So you want to go back to college? August is the start of the school year for nearly everyone in the country. Colleges are reenacting hamlet with their students, to stay or to not stay on campus. As for those who still aren’t graduated yet, lies fear of what online learning may mean, parents included. Right now, education seems more daunting than ever. However, if you’ve been looking to go back to school, now may be the perfect time to do so. Just be aware of a few things.
Firstly, you may not get the movie-style college experience. Huge ragging parties, drunken hook ups, and hungover finals are less common with coronavirus. Nevertheless, it can still be a memorable experience.
If you’ve been out of school already for a while, odds are, youre a little intimidated. First things first, make your game plan. Why do you want to go back to school? How does this align with future goals? Research application deadlines, and entry requirements. You may have missed this semesters window, but that’s ok! You have plenty to do in the mean time. Next, get an idea of how long the GI Bill, grants and scholarships take to process.
Once you’ve committed to the idea of going back to get a degree, understand that a lot of things will have to change in order to compensate. Studying for classes is a hard adjustment. You will have to prioritize a study session over hitting the bottle.
College for parents
If you have kids this will become even harder, especially younger ones. Maybe your kid is not yet in school? Consequently, “me time” may seem like a distant fever dream. If your child is also in school, this may allow for you guys to work together. Though it may be unconventional, it can be a great learning lesson for you and your lil’ partner in crime. Sitting down together to work through class work can teach a work ethic and be used as a bonding time between the two fo you.
Applying and committing
Simply put, applying to schools is an ass pain. There is no use lying and saying that it isn’t stressful. Especially, if it was so overwhelming back in high school that you said “screw it” and joined the military. We see you, we hear you. However, this really doesn’t have to be as scary as it may feel. when “touring” the schools you’re interested, go to their website. The layout will say a lot about the university. If its easy to navigate, odds are there will be resources available to you everywhere. If it’s a bit more confusing it already will be a waste of your time.
The university or college home page should have tabs accessible to tell you about the school. There should also be a tab for admissions. From there, a lot more options will be available to help you figure out the right path to applying. If you’ve taken classes before, you may have credits that you can put forward your next degree. Don’t forget your Joint Service Transcript, can turn your military experience into credits.
Ask for guidance
When applying to your school, don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. There are people whose job is only to help answer your questions. Sort of like a First Lieutenant, only these people actually can help you. If the cost of admissions is more than your remaining GI Bill, don’t forget to apply for grants. These can help a lot with the expenses of applying and tuition. Places like your local American Legion is a great place to start.
There are also Veteran outreach programs at most schools. Though this year may be difficult, the online college experience is still viable. It is a new frontier, one that we will have to adjust to. Switching majors is easier than switching careers. So, don’t be afraid to start a path. College is hard, and is definitely a huge commitment, but remember the C’s get degrees. You got this!
What are your thoughts on going back to school? Sound off in the comments below!