans than others. There are schools that may even offer a special culinary program for veterans, for instance. You want to make the most of the learning options for veterans that are available to you.
When you are looking at schools, find some that have off campus help and programs that are focused on helping veterans and their families. Many schools have career counseling, academic advising, tutoring services, family assistance services. There are a lot of schools who have various veterans associations and even organize special events geared at helping veterans. These are the schools you want to seriously consider attending.
If you are interested ask some questions:
- What is the school policy if I am redeployed?
- Do you offer any programs to help veterans with the transition period?
- Do you have any programs to help veterans with support services?
- Do you give any academic credit for military service?
- Do you offer programs that qualify for the GI bill?
Get your transcript from your time in the military.
Every school has its own policies on transfer credit from any other institution, from other schools and for the military. You will have to ask the school what their policy on this is. When you get your transcript from the military, it will basically be a full description of everything you did while you were in the military but will be translated so that civilians will understand what you accomplished.
Be an active participant on your campus.
You school can have the best learning options for veterans but they will mean nothing if you do not fully participate in the experience. It can be daunting to think about going back to school but many people who have gone from being a soldier to a student have said that the relationships they formed and the bonds they made were very helpful. You can make sure you get the most from your culinary education if you are fully and actively engaged in the life at your school.
Look beyond traditional colleges and programs.
There are a lot of non-college degree programs for veterans. Going back to school full time may not be the best option for you when you are just getting out of the military. Luckily, there are many learning options for veterans and you do not have to limit yourself to a full time college experience to make the most out of them. You need to find the right program for you and your future. If you like cooking, there are many advantages of becoming a certified chef, you may want to consider that.
Narrow your search and check out some schools.
You have decided what kind of program most interests you. You have narrowed the field down by your criteria. You have looked at the size of schools, what programs they offer and where they are located. Now you should go check them out. Talk to the students. Talk to the faculty. Talk to the veterans you meet about their experiences at the school. You can only do so much research online. It can be really helpful to get out and see some of the schools you are considering. You will get great insights into the programs for veterans when you get to talk to the people who are actually using them.
Making the transition from being an active duty soldier to a full or a part time student can be a real challenge. If you do some homework, you can make the transition better.