College is an amazing thing. In fact, there're few better ways to spend your time after the Marines than going to get an education in whatever way you see fit. Chances are, you got out because you were done with the military lifestyle and you were ready to move forward with your life. You were ready to find the next big challenge.
Contrary to what your chain of command told you, getting out of the military does not guarantee that you'll spend your days living in a van down by the river. Not only did you build an arsenal of great life skills while in the service, you also earned yourself the G.I. Bill, which, in some cases, pays you to go to college.
Don't be nervous at the prospect. The truth is, the Marines (or any other branch for that matter) has prepared you for the adventure of college in ways you might not have noticed.
1. Task organization
Organizing your college life is a lot like writing a mission order: You take the biggest task and break it into manageable chunks. Having this kind of organizational talent can make group projects easier, too — if you think you can trust the other group members to carry out their assigned tasks, anyways.
Take the big tasks, break them into smaller ones.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lucas Hopkins)
2. Time management
When you get out of the Marines, it's going to be hard to break out of the "fifteen minutes prior" mentality. You'll be showing up everywhere super early, even if no one is waiting to yell at you for being late. Unlike a lot of kids fresh out of high school, you'll already know how to make the time you need to do the work that needs to be done.
Hurry up and wait will definitely apply in a lot more areas of your life.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Master Sgt. Keith A. Milks)
3. Not settling for bare minimums
As Marines, we're taught to never settle. We're taught to push ourselves to be our absolute best — and this helps a lot in college. You might experience a little anxiety over an exam or project, but when it comes time to deliver, you'll exceed your expectations — because that's just who you are now.
You know where your limits are and you'll continue pushing them.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Benjamin E. Woodle)
This can't be stressed enough. Marines are able to train themselves to set a goal and work toward it at any cost. Our laser focus helps us avoid distractions until the mission is not only accomplished, but done with 110% effort.
You won't stop until the job gets done.
(U.S. Marine Corps)
5. Sleep deprivation
In college, there are times where you'll miss out on plenty of sleep because of deadlines. Luckily, you've spent enough time in fighting holes and on duty that you know how it feels to be truly tired, and it'll never stop you from continuing to perform like you've had plenty of sleep.
Good thing you can sleep anywhere, right?
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brian Slaght)
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