McCarthy transitions from active duty to full time student

Francesca McCarthy, a nine year U.S. Air Force veteran, is making the transition from military life to college life at Wichita State.

She did earn credit hours to get her military degree; the degree she is pursuing now is different from the military degree. She is a junior.

“I did a little bit of college to get my degree in the military and now I’m working on a different degree here, but I am completely out of the military,” McCarthy said. “Now I am studying communications with an emphasis in electronic media. I want to be a radio personality.”

McCarthy’s Air Force job was materiel management. She went into the Air Force right after high school.

The Air Force website describes her job as the following: “Materiel Management specialists administer and operate complex supply systems to ensure financial accountability for all of the utilized supplies. An incredibly detailed and critical job, these specialists ensure every asset — from paperclips to multimillion-dollar machinery — is accounted for and where it needs to be whenever our Airmen need them.”

The transition between military life and college life was not easy for McCarthy because of the differences between military and college life.

“Transition from military to college was a little weird, because in military life everything is so structured, and now here it’s not nearly as structured,” McCarthy said. “The hardest part was doing it on my own and not having someone tell me what to do.”

McCarthy and other military active duty, reserves and veterans at WSU have support from the Military and Veteran Center on campus located in Lindquist Hall.

WSU’s statement of its “Veteran Lounge” is “to build and maintain a community of students with military experience and to provide comprehensive support for the unique needs of veterans, military members and military dependents in an environment of respect.”

For McCarthy, that statement proves itself true. While making the transition from active duty to a full-time student is challenging for her, she found much needed help from people with a similar background.

“One thing that made the transition easier was the veteran center here on campus,” McCarthy said. “Any time I had a question about something I would come here and somebody would have an answer for it. The veteran to veteran support is what made it so easy.”