There’s a common misconception that college only makes sense for those fresh out of high school, and that starting it at any point later in one’s life is a waste of time. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, especially today, and if you’re in a phase of your life where you don’t know where to turn next, higher education may be the ideal option for you.
This can work particularly well for someone who’s just completed several years of military service, and you’d be surprised how many peers in a similar situation you’ll find.
You’re in a More Stable Financial Position Than the Majority
One of the most common problems people face with college education is the lack of financial preparedness. The way the system works can make it very hard on those who’ve just graduated high school and can’t rely on their parents for significant assistance, which has resulted in a huge number of student loans for large sums.
If you’ve already served a few years and have been wise with your finances – e.g. you’re not one of those guys that immediately rushed to the used cars lot with your first paycheck in hand – you should have a neat sum saved up that you can rely on in your endeavors. Even if it doesn’t get you through your full education, it should still put you in a much better position than most of your peers, and you’ll be able to hit the books hard while they’re struggling to balance work and their studies.
You’re Better Prepared Mentally
There’s a lot to be said about the discipline and mental endurance that the army can help develop in a person, and you’d be amazed how far this can go when transitioning to a study environment. Besides money, discipline tends to be the second biggest issue for college students, although many of them tend to confuse it with a “lack of motivation”.
The point is, having the mental capacity to force yourself to sit down and do the unpleasant work before relaxing is going to make all the difference in your college life, and you’ll be breezing through compared to others. College for military personnel tends to be a completely different experience than for regular folks. You can learn more about the ins and outs of what it entails at Kaplan’s college for military page.
You Might Have a Support Network Already
As we said above, you’ll be far from alone as someone who’s served and is now in college, and there are thousands in your exact same position. This most likely includes your newly chosen college as well, so make sure to look around and reach out for support if you want to connect to like-minded individuals.
There are various networks for veterans in college, and even if you don’t want to make them your primary acquaintances for the duration of your studies, you should still keep in touch with them for the sheer benefit of staying in touch with current events on campus and other details that might be relevant to you specifically.
It’s never too late to improve yourself and get a better education, and you should not underestimate your abilities no matter how old you are at this point. As someone who’s been in the military, you’re already at an advantage compared to many others.