When I went to college, it was the first time that I wasn’t surrounded by active duty military members and their dependents. Even the public high school that I went to was flooded with “Army brats,” or at least people who lived in Fayetteville, NC, long enough to understand, appreciate, and respect the military lifestyle.
Not so much in college. People scrunched up their faces in confusion when I tried to answer the “Where are you from?” question I’ve always dreaded. My friends tried to compare their parents’ business trips to my dad’s deployments. No one understood why I cried at every singing of the national anthem or recognition of the Armed Forces. Even when my friends and I were going through the same rough patches of life, I never felt that they could ever see it from my perspective because of my background. I truly, honestly, whole-heartedly felt completely alone.
I didn’t have to. I could have reached out to the Corvias Foundation and let them know how I was feeling. I could have reached out to the scholars who were going to the same school as me. I didn’t realize this until after I graduated and was reunited with them in Boston a couple months ago, and not connecting with the scholars is one of my biggest college regrets. The thing is, the Corvias Foundation is full of caring individuals who are always willing to help and support each other. It’s just impossible to do that if we aren’t also willing to express when we need assistance, and it took me too long to realize that.
Reach out to someone who goes to or went to your university. Tell Melissa when you are having a rough day or a great semester at school. Email Maria and Erin just to see how they’re doing. Say hello to John Picerne on LinkedIn (he loves LinkedIn). Just give us an update on Facebook! Take advantage of the relationships and connections that we have thanks to the Corvias Foundation.