Many Veterans decide to continue their education after leaving the military. Whether you recently left active duty service or it’s been many years since you served, going to college after military service can be challenging. For instance, you may sometimes find it hard to juggle the demands of school with the stress of your civilian life. Or you may get frustrated interacting with people who don’t understand your past experiences. It’s important to be aware of the difficulties you may have to deal with—and the steps you can take to overcome them.
Some student Veterans find they have trouble taking their studies seriously. Although student Veterans understand the importance of higher education, the content covered in school may seem to have much less real-world relevance than some of the things you experienced in the military. The lifestyle and activities of other students who are not Veterans may seem unimportant or like a waste of time. If you’re not relating to your classmates, it may make you feel isolated or depressed.
College environments often include alcohol and drugs as a regular part of social activities. If you choose to drink, you may find that your alcohol use begins to interfere with your grades, job, or ability to get along with others over time.
Some Veterans experience problems with memory or concentration. It may be hard to pay attention in classes, focus on learning material, or remember what you have learned for tests and exams. Maybe you have trouble sleeping, feel constantly on edge, or have recurring bad nightmares or flashbacks of a traumatic event.