Sniper School vs College Education

Sniper School vs College Education
By Bryce Jensen

Horus Vision
Horus Vision

San Bruno, CA –-( A sniper looks through his scope waiting anxiously to place his crosshairs on the target.

He breathes in, then out. He slowly squeezes the trigger, and takes the shot.

Before all this can happen, a sniper has to learn how to plan out the correct route and select a firing position.

Next, he needs to learn how to move swiftly, and silently to keep him from being seen or heard.

Finally, he needs to learn how to shoot at great distances and adjust correctly for wind. These skills are taught at the sniper school. Once a regular infantryman learns these skills, he becomes one of the deadliest assets on the battlefield.

Although, not everyone is a military sniper, life can be related to a battlefield. Having more skills and knowledge in battle will increase chances of survival. Having more skills and knowledge in life will increase chances for success. Life offers college instead of sniper school. College is a gateway for young adults to gain the knowledge and skills needed to enter the battle of life. In college, a student learns a vast array of knowledge necessary for survival, shaping character, and success in the business world.

For many students, college is the first time being away from home. This is where some basic survival skills are developed, such as budgeting and time management. It is the first time that a miscalculation could determine whether a student has food or a roof overhead. Money delinquency will also affect credit scores in the future. When time is mismanaged it can result in loss of sleep or even failure of a class. Reoccurring failure, which could have been easily prevented, or insufficient budgeting are surely the fastest ways of ending life as a student.

Being away from family can be a hard transition. It can make people feel uncomfortable leading to stress. A key part in battle is learning how to deal with hardships and continue on to accomplish the mission. College is a great opportunity to transform perseverance into a habit. Stress can also be caused by deadlines, exams, or even social problems. Those who are not afraid and learn to work under stress will excel in all aspects of life not just in school.

In order to become a sniper, a soldier has to be the best. To be defined as the best, one must compete against others. College is a competitive atmosphere. The entire process of applying to college promotes competition. All universities have some sort of application process to screen incoming students making sure each one meet the prerequisites. Many schools only accept a percentage of applicants every year. It is imperative to stand out and be at the top of the lists whether coming straight out of high school or transferring from a community college. After college, life becomes even more competitive when searching for a job. Being at the top of every class may increase the chances of being hired for certain jobs. Furthermore, a competitive person has the drive to get the job that he or she desires. By exercising competition in college a person will be familiar with the amount of effort needed to produce favorable results.

In a business aspect, college is like boot camp where people develop good habits and essential skills. Part of developing good habits is breaking bad ones. Some of the skills obtained belong to a specific field, which leads to getting a degree. Many times employers want to see a degree even if it’s not relative to the occupation. The degree then becomes a statement to an employer that the applicant has the commitment and discipline needed to attain a goal. This demonstrates reliability and stability. Of course some occupations do require a specific degree. In contrast, if bad habits are not recognized and dealt with, getting a degree will become much more difficult.

While in college students make allies, former classmates, for future networking. Some of them will come from different parts of a city, state, country or even the world. Perhaps a student meets a person only once but they made a lasting impression that lands them a job in the future. Broadening the spectrum of people one knows will help them familiarize or at least recognize different customs from different cultures. This is all part of developing situational awareness. A person who knows the interests and backgrounds about the people surrounding them can use that knowledge for personal gains or avoid making a bad impression. This is very important since cultural awareness is a key part to success in today’s internationally driven business world.

College molds a person through exposure to many different ideas. New ideas may arise from new classes, clubs, or organizations. Sometimes clubs or organizations can help define what one stands for. For instance, the Humanitarian Club may teach about inhumane violence taking place in the war on Terrorism. This may inspire a person to speak out against the situation. Activists on campus may encourage voting, or action against global warming. A psychology class may explain why people sub-consciously try so hard to fit common expectations of society. Each new experience slightly or greatly impacts personal values and principles. By having values and principles one can truly make a difference in this world.

If you can’t shoot, sniping may not be the best choice. College allows a student to view a large amount of careers. With hundreds of different majors to choose from, the possibilities are almost endless. If one does not fit, a student has the ability to change the classes they are taking and reroute their course. Through this trial process, one learns to identify their strengths and weaknesses; likes and dislikes. Knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses allows a person to choose their own path.

Like most things, the college experience is determined by the level of effort put into it and what is taken from it. College invites new lessons and experiences that can contribute to success. Separate oneself from the grunts (ordinary foot soldiers) like a sniper. A sniper’s target is like a personal goal. The only way to hit the target is to practice. College will give the practice and confidence needed to hit that goal. It is up to student to pull the trigger.

Bryce Jensen was a Marine Sniper who used the GI Bill to get a college education. This was the first essay he wrote after his military service, which received an A+ and has been used by the professor as an exemplary essay to instruct other students within the course.

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