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


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.


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Bengals From Both Angles- Pro College

Going to college is more advantageous than joining the military after high school. With more and more entry level jobs requiring associate degrees, college is not an option, but rather a priority.

Getting a quality education does not mean that one is doomed if they are not accepted into an Ivy League or other colleges of prestige. Community colleges and state universities offer valuable courses for more affordable prices.

Even the military offers free college tuition due to the GI Bill, so they obviously know how important it is.

Although joining the military is more cost effective than gathering student loan debt, a lot of free will is taken away from recruits. The military officials expect strict upkeep of their investments, and a person cannot quit the military until serving the time promised.

In a world where teens stay in relationships that last only a few months and hold jobs for around the same time, a commitment to the military may pose more problems than expected.

Some may argue that not all teens are immature, and some can make major decisions.

However, when enlisting in the military, one must be prepared for heavy responsibilities, even ones that risk lives. Most people are not prepared to handle such responsibilities, so joining the military may not be the best option.

Almost everything needs to be approved before one can attempt anything from serious life events such as marriage to minor decisions such as an online college course.

For most teens, college is the first place where one can enjoy almost total freedom. The military completely inhibits one’s autonomy and impinges on privacy.

According to, a college degree owner is likely to be financially savvy because he/she must fend for the self after graduating high school.

Soldiers are given commands to carry out and a strict schedule to follow. They may not learn to cook, do laundry, file taxes – just some of the many valuable life skills one learns while living independently in college.

In college, one must learn how to deal with roommates, group projects, and scheduling doctor appointments – another experience unique to college life.

College is a steppingstone to success in one’s future. It can help one become an expert in a respective field. It can expose a person to new people and grow a network with a large range of .

Instead of the military, consider applying to college to broaden one’s perception of the world.

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