From soldier to USC student - DatelineCarolina

From soldier to USC student

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U.S. Army combat medic, Michael Clinton, enjoys being a soldier but is ready to move on to the next chapter in his life as a USC student. U.S. Army combat medic, Michael Clinton, enjoys being a soldier but is ready to move on to the next chapter in his life as a USC student.
The Student Veterans Association of USC welcomes all branches of the military,  active duty and veterans alike. The Student Veterans Association of USC welcomes all branches of the military, active duty and veterans alike.

By Rashaan Anderson
CAROLINA REPORTER & NEWS 

     Michael Clinton, who served as a U.S. Army combat medic, is among the 1,500 veterans at the University of South Carolina who have made the transition from soldier to student. And he acknowledged that the effort is sometimes daunting.  

     “I was stressed,” Clinton said of his first days on campus. “Adapting to civilian life again after spending six months being trained how to be a soldier, how to act like a soldier and how to perform like a soldier and then to go to college, it is completely different."

     Clinton, a senior pre-medical biology student, says that being an Army Ranger and a student is a balancing act.

     “My dual role as a student and a soldier sometimes kind of coincide, but other times they clash and it really wears you out trying to handle both,” he says. 

     Fortunately for Clinton and other veterans, USC has a number of organizations dedicated to supporting military students, both veterans and active duty. One organization is the Student Veterans Association.

     Candace Terry, a Navy veteran, is the president of the Student Veterans Association. Terry served eight years in the Navy, and she says that getting back into a normal routine is the hardest part of the process.

     “It’s hard to reintegrate into society once you leave the military because you have all of your supports there. It’s camaraderie, it is your family,” Terry says. 

     SVA’s goal is to make a successful and enjoyable transition to a higher education and civilian lifestyle. Organizations like SVA makes it easier for soldiers like Clinton to find other military members.

     “It’s refreshing to meet someone who has the same issues, who has the same military backbone, who understands some of the same struggles and where you are coming from," he says.

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