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Graduation is the day where you can finally thank yourself for completing four years of hard work. Now, the question stands — what’s next?

By now you have been pressured to set a plan to take the first steps toward your future. 

The decision of your steps after graduation is a great weight no one likes to hold. Expectations and standards from other people are overwhelming and confusing.

Take it from me, a kid whose family does not have the finances to afford college, a kid who had to go through the process by herself because she is a first generation student. It is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. I had two choices: military or college.

Both choices are not bad and with certainty comes research, but keep in mind you have to be realistic about your current situation.

The soldiers that stop you in the hallways in high school, take notice of them and listen to whatever they are selling. As much as the military does exploit children, there are some benefits. As a college freshman who is reconsidering her choices, if I would’ve had a peek into the future maybe, just maybe, I would have taken that route.

The headliner is the military does pay for your education and if you are anything like me you have Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). I wasn’t all that educated on if I could attend college and enlist in the military at the same time, but with the research I learned you could break up bootcamp and Advanced individual training (AIT). Each could be done in the summer or if you would like to take a semester/year off. Time goes by so quickly you do not even realize it. 

The main benefit of enlisting into the military is the money. Point blank period, the moolah. The military gives their soldiers full coverage health insurance, we do not know much about it but it is a necessity that many people fight over, a GI Bill to cover education costs and bi-weekly checks. You do not have to be a die hard lover for your country — in reality just reap the benefits.

There are multiple branches in the United States military such as the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Do your research on which one works best for you. If you would like to still attend college as a soldier, I highly recommend becoming a reserve officer. You would still enlist normally like an active duty soldier, but would only go into your base on a weekend out of the month. 

Trust me, coming from a kid who is breaking generational curses by attending college, give yourself a break by having the costs paid for by someone else, but overall choose what is best for you because at the end of the day no one is living your life and that degree only has your name on it.

 

Ashley Pitt is a second year Mass Media student with minor in Sociology at the illustrious Clark Atlanta University. Her interests involve the entertainment industry as well as shedding light on topics hidden from the media. Having a passion to show authenticity in society, she documents her truth through her writing and as well on other social media platforms!
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