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Tips for Handling School While You're Enlisted in the Military

Tips for Handling School While You
Posted By: Anita Ginsburg on June 09, 2020

Earning your degree while enlisted can give you a headstart on your future. Whether you intend on pursuing a civilian job after your contract ends or entering a specialized position in the armed forces, a college education is beneficial. You will not only gain valuable knowledge to pursue your goals; you'll also gain the personal advantages of earning a degree including improved self-discipline and a sense of accomplishment.

But working in the military while going to school isn't easy. These tips will help you juggle your classes with your professional duties without sacrificing your commitment to either.

Develop a Routine


You likely already live a regimented life thanks to the military, but personal scheduling is even more important when you're a student. If you attend an online university for military members, you'll have more flexibility to study in the evenings and on weekends.

Whatever your preferred routine is, make sure that you are accountable. Set reminders on your phone, keep a calendar pinned to the wall, and stick to a rhythm as much as possible. Success isn't sporadic. A diligent approach to studying will also help you identify any problems you're having in a class and get help early on.

Plan Ahead


Think about your degree plans now.



What is your major preparing you for? Some people enter college solely for personal enrichment, and while that isn't a bad thing, you shouldn't ignore the cost of your education. To maximize the value of your time and money spent, it's best to choose a degree that balances your personal interests with profitable skills.

Utilize electives to expand your interests and explore hobbies. Keep your major aligned with professional goals and utilize a minor to broaden your skill set or enhance your employment opportunities with specialized knowledge.

Keep Studying Short


You are more likely to benefit from frequent, short study sessions than all-nighters. If you struggle to find the motivation to study off-hours, review your coursework at the beginning of the week and utilize the first two or three days to prepare. Then, you'll be able to complete assignments without having to teach yourself everything as you go.

Reduce Stress


Whether you enjoy exercise or meditation to lower your stress, it's important to prioritize your mental health as both a worker and student. Being in the military comes with a wide array of job stressors, and university students can attest that studying is akin to a full-time job. Balancing both is a challenge, and it's okay to feel overwhelmed at times. Just make sure that you schedule personal time to unwind and channel your stress into something positive.

You’ve got a lot on your plate already, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pursue a college degree while you’re still in the military. As long as you plan ahead, keep yourself motivated and on task, and take care of yourself, you can succeed in attaining your college degree.
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