"TJ", Veteran and Nontraditional Student - Jun 10, 2013 - Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center - UW-Superior News and Events

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"TJ", Veteran and Nontraditional Student

Posted on Jun 10, 2013
Trevor "TJ" Smith, Super-duper Senior from Duluth, MN
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TJ, Veteran and Nontraditional Student

© 2013 Carl


Broad-field Social Studies for Teaching - History Concentration with Political Science for Teaching & Information Technology

What branch of the military are you in and how long have you been in and how long?

US Army National Guard (Minnesota)/13 years

Tell us about your family. Did they have an influence on you coming to UW-Superior?

I am the youngest of 4 children. My brother and sister-in-law are UW-Superior alumni so I knew it was a good school. I also knew that UWS has a good teaching program so that is what mostly influenced me when deciding on school.

How is college different than being part of the military?

Being in college is WAY easier than being in the military. First off, nobody is actively trying to kill you (although sometimes it feels like your professors are trying to kill you with homework). Secondly, I pretty much get to pick my schedule! Seriously, after being in the Army for over a decade, being in college is a walk in the park - some coursework can be challenging, but not nearly as challenging as most things I've experienced in the Army.

Why did you choose UW-Superior?

Location to my family and the reputation of the school.

What is your favorite spot on-campus?

The VNSC (Veteran and Nontraditonal Student Center) is where I go to hang out on campus, although it would be better if we had a "nap area" where I could get some shut-eye….

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

UW-Superior Veterans Club, Political Science Association (PSA), Future Teach Association (FTA)

What do you like about UW-Superior so far?

The small class sizes are great - I like that my professors know me by name.

How has your transition to student at UW-Superior been?

It's been a long process getting many of the resources we have now. At first it was challenging because I had to navigate the confusing systems that the Army and the VA use all by myself. Now that the VNSC is here it has become much better.

What are some words of wisdom you could impart to our incoming veterans about your experience here at UW-Superior?

Sometimes it feels like you just don't fit in. Often you're much older than the other students, and even if you are the same age you have life experiences that are far different than your peers. Other times some of the viewpoints expressed on campus can be hurtful. No matter how much you feel like people just can't understand you, know that your experiences far surpass those who have not sacrificed for their country. Your experiences make you a better person, a better student, and have made you strong enough to handle anything. And when you feel alone or just want to make a new friend, just swing by Old Main 118, you'll find friends there.

News Contact: Carl Huber | 715-394-8406 | chuber3{atuws}
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