Opinion Pieces

Here, you can expect our opinion pieces, where we’ll expand on multiple topics that we feel may help in your transition from a service member to a star student. We may even throw in some creative writing.


Mentally Transitioning into School

Many service members think of going back to school as a distant or unattainable goal. Whether you’re thinking about returning to the classroom after you get out of the service, attending next year, when you pick up your next rank, or whenever, it’s extremely beneficial to prepare mentally for the educational rigors ahead. For many, …

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Ian Tierney: My Journey from the Marine Corps to the University of Chicago

Over eight years ago I graduated high school in the bottom 10% of my class. This fall, I will once again be a full-time student at the University of Chicago. You may be asking yourself, how could a top tier school with a 6.2% acceptance rate possibly accept a student like him? It is not …

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The Road Less Traveled: The argument for becoming a student veteran

At some point in their career, every member of the military member considers life after their enlistment is completed. Often, they are filled with excitement as they anticipate the sense of freedom they will experience on the day they get out. With longing in their eyes, they imagine waking up late, not shaving or doing …

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Opinion Piece: Before You Roll up the Car Window

It was getting close to midnight. After serving hundreds of sushi to angry customers and cleaning up after drunk fraternity boys, I was on my way home with a pocket full of singles. I ran into a middle-aged man holding a sign in front of the restaurant.  Homeless veteran from Fort Drum, anything helps. Lucky …

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Searching for a University: Considering the Chicago Principles

            In recent years the definition of the University has been in flux. As NYU psychologist Jonathan Haidt has noted[1], the university is oscillating between truth and social justice. The competition between these values has been seen on campuses across the United States for several years. The shout-downs at Yale[2], the meltdown at Evergreen[3], the creation …

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Opinion Piece: On Networking

“It’s all about who you know.” A lot is said about the worth of networking, but not much is said about exactly what networking is and how we should approach it. Additionally, advice on networking can often miss the mark because approaches to networking should be tailored to the individual. What works for me might …

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Opinion: How to Have Constructive Conversations

I would like to start this post off with a caveat. Our views and opinions are formulated by our life experiences. Therefore, I would like to note that the following opinions regarding navigating hard topics are based solely on my own experience. Difficult conversations are exactly that: difficult. If they were easy, I doubt we …

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The Dumbest One in the Room

           I sat in the library and was trying to muster some level of energy to begin reading the hundred or so pages that were due for my class in a few hours. After a month of college classes, I was finally starting to figure out a nice schedule and getting used to the homework load. …

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The University of Chicago’s Holistic Approach to Veteran Services

Former enlisted military veterans are not traditionally who one might expect to find in attendance at a top-tier university. In fact, most enlisted folks themselves wouldn’t even consider it a possibility. Fortunately, there has been a major shift over the last decade, both in how veterans envision their future in higher education and in how …

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Opinion Piece: Student Veterans’ FOMO

Whether you are transferring from a community college or straight out of the military, you might have experienced the life of an outsider if you are a student veteran. You constantly remind yourself that you don’t have any problem going to classes alone, but a group of students enjoying the sunny weather on the green …

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Opinion Piece: Limitation and Making New Friends

            It is. No truer statement can be said about reality than this. The immense complexity of the nature in which we live, the nature of nature, is beyond human comprehension – bar the sliver of our perceptions and the sum total of our inquiry which remains inadequate. In the attempts to conceptualize the sum …

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Opinion Piece: On Physical Fitness

“What’s the first thing you’re gonna do when you get out, bro?”“Dude – I’m growing out my beard and getting a vet bod.”“Haha. That’s sick, man!” If you’ve spent any time around service members on their way out of the military, then you’ve heard this conversation before. Frankly, even if you have no intention of …

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4th of July: A Message of Gratitude

For the last 244 years, our nation has battled through war, controversy, and everything in between. We’re a young country—one that breeds competition, pride, and opportunity. This 4th of July, though different in celebration, we ask that you reflect upon that for which you’re grateful and apply that gratitude in a manner as to preserve …

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Opinion Piece: The Motivation Myth

I am not going to write about an original idea or new theory in this post. Maybe though, I can tell you an idea in a way that you can relate to my story, and use this information for yourself. In the interest of saving time, as I know we are all busy, I’ll provide …

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Most Universities (Including Seven of the Ivy League) Fully Waive Standardized Testing Requirements for Fall 2021 Admission, but Should You Still Take One?

Most universities, including seven of the eight Ivy League, have now fully waived standardized testing requirements for applicants applying to the fall 2021 term (entering freshman graduation year: 2025). You may have seen another article stating that all universities have suspended the testing requirement, but as of now, there is a small deviation. Columbia’s School …

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Opinion Piece: Living as a Disabled Student Veteran

Bent down the wrong way and blew out your back, and now you’re wondering how to make it to your next lecture? I feel your pain. Your knee gave out again while you were walking in between classes? I’ve been there. You can’t hear your professor in class because of the deafening ring in your …

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Opinion Piece: You are a GOLDFISH

The other day I talked to a very motivated Staff Sergeant in the Marines. He repeatedly displayed feelings of sorrow and fear during our conversation as he was facing the end of his military service (unwillingly). This Staff Seargent was sad he couldn’t serve his country anymore and continue the career he dreamed of having …

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Opinion Piece: Arrive to Class 10 Minutes Early

By arriving to class early, you gift yourself the opportunity to get to know the professor. Odds are, you will probably be one of the only people, if not the only person, in the room when the professor arrives. This is huge; It allows the professor to associate your name with your face, and it …

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Opinion Piece: Achieving a Concentrated Friend Group

Having a concentrated friend group is one of — if not the — most fundamental tools in achieving your academic goals. Now, what on earth is a concentrated friend group? A concentrated friend group is a focused group of individuals who share the same educational aims and corresponding ambition. Let me explain. If there is one concept/idea …

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