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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 13

As you know, life is not easy nor was it meant to be. Being a veteran, you are different than the majority of the people here. You understand discipline, teamwork and motivation. They are all essential in your success here and you will succeed as long as you never quit, never give up, and always have faith.

My personal struggle is very in-depth, I would be lying if I said I didn’t struggle at times still. However it’s all perspectives, how you look at each situation, how you learn from everything and what you take away from it. Remember when times seem hard, don’t be scared to rely on God, have faith but more importantly have trust. Don’t be so hardheaded as to think you know best. Be open, do what you’re passionate about, if not, you will fail even if you succeed in goals. Do what motivates you, drives you, gives you purpose. If you don’t know, what are your natural talents? Try helping others with them.

Just because you fail at something does not make you a failure. Continue, persevere, and triumph. Just don’t ever quit then you have failed more. Always give an honest effort, put in the work. Yeah it’s not fun but nothing is given in life, you must earn it. You don’t deserve everything nor are you entitled to everything but if you want something, work hard for it, enjoy it, then thank and glorify God for it. Always keep your head up.

A Fellow Veteran

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 12

I’d like to tell you how I achieved and plan to achieve my goals in life.

First some things I’ve done in the past that have worked. I used to take my goals head on and stay focused on one goal. I had set my mind and achieved it but I didn’t like the end results. So the method I use now works much better. I first set my goals then I set a number of objectives to help me achieve the main goal. I also set alternative objectives and alternative goals as a failsafe in the event something should change my plans.

A Fellow Veteran

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 11

I’d like to talk to you about life after the military. There are a lot of great opportunities available. All you have to do is stay focused and out of trouble until your contract is over. Even if you did get in trouble there is a lot available. I know what you’re going through because I’ve been there myself. I went to NJP and did time in the brig. I wasn’t a bad person, just made a bad decision. I bounce back from it and received an honorable discharge. So there is still hope.

A Fellow Veteran

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 10

Congrats! You have made the college! You are not alone here, there are many resources for you to try. You can join the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) located in the Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC) in the Student Center Building. The services they provide are tutoring, mentorship as well as a moment to socialize with other vets.

When I first came to Wayne State University, I felt alone and scared. That was until I joined the SVO. I have made lifelong friends there and I am motivated to come to school daily.

Stay encouraged!

A Fellow Veteran

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 9

I am going on two years and a few months of being a member of the Army National Guard. I would just like to “keep it real” with you in regards to you and your school of choice. I attend Wayne State University and work part-time at a park. I will gladly tell you life for me ain’t been no crystal staircase. I made mistakes, failed classes, and let problems outside of school affect my grade point average. It’s an uneasy testimony to come to grips with however, it is possible to do so if you have the will to keep trying. College wasn’t meant to be easy. Like grade school, it has a hidden curriculum that teaches you life lessons. The best advice that I can give to you is when the going gets tough you have to get tough as well. Realize that you have to think smarter not harder because the best muscle, tool and weapon that you must have, keep and fine tune to is your mind!

Don’t give up!!

A Fellow Veteran

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 8

Congrats on being accepted into college. While you’re here to you’re not alone. Here at Wayne State University, the Student Veterans Resource Center has helped me make the transition to college life without feeling alienated. Some things I would do in order to ease your transition would be to always ask questions because there is always someone smarter than you. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn just from other people about veterans’ information or just classwork. Another tip is to try and associate with people with similar likes in the resource Center. Just make sure the group wants to succeed. Lastly, no you’re not alone, there are many organizations and people out there that are getting paid to make your life easier you just have to want to be helped. Good luck, you’ll do fine!

A Fellow Veteran

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 7

The transition you are embarking on is a tough one. Leaving the military community and coming to an institution poses many cultural, emotional, and cognitive issues. I left Fort Lewis after my second tour with a lot of baggage I didn’t know I had into a strange environment with different people, situations, and expectations both of myself and of them. I tell you this after many freak outs, frustrations, and anger. This is achievable! I was fortunate enough to find the Student Veterans Organization, the Student Veterans Resource Center as well as like-minded and hard-working kids in my classes that also felt overwhelmed and unprepared. Together we cleared our way to the top of our classes and made our combined vision of success a reality. Half of college is finding the right cohorts to help you on your journey. The other half is setting a goal and fighting sleepless nights behind a keyboard and hours spent reading and rereading books and notes for what you want.

Your goal, no matter how big is achievable if you have support and putting the time to make itself.

A Fellow Veteran

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 6

I know by now you must be thinking that this school thing is just not for you, but please believe me, it gets easier. With all the demands from the teachers and the different assignments, know that there is a silver lining in your gray clouds. Being a student here at Wayne State is not that bad. You have many outlets that will help you succeed. Make sure you take advantage of all the SI (Supplemental Instruction) sessions for math and science classes. They really help. It’s wise to make appointments with your advisor every month. That way you can stay on track. Make sure you go to your teachers office hours and whatever study groups that may have. That way they know who you are and know that you are giving it your all. Try not to miss too many days and know that the Student Veterans Resource Center is always there for you. You can always find a life line in that room.

A Fellow Veteran

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 5

There are many things in life that can make you feel down in the dumps. A key to staying motivated is to think about the positive things in your life. Some people in this world don’t even have the option of attending college. On the news a few days ago I saw a parent of children trying to cross a river in Vietnam. The father had to swim with his children across the river to go to school. They have to cross one at a time in a garbage bag so their school clothes would stay dry as they cross the river. Think about the small good things in life that make you happy.

A Fellow Veteran

Apr 17 / Kenneth Smith

Dear Fellow Veteran – 4

If I need inspiration when I am feeling down about continuing my education, I watched documentaries on Netflix on the kinds of things that interest me. Watching them inspires me to do better and reminds me that there is “a light at the end of the tunnel”… No matter how faint.

A Fellow Veteran