It would be ludicrous to say that veterans do not have it hard, which is a shame since these individuals gave their country everything they had. In a perfect world, things would be easier for veterans, but that is not the case even in countries that treat their veterans relatively well like in Australia. One thing veterans struggle with is getting a higher education, but there are some positive steps being taken worth pointing out.
What is Standing in a Veteran’s Way Regarding Education?
Australia does a lot for veterans, but there are areas where the country can improve; for example, education for veterans could be better. Being a veteran means you get a few kickbacks and discounts when attending a university, but sometimes these individuals need other forms of support.
Military veterans have the ability to contribute to their country in all sorts of ways if they are given the opportunity, and Australia needs to help with that. Adapting to the university lifestyle can be particularly hard for some veterans. These individuals have to switch from the team-centric lifestyle the military ingrained in them to the university lifestyle that encourages students to do everything alone.
Veterans are also used to discipline and having things prepared for them, which is quite different from what one might experience in a university. Many veterans see universities as chaotic and a place where self-discipline leads to success. This is not to say that veterans lack discipline but rather that universities do not offer instructions to give veterans the tools needed to move forward.
How Veterans can Overcome These Difficulties
It would be great if Australian universities developed programs to help veterans integrate into this new lifestyle, but that is not happening. This does not mean that military veterans who want to earn a degree need to wait but rather find ways to adapt. There are a number of steps veterans can take to improve their chances of being successful as university students.
One important realization military service individuals need to understand is that they will no longer be taking direction from a high ranking officer. Make sure one understands that in a university it is the student who is making the decisions just like a high ranking officer might have. Taking the time to absorb this new reality should make it easier for veterans to get used to the idea before even starting.
It is important to be open minded when attending university as a military veteran. Universities attract people from all sorts of backgrounds, and that will likely lead to all sorts of opinions, including opinions regarding the military. There is no doubt that a veteran has first-hand knowledge about the military, but that does not mean one should shut down other opinions. Being open minded should make it easier to find people who support you so you do not feel so alienated. No one is saying that you need to change your point of view but rather respect others.
It is important that you also pay attention to the type of education you are going to focus on. The challenges veterans face at college are real, meaning that your drive to get a degree needs to be strong. You should narrow down your field of study to something you are passionate about, which could be vital to your success. Consider degrees that will help you contribute to your community and country, like police-related degrees or something related to the health industry; many of these are offered online.
Perhaps one of the most helpful steps military veterans can take is attempting to find others just like you. Finding veterans in college is easier than ever with the assistance of smartphone applications and social media platforms. Discovering other veterans in your university is like finding a team of supporters who know what you are going through, and that can be quite valuable in a new world.
Hopefully, Australia will begin to see how important it is to help veterans adapt to college life, which could make things easier and increase the chances of success. There is no telling when things will change, but veterans are willing to push forward.