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Veterans, College Students, Fathers: Their Advice on How They Make it all Work!
Student Veterans of America | June 17, 2018
Dads take on many roles throughout our lives: they’re our champions, providers, role models, heroes – and they do a lot to achieve these roles. They serve our country, get hard-earned degrees, work long hours and they raise and mentor us – sometimes, all at once. This Father’s Day, some of them even took the time to share with you their best advice for other student veteran dads who are starting school for the first time as a parent. Check it out!
The most important advice I received while I was in college was from a fellow veteran: my wife. I hit a real low point and got cynical about commencement. I had decided I wasn’t going to purchase the regalia or attend the ceremony because it was “just a money-making scheme.” Nancy told me the following: “Your parents never graduated from high school and they never stressed the importance of education. You’re the first in your family to both attend and graduate from college, and more importantly, did it in spite of the challenges that blindness threw your way. You have this amazing opportunity to break a bad family tradition, and you’re getting ready to stop on this side of the finish line. Our kids need to see you graduate and walk across that stage, so they know that education is important. They need to know that disability isn’t an excuse to live an easy life by not trying or quitting when they’re uncomfortable.” My oldest will be a student veteran in a little over a year, and my daughter is attending orientation with my wife at Northern Arizona University as I’m typing this. For all those fathers out there, my advice is simple: make sure your kids see you in school, and be sure to include them in your victory lap when you graduate--that’s what leadership looks like.
Darian G. Blanks Sr.
I'm a full-time single father getting ready to balance fatherhood, grad school, a full-time internship and running a student organization. The best advice I can give to other fathers is finding a good balance. In order to be successful in all aspects of life, time management is vital. Find a schedule that works for your responsibilities and adhere to it. It may not be easy, but with proper preparation, it is possible.
The best thing I ever did as a student vet was make sure my kids were involved in school and chapter events as much as possible. I think it has had a wonderful impact in their lives.
Communicate with your professors; this is good practice in general, but especially as a dad. Getting face time with your professors early in the academic term and letting them know you’re a parent creates room for understanding - might come in handy down the road!
Hope you all have a great Father’s Day!
Jeremy M. Garcia
Set the example for them. Be willing to lean on other, younger, students when you need help. I always made sure to consolidate my schedule to ensure I had open days during the week to not only work, but allocate time to my studies during the day so that I can spend as much time with my family in the evening when we’re all home together.
Mike C. Saucedo
Define your goals, do your research and reach out when you need to. You’ll go far once you know what to balance and which direction to go in.
Do it because you want to leave a better world to hand over.