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Information For Veterans

ARMED SERVICES VETERANS RETURNING TO COLLEGE

 

Returning to college after Armed Services deployment can be a stressful and highly frustrating experience for some Veterans (11 to 17%). Veterans coming out of extremely stressful combat conditions may find the transition to college life and academic demands a difficult personal challenge.

Quite often combat veterans have signs of combat stress and PTSD before they are discharged from the Armed Service. They frequently avoid seeking help for combat-related stress and/or PTSD symptoms telling themselves they will handle their problems alone or at a more convenient time.

When Veterans return home and re-enter the academic/college life arena, they often question “How will I adjust?”, “Can what I’ve experienced interfere with me doing my best?, “How do I deal with the problem(s) I’m experiencing?”

Each returning Veteran will contend with their symptoms in either a constructive or destructive fashion. Those veterans suffering from combat-related stress and/or PTSD may experience symptoms such as:

  • Boredom stemming from missing the adrenaline rush of combat;
  • Anger, frustration concerning lost time while on deployment;
  • Inability to focus and concentrate on academic assignments/tests;
  • Anxiety, hypersensitivity and startle reactions;
  • Problems with developing relationships with fellow students that have not experienced what veterans have gone through;
  • Concerns and worries about being redeployed;
  • Anger and rage control problems;
  • Depression and paranoia;
  • Troubling dreams, nightmares thoughts and memories;
  • Grief and sadness;
  • Isolation, social retraction and alienation from others;
  • Low tolerance for stress and others’ views of the Armed Services;
  • Guilt because of acts committed during combat situations, events witnessed and from being a survivor while others were not;
  • Seeking relief from emotional pain by abusing alcohol and other drugs;
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities;
  • Low self esteem issues;
  • Problems with authority;
  • Difficulty going and staying asleep;
  • Difficulty trusting others; and
  • PTSD/Combat-related stress reactions.

 

TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms and are concerned that these symptoms are interfering with your daily life or are limiting your ability to perform well academically or personally, you should consider seeking help. Talking with peer or visiting a counselor can be beneficial.

You can also help their adjustment to civilian and college life by implementing these behaviors:

  • Limit your schedule to what is reasonable. Don’t overload;
  • In class, take notes using a good note taking system (Cornell Note Taking System) to keep focus and concentration sharp;
  • Follow a daily schedule to keep yourself organized;
  • Get involved with campus activities that interest you and become involved with your fellow students;
  • Use the college services offered such as academic tutoring and counseling services;
  • Talk to your on campus Veteran Affairs representative and take advantage of available benefits for veterans;
  • Limit exposure to things that upset you (television, news broadcasts, newspapers);
  • Talk with peers and counselors;
  • Be aware that others may not understand or agree with your service in the military;
  • Get the proper amount of sleep and rest, eat a good balanced diet and establish a good physical work out routine;
  • Decrease unhealthy behaviors such as use of alcohol, nicotine and illegal substances;
  • Take part in healthy, fun activities;
  • Give back to the campus and community by doing volunteer work. Helping others takes the focus off of you;
  • Pay attention to how you react to things and learn to recognize the physical and emotional signs of stress and/or PTSD;
  • Visit the University Counseling Center and talk with a professional mental health person;
  • Seek spiritual fulfillment through prayer, meditation and fellowship;
  • Set reasonable boundaries for yourself.

 

RESOURCES

 
ON CAMPUS RESOURCES:
TAMU-CC Veterans Affairs Office
Student Services Center, SSC 101
(361) 825-2331
University Counseling Center
Driftwood Building 107
(361) 825-2703
OFF CAMPUS RESOURCES:
Veterans Center
4646 Corona, Suite 102
Christi, Texas 78411-2517
(361) 289-7905
ON LINE RESOURCES: