The transition from military service to civilian and student life can pose unique challenges for veterans, their partners, and their families. You may find university life to be less structured, with less direction from professors and administrators. And, while you may no longer be a service member, you might not feel like a student yet either.
Many student veterans report feeling isolated and misunderstood, and have difficulty relating to traditional college students. You might also identify with some of the following challenges:
- Navigating university structure and culture, including choosing a major, identifying and accessing resources, and addressing professors and other authority figures.
- Accessing benefits (e.g., Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI bills) and obtaining course credit, where available, for your previous training.
- Being more independent, self-reliant, and focused on your own personal goals and needs, rather than the needs of a team or group.
- Developing an identity separate from being a service member.
- Feeling as though you do not have a purpose, or that the work you are doing is less meaningful than your job or responsibilities in the service.
- Experiencing boredom, frustration, distraction, low motivation, and/or numbness which interfere with your classwork or class attendance.
Student veterans who seek mental health services often report symptoms related to depression, anxiety, and/or posttraumatic stress. Click here for screening measures that can help you get a sense of how likely one or more of these concerns might be affecting you. The measures are anonymous, but information about age, gender, year in school, etc. may be requested to track usage statistics.
Veterans have a lot to offer the university as students. Your service has led you to be both goal-oriented and mission-driven, which is a strength in completing coursework and preparing for exams. Your leadership experience will help navigate group projects. The variety of training you have received will have informed you of the ways in which you most effectively learn new material and approach novel or complex tasks.
Relevant Services Provided by the University of Kentucky Counseling Center
- Relaxation Room
- Drop-In Workshops
- Let’s Talk (@ VRC, Spring 2018, Tuesdays 12:30-2:30)
- Individual and group therapy
- Suicide Prevention & QPR
Campus Resources and Services
- Veterans Resource Center (VRC)
- UK Student Veterans Association (UKSVA)
- Honoring Our Military Everywhere (HOME)
- The Writing Center
- The Study
- Student Support Services (SSS)
- Disability Resource Center (DRC)
- Financial Aid
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
- From Combat to Kentucky (interviews with student veterans)
- VA Campus Toolkit
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