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Western Kentucky University

Advice From Other Veteran Students - Veterans in the Classroom - FaCET


Veterans in Classroom

Presented By:

Facilitator : Mark Powell, Interim Director, Military Science

Advice From Other Veteran Students

Most students find the first year at college can be challenging, and there are strategies they can use to help make their experience a positive one. These ideas listed below are all from veteran college students who have been through the experience; it is their advice to other veteran students. Faculty can support veteran students by sharing these thoughts from other veteran students. Many of these ideas, apply equally well to other first-year students.
· “Take it at your own pace. Don't compare your success or progress to your roommate's or anyone else's. You have your own set of needs and your own personality, so match your expectations to them, not to someone else's.”
· “In the first few months, don't try anything new that you haven't done before. You may feel vulnerable during the first few months at college, feeling you're expected to do certain things now that you're at college. It may involve alcohol, sex, or drugs. Give yourself a chance to really explore and let things settle down before making choices about how you're going to behave in these situations. Some students feel bad later on about how they acted during their first few months at college. They went a little "wild," then felt that their actions didn't really fit them, and they wanted to take it all back.”
· “Build a support network. Your transition to college life will be easier once you develop a network of people you can talk to. Talk to older students about professors, course offerings, and class requirements. Most colleges have resources you can use, including tutors, counselors, and advisers. As time goes on, you'll build a group of friends who may be able to help or at least sympathize.”
· “Don't overlook your parents as a source of support. Most likely, they want to help you but aren't sure how. They are going through their own process of letting go of you. In trying to respect your independence, they may appear aloof. In trying to help, it may feel as though they're meddling.”
“You can help them by telling them how they can help. Tell them if you want to speak with them on the phone more or less often. If they say things that are not helpful, tell them that you really just need them to listen instead of trying to solve the problem or talk about their own college experiences. Ask them to send you clippings from the local paper or send your favorite cookies if that would make you feel more connected to home.”
· “Find activities. Academics can be isolating, and you need to budget time for activities that interest you. This is an important part of finding your "niche," which will help college feel more like home. Find a club, a chorus, a committee, or a social group that feels right for you. Do volunteer work on or off campus. Many schools have community service organizations to help you with this. To find other ways to get involved, talk with your Resident Advisor (R.A.), read the campus newspaper, or ask friends and professors for suggestions.”
· “You don't have to decide your future profession right away. Once you're in college, many people will ask you what your major is. It's OK if you don't know what you want to do yet. College is a time for experimenting with different interests and professions. You may have entered college thinking you want to be a teacher, but find that you really enjoy chemistry and want to consider pre-med. You may discover you are a good writer and shift your sights from law to journalism. You may have a dynamic engineering professor who gets you interested in that field. Finding new passions and changing your mind about your major and your career goals is a normal part of being in college. Use the opportunity to explore, and don't feel you need to make these big decisions early on.”






Learning Objectives
Who Are The Students?
Issues and Challenges
Strengths And Weaknesses
Faculty Support Ideas
Advice From Other Veteran Students
Discussion Questions
Student Diversity Topics
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 Last Modified 9/25/14