If you're in active service in one of the branches of the military, you might think your education has to be put on hold. However, active-service members have more and more options that allow them to earn whatever degree they like even if they're currently deployed. However, if you're new to the college process, you'll need some direction. How can you serve and take classes too?
Contact the Education Adviser
Your current base is likely to have an adviser for educational issues, and that's the first person you should make contact with. They can suggest college programs and schools that have helped active-duty members like yourself. They can explain which part of your service might be eligible for college credits, which could cut down the amount of time and money you ulimately pay for your degree. An adviser can likely recommend a good online program if you'd prefer to not attend physical classes.
Explore Educational Assistance for Military Personnel
Paying for the classes you take is likely one of the first things you'll need to grapple with before you begin studying. Luckily, there are programs, incentives, grants, and other educational assistance for people in the military. Often, it's a matter of knowing what help is out there so you can apply. That's why you should make your first stop the education adviser on your base. They can give you a detailed list of what's available.
Fewer troops are using tuition assistance, even though many resources exist. Typically, military tuition assistance will pay most or all of your tuition up to a certain amount. If your costs exceed your allowance for the year, don't despair. The Post-9/11 GI Bill, college fund programs, the Yellow Ribbon Program, and college loan repayment programs are just some of the ways you can ease the pain of paying for a degree.
Once you're accepted into a program and have worked out payment, it's important to not overwhelm yourself immediately. Don't attempt four or five classes your first time out; instead, give yourself the chance to take a single class or two classes at most. This will get your mind used to being in student mode, and you won't have to worry that you'll be buried under classwork.
Use Time Management
Scheduling study time, leisure time, family time, and other activities is likely wise. Your time management skill may need to improve so that you're able to juggle everything happening. Remember to be gentle with yourself and schedule "nothing" time as well.
Stay Ahead of Classwork
One reason active service members have problems with getting a degree is that work activities can be unpredictable. You may not know when a field mission is scheduled, for instance. It's easy to fall further and further behind with classwork. Therefore, conscious effort is needed to always stay just a bit ahead so you're better prepared.
For more information about educational assistance for military personnel, contact a college like the University of Maryland University College.