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Military education success: Use the buddy system

CAMP PENDLETON, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Lance Corporal Jason Derks (L) and Lance Corporal Daniel Patrick, who both returned from the war wounded, mourn for their fallen companions of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment as the Marines of Regimental Combat Tea
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Making the change from the military life to the civilian has its own challenges, but those can be compounded when entering a college. Whether it is a community, technical, or four-year university, a veteran is faced with a radical change in culture and atmosphere. Using a buddy system in this situation has the same benefits as going out in the field or touring a port-of-call, making it a extremely helpful tool for anyone looking to pursue education after service.

Having a buddy going to the same college however, can dampen all those factors. With a buddy to take similar classes, especially in the general requirements at the 100 and 200 level, helping and struggling together can greatly assist in getting over the initial hump of integrating in the college world. In the end, when considering whether to attend college after you leave the service, consider using the buddy system.

Although there is almost certainly a VA Liaison at the learning institution of one’s choice, they may not be able to provide a strong support base. Some institutions also have other support programs, such as a veteran’s outreach or a veteran’s organization. These tools are extremely useful, especially if you don’t have the option of having a buddy. If you do have a buddy however, they can provide a strong solid support base that very few can.

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