Guest Blog By Chloe Moore
When I first married my husband, I had just finished the general ed portion of my bachelor’s degree at a school in California. I naively believed that I would have plenty of time to finish my degree before we moved again. Instead, we would move two more times before I would get that diploma.
The thing that made it possible was deciding to finish my degree online. Military life did not make it easy to balance my attention and time. I was often frazzled, but I was a determined frazzled.
So if you’re looking at your life and only seeing the reasons it can’t be done, make a point to look at your abilities and ambitions, so that you can see why it can be done.
What are the keys to making it happen? The keys are already in your pocket and they revolve around making this specific part of your life work for you.
3 Ways You Can Go Back to School & Succeed
Choose a School Setting That Works
The modern military spouse has educational offers that simply did not exist for prior generations of dependents. If the option to go to school online didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my degree as quickly as I did.
It’s important to pick classes that will keep you engaged, and that you don’t overload your schedule. You can take steps to make your experience as personal as you need it to be so that you achieve your goals.
Choose a Potential Career That Works
If your end goal is personal development, that’s awesome. But it’s also important to consider if it’s important to you that your degree works for you beyond the personal. The latest study by Blue Star Families found that the unemployment rate of Military Spouses is three times the national average, and spouses with a bachelor’s degree earn 40 percent less than their civilian counterparts.
When your spouse is gone all the time, you are primarily responsible for maintaining your home and caring for your kids and thus there’s only so much time you can commit to being outside your home.
When you move all the time, employers — especially those in military towns — notice when your past jobs are literally all over the map, if they’re existent at all. It’s hard to build a resume in your field when you can never move up within a company.
That’s why it’s important to choose a field strategically as well as passionately. It’s wise to assess your skills and talents and see how it can align with a career that you can maintain even if you’re working predominately from home, throughout many moves and transitions.
For example, as a military spouse, you’re already used to being flexible and working under pressure, so a nursing degree could be a smart fit. Not just because of your skill set, but also because nursing is a growing field where employers will see you as an asset. Plus, it’s an expanding possibility for would-be telecommuters. Which means when your family moves, again and again, you get to keep your job. Looking at how a career will be able to fit into your lifestyle is crucial!
Do It For You
I almost quit many, many times. But I didn’t, and as a dependent, I was even more motivated, because I wanted to buck the status quo. And it also made me more proud when I finished, because I had a long list of challenges I overcame, which proved I could finish even though it was difficult. And now I’m writing to you right now; in other words, I’m using my degree to do just what I was hoping I’d be able to do.
If you think it can’t be done, I implore you to look at me, and see that it can be done; work, children, TDAs, deployments, or even a PCS don’t have to stop you. And if that’s not enough, just look at your friends and neighbors and ultimately, look back at yourself for proof it’s feasible.