Meet Brian Andrews:
Brian retired from the U.S. Navy as a Petty Officer First Class (E-6). He is a graduate of Pensacola State College and received his BAS degree in Business & Management: Organizational Administration in December 2021. Brian currently works as an administrative assistant for the Veteran Student Support Services program at PSC, while pursuing his master’s degree.
When asked about the challenges he encountered when transitioning to college student after military retirement, Brian stated, “Initially, the biggest challenge with returning to school was adjusting to the various formats for education distribution. When I first entered college back in 1995 (yes, I’m dating myself), the traditional in-person method was the preferred (and only) available method. Fast-forward twenty years later and we’re adjusting to several computer-based formats including virtual, live online, hybrid, etc. If these formats are challenging to the average student entering college directly from High School, imagine how much more terrifying they must appear for someone who hasn’t been in that environment for two decades or so.”
Brian added, “one solution which I still hold near and dear to me today is the utilization of resources. It’s impossible to ask anyone to know everything; however, it doesn’t hurt to know what you have at your disposal during those moments of uncertainty. To the best of my knowledge, instructors are put in place to help students succeed. Taking advantage of the invaluable resources they have to offer will only benefit us in the long run.”
He also states that “As an older student, being able to rely upon my worldly experiences played a pivotal role in my success as a student. On some level, I had a noticeable advantage over younger students who had yet to experience the workforce. From an educational standpoint, I found it easier to incorporate my life and work experiences into many of the assignments.”
Brian states “For me personally, walking across the stage to shake hands with the presiding official and collect my degree was tops on the list. Having my family in attendance to witness this event made the ceremony all the more meaningful. That moment provided the perfect punctuation mark to all the hard work and commitment I dedicated to this goal. Gazing upon my certificate with my name embedded in it was my second proudest moment. It was truly the culmination of a special yet personal achievement. Very few things in life can bring one to the feeling that I felt on graduation day.”