Bengals from Both Angles-At Issue: Exploring life after high school

Amber Speer, Staff Writer

College. Military. Trade School. Work. Living in a van parked on your parent’s driveway.

There are a lot of options to consider after high school.

However, the one that many people seem to think they already know so much about is truly the best of the bunch – the military.

Of course, college and the workforce will always be great options.

However, by joining the military, students are giving themselves an even greater opportunity of attending college at an affordable or even free price. Who doesn’t love affordability?

Starting off as an E-1 in the Navy, a recruit can make $1,638 a month. This pay is given without doing anything more than enlisting. Scoring high on the entrance exam or recruiting two more friends can easily increase that pay.

Now, I don’t know about the other three branches, but I would bet their pay is decent too.

Pay is, of course, not necessarily the most important aspect when planning the future. In fact, what should be taken into the greatest amount of consideration in one’s own hopes and dreams.

I have always dreamt of being a writer; a journalist; an author. Right off the bat, someone may not immediately think that the military is where I belong, but they have a job for everyone.

From nuclear engineer to corpsman to mass communications specialist, there is a wide variety of occupations to choose from in any branch of the service.

Sure, the hours can be grueling and the workouts are intense, but anything worth anything requires a little effort. Shouldn’t our future success be worth more than a little effort?

Now, the military isn’t a set job for life.

Once a person has enlisted that does not mean they are stuck there forever. Rather, students have the opportunity to discharge after a few years and pursue other careers in life.

With a prior history of serving in the military, the workforce becomes far easier to navigate, and the world becomes a lot more accessible for officers.

Not only that, college is very well still an option for recruits. In fact, the Air Force requires their recruits to have at least an Associate’s Degree by the end of their initial active duty term, and the Navy highly recommends it.

Just because one door opens, that does not mean another one has to close.

Overall, nothing in life is set in stone, but I can guarantee that the mere act of talking to a military recruiter can be eye opening about different possibilities.

So, do not brush over the military.

Take a good look at all options: college, military, trade school, work, staying in your parents’ basement for another ten years.

There is a lot to consider before we have to commit. Make sure to consider all of it.