Veteran alum discusses sense of belonging and support Daemen provides
- 408 Views
- November 10, 2020
- Undergraduate Students
Veterans have many concerns about going to college after their tour of duty. I certainly did. Five months after I discharged from the Marines, I enrolled in a culinary school. It was a technical college, so the atmosphere was similar to the military. We were sorted into cohorts of eighteen students, and we took all our classes together just as a platoon might. The ages of the other culinary students were varied, so my being in my early twenties was equal to most of my friends. As I progressed as a chef, I wanted to expand my job prospects. I enrolled at Daemen six years after I left the Marines. I was in my late twenties and I was quite concerned about my life experiences being vastly different from the other students at Daemen College.
One part of the Marine Corps that I often miss is the particular notion that is ingrained within each Marine, that you belong. I know this to be true for each service, and that the idea of belonging never leaves. A veteran will always have direct connections to their time in service. So, I was concerned that I would not really belong at Daemen. My goal was for an education that would prepare me for the rest of my life, but I was worried it would be difficult being among a group of younger students, many of whom would have come straight to Daemen from high school. But this was all alleviated from the moment I arrived. The staff, educators, and my fellow students openly accepted and applauded me as an older student who was also a veteran.
Daemen College provided me with a wonderful education. The methods I was taught to solve a problem, research an idea, find a method to succeed, or how to bring a project to life have been constantly useful to me and my work in the twenty years since I was a student. I remember feeling that success was continually within reach at Daemen College. It is a lovely place to discover how to train yourself to interact with the world around you.