June 14th is Flag Day – a day to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the flag design for the United States of America on June 14, 1777. In honor of Flag Day, we wanted to use this week’s blog to serve students coming to Distance Minnesota with military experience.
The transition from the military to college can be both exciting and challenging. Recognizing what issues you may encounter and learning how to balance all aspects of your life can help ease this transition. Serving in the military exposes individuals to many different life situations that their non-military peers may not have the opportunity to experience. This “disconnect” is a normal occurrence and is important to understand when transitioning from military to college life. Below are some tips to help to help transition into college:
- Start with a few courses to ease into the transition. If possible, choose a mix of courses that tap different skills and have varying amounts of reading and written assignments (e.g., math and English; science, music, social science).
- Take notes during class and consider recording lectures. Helps to ensure that you stay on top of the material.
- Studying: take notes, lots of breaks, find a study partner. Find a quiet and comfortable location and take notes while reading. This will help you to retain the information. Be sure to build in several short breaks, more if you find yourself easily distracted. Visit your college’s academic services for more tips on studying.
- Take advantage of the school’s resources such as academic services, tutoring, counseling, and Veterans Resource Center. If it’s been several years since you were in school seek out the many academic and counseling resources available at your college.
- Consider joining a student organization as a way to break down barriers to you and other students. In addition to joining the local student veterans club, you might consider getting involved in other on-campus activities. Such involvement may help you to feel more connected to other students and the larger campus community.
- Recognize that others may not agree with you or understand your service in the military. Agree to disagree – nearly everyone has an opinion about the war and the military. Respectfully decline to answer any question that makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Exercise. It will help reduce anxiety
- Learn to recognize your own signs of stress. Seek help before you are overwhelmed.
- Get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat right. These habits will help keep you strong physically and mentally.
[Adapted from the Military to College Guide for Student Veterans from Student Veterans of America.]
Contributor: Nicole Seifert | Sr. Online Advisor