Rejoining the Student Body: A Different Kind of Mission

College can be an exciting place. It aims to challenge, push, and produce the best, most well-rounded person you can achieve. It’s a place for learning, growth, and new, unique experiences. It can stir emotions from anyone, regardless of age or year. High school students turned freshmen, graduate students, or returning parents all feel something a little different when thinking about attending a university. It’s then only fair to ask, what kind of feelings are experienced when you’ve been in the military for five years, have a family, and are trying to further your education and return to civilian life?

Look, going back to school can be an intimidating experience for anyone. Whether it’s a mother of three who wants to get her college degree, or a graduate student returning after a few years in the work force, there’s always a bit of nervousness or trepidation. Everyone has their own doubts, and each need to be addressed differently. As a veteran, you ARE a unique type of student. Your will to learn, grow, and develop are similar to that of the students around you, but your attitude, perceptions, ideas and experiences are totally your own. Years have been spent outside the walls of the classroom, gaining worldly knowledge and experiencing things that others have only seen in movies starring Tom Hanks or R. Lee Ermy.

Outside the confines of the military, you might be asking yourself, “How do I fit in at Xavier University?” Luckily, Xavier is well equipped to provide services for those who were IN the service, and help acclimate to the trials and tribulations that are faced as a college student.

  1. To assist in your transition to civilian life, talk to those in the Veteran Center. There you will find others who may be facing some of the same issues you are, while offering a private, relaxed space to get work done or just hang out. The Veterans Student Organization, run by Matthew Witte (wittem2@xavier.edu), is a great place to start.
  1. Realize that while you are a veteran, you are STILL a student. Meaning, although you might have been taught to figure things out on your own or look for your own answers and solutions, that mentality might not always be applied when it comes to that Stats class you’re in. Don’t be afraid to use the academic services we have here! Using places like the Writing Lab, Math Lab, or LAC does not insinuate you’re weak. It instead proves you are strong enough to recognize a weakness and strive to conquer it.
  1. When it comes to your military background, your skills transfer a lot more than you think. Come visit the Career Development Office to explore tips on how to show off your resume, add details from your experiences in the service, and learn how those abilities make you a unique and ideal candidate.
  1. Enjoy the campus! Take different classes that interest you, go to events, and join clubs and groups. Remember, this campus is just as much yours whether you start here at age 50 or age 18.

Thank you for your service, and all that you have done for our country. Happy Veteran’s Day!

Redmond Millerick

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