News & Articles

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My Intersectional Identity Amplifies My Imposter Syndrome

One of the beautiful things about being in a “small” university is you hear about a lot more events and opportunities outside of your major. If your university is elite, it’s more likely that these events are led by the “top” minds in the country, maybe even the world. One of the groups that resonate with me at MIT is the First-Generation/Low-Income community. Through this group, I was invited to …

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Hot Wash: A Year After Separation

After serving in the military for over 10 years, I was ready for a change of pace. It would have been easier for me to stay another 10 years to retire, but I wanted a new challenge. Two weeks after I started terminal leave in January 2020, I attended a community college to complete prerequisites and transfer to a 4-year university. How hard can it be to transition from being …

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War as Livelihood: Military Service as a Means of Socioeconomic Mobility via Higher Education

I am writing this essay with reference to literary works that I encountered—in the form of assigned readings—for a course I recently completed as a student at a prestigious university. How I came to be a student at this university is that I served in the United States military. I served in the military because it was my only means of opportunity for upward socioeconomic mobility. My current situation is, …

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Start Small; Think Big

As you consider the path out of active duty and into the classroom, it can feel like an overwhelming sea of decisions to make. Where do I go? Where do I start? How do I know that school ABC will be the best fit for me? The answers to these questions will look different for everyone, and fortunately (and maybe for the first time in a while), the decision on …

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Embracing Campus Culture Beyond the Generational Gap

In most situations, the individuals who are most successful usually find themselves involved in more than just their studies. It takes having a strong social circle and building relationships with friends who are sharing your journey. Like the military, attending a university is made much more worthwhile if moments and experiences are shared with those around you. This is not an easy accomplishment from the perspective of a student veteran, …

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What I Wish I Could Have Told Myself Before Attending College: The Added Value of Seeking Consultation

The impetus for writing this article is to address the stigmas that I observed while serving as an enlisted soldier in the Army that I now deem as myopic. Moreover, it is a letter that addresses the evolution of my disposition as I have progressed throughout my collegiate career. When I left the military, I was the self-proclaimed sniper that could tackle anything. But what I wish I knew was …

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Four Central Reasons Veterans Can Succeed at School

We all had different experiences in the military, and depending on our MOS, we all learned a different skill or a trade. It might not be obvious right away, but no matter what branch, the military taught each of us how to succeed. My success in school is not because I am book smart (my ASVAB score could prove that); it’s because I apply what I learned in the military …

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The Spark: When I Decided to Give School Another Chance

People who say they joined the military because they aren’t “made” for college fool themselves. Although, they may be correct at the time that they find themselves in the recruiting office. I was one of those people that tried and utterly failed. I was not made for it but was foolish enough to try at two different colleges without any foundational reformations in my habits. I was not driven, and …

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Journey to New Beginnings: U.S. Navy to William & Mary

My journey to college, like yours, is a unique one. Mine started in the summer of 2011; I had completed my first counter-piracy deployment off the coast of Somalia. The Sahara heat made the affliction of 18-hour workdays more painful than they already were. That tempo lasted for months on end, and with those new experiences came a new perspective. I considered where I was and where I wanted to …

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A Train of Thought on Education

One of the fundamental questions we should ask ourselves as student-veterans is what it means to be educated. Why do we care to educate ourselves? Without a doubt, a university education and the credentials it brings are springboards from which we pursue successful careers as professionals. We realize, however, that education carries with it deeper implications as well. To be educated is to have the capacity to inquire on the …

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