It’s officially 2019 – and while the year is only a day and a half old, many of us have been thinking about our resolutions and how to make our lives better in the new year. Some of us will be starting a diet and new fitness routine. Some of us will be cleaning and organizing our homes. Some of us will be working on our budgets and finances. If there is a still a longing in your heart for a change that doesn’t fit these descriptions, perhaps a change in your education might help you along your journey.
Making the jump to being a student again can be daunting. There are more choices available now than ever before and many decisions need to be made before the application process even begins.
Step 1: What do you like?
What do you like? At what do you readily excel? There are bound to be activities in your life that bring you joy that could be turned into an academic program and possibly career. Sit down and make a list of your strengths, passions, likes and activities. Once you have made that list, start to explore the academic options that best match up.
Step 2: Match your hobbies with a degree.
In so many cases, a hobby can be turned into a career. Are you passionate about animals? Perhaps a Veterinary assistant would be an ideal career for you! Love children? Pursue a degree in early childhood education. Photography your jam? Look to take photojournalism classes as part of a journalism program. If you can’t stand math classes and hate working with numbers, then it would be counter-productive to pursue a degree in accounting!
Step 3: Look for programs in your area
A great place to start is your local community school. They typically offer a plethora of degrees across a wide variety of disciplines and can be great for adult professionals looking to advance an existing career or jump start a new one. If it turns out that your desired degree requires a four year or more commitment, your local community school can probably point you in the right direction as well. Don’t forget about online degrees – depending on what you are going for, the online option might be the best way to pursue your academic dreams without uprooting your entire family.
Step 4: Pick a program and apply!
Hitting the “apply now” button is sometimes the scariest thing! The leap of faith of will pay off, however, as you truly won’t know until you try.
Step 5: Explore your GI Benefits and change your future!
You’ve served your country and now deserve the opportunity for self-exploration and improvement. Be sure to mention your service time to the advisors you meet along the way and get your documentation together for a smooth process.