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College: Guard During or After College?

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  • College: Guard During or After College?

    I am 20 years old and a Sophomore working on multiple majors at a 4-year liberal arts university. I've worked hard toward getting my degree, like any other college student, and am half-way toward graduating. I have been thinking a lot about enlisting. However, I know the possibility of deployment and other guard duties might prolong my graduating from college in 4 years like I had planned. Especially since I am taking about 18-20 credit hours per semester just to stay on track to graduate in 4-years, which is when my scholarships run out that allow me to afford the school. My question is should I finish my degree and enlist after college or should I continue working on my degree while being enlisted? Thank you so much for your help!

  • #2
    Re: College: Guard During or After College?

    Originally posted by SimplyTiff View Post
    I am 20 years old and a Sophomore working on multiple majors at a 4-year liberal arts university. I've worked hard toward getting my degree, like any other college student, and am half-way toward graduating. I have been thinking a lot about enlisting. However, I know the possibility of deployment and other guard duties might prolong my graduating from college in 4 years like I had planned. Especially since I am taking about 18-20 credit hours per semester just to stay on track to graduate in 4-years, which is when my scholarships run out that allow me to afford the school. My question is should I finish my degree and enlist after college or should I continue working on my degree while being enlisted? Thank you so much for your help!
    If your financial situation allows you to drive on and finish your degree before enlisting, then that would be my recommendation. I did the 21-credits-per-semester (in engineering) thing while attending OCS phase 0 drills and it is not fun. Finish school with the highest GPA you possibly can (you're going to need it in this economy, especially if your degree is in liberal arts -- I hope you've thought about graduate school) and then re-assess.

    The downside is that you'll "miss out" on some time in service (which counts toward retirement), but avoiding the interruptions for initial entry training and possible deployments is worth it, in my opinion.

    Good luck.

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    • #3
      Re: College: Guard During or After College?

      Originally posted by jwarren View Post
      If your financial situation allows you to drive on and finish your degree before enlisting, then that would be my recommendation. I did the 21-credits-per-semester (in engineering) thing while attending OCS phase 0 drills and it is not fun. Finish school with the highest GPA you possibly can (you're going to need it in this economy, especially if your degree is in liberal arts -- I hope you've thought about graduate school) and then re-assess.

      The downside is that you'll "miss out" on some time in service (which counts toward retirement), but avoiding the interruptions for initial entry training and possible deployments is worth it, in my opinion.

      Good luck.
      Luckily I'm going for degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education which I'm going to eventually put towards participating in the DoDEA (United States Department of Defense Education Activity) which will make finding a job a little easier than if I had a degree in just liberal arts (the university I'm attending just makes us "well rounded" by requiring knowledge in all areas which gives it the liberal arts title). Enlisting has always been something I wanted to do so if after college is best then that is what I'll focus on. I may miss out on the in service time but I guess it gives me a lot of time to physically and mentally prepare for the commitment. Thank you so much for the advice! It is greatly appreciated.

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