Meet a Vet Profile – James Patnoudes

Jim P. Meet a Vet page

Current Student
BS Psychology










To what degree does the GI Bill cover your school expenses? GI Bill and yellow ribbon cover 100% of my tuition.

What prompted you to return to school? It is absolutely necessary to remain competitive in today’s job market.

Was adjusting to campus culture a challenge after military life? No, in fact, military life prepared me to be a better student. I know what a great privilege it is for a student to be debt free and earning a steady living stipend. I can appreciate what I have earned, because I sacrificed a lot to get here.

What has your experience been like at your school? It’s been great. Because I am a little older than the majority of the students, I find I relate better to my professors and other veterans. It is cool to feel a connection and share experiences with your instructors, and be looked at, in many regards, as a peer, not just another student.

Do you believe your military experience has made you a better student? I would say so. I am more responsible now. When I was younger, a class may have had me feeling “overwhelmed”, but now, there is no task to great, no assignment to difficult. I have a lot more confidence because I know this is a piece of cake compared to a deployment.

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school? Don’t delay. It may seem fitting to take some time for yourself; unwind so to speak. If I could do it over, I would have started right away, and kept a full head of steam. Instead, I took an 8 month break between separation and my first semester back to school. In that time, I began to feel stagnant, lazy almost. In that time, I think I lost a little motivation that I had when I first got out. I know a few guys who waited so long, they have no intention of going back to school at all. The initial process of applying to school, registering for classes, setting up schedules seemed so tedious that they have completely talked themselves out of a goal they had dreamed about for years while in the service.

Student Quote: “When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” —
John F. Kennedy