High Schooler Plans Life With West Point Boyfriend

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My boyfriend is currently attending West Point. It's his first year, and I'm a junior in high school.

We've been together throughout my time in high school, and we plan on getting married once he graduates.

I know how silly that might sound considering how young we are, but it's something we've been serious about for a while now and we're completely committed to each other.

I'm writing to you because I have a few questions about military life. Once I graduate high school in a year, I plan on probably going to a local community college and getting some sort of degree in nursing.

By the time he graduates and we are married, will I have trouble finding a job in nursing? I understand that we'll be moving to different posts often, but I was wondering if it'd be difficult for me to get a nursing job?

If it is, what other careers/jobs do you suggest would be easier for me to get, if any?

I really like helping people, which is why I want to be a nurse, but if that isn't possible for military life, what kind of careers are?

I know we still have a while to figure all of this out, but I feel like it's nice to have an idea of what will happen.

-- Waiting Girlfriend

Dear Girlfriend,

Thank you for sharing your situation and for asking your important questions. I can understand that you have many concerns that may cause some anxiety.

Your boyfriend has probably told you that at West Point they have a term for couples who stay in the same relationship from R Day to Graduation -- the 2 Percent Club.

Few young couples make it through the difficulties of a long-distance relationship, the changes in their interests during these years and the stress of the program itself.

Because of this, I suggest that you continue to enjoy your last few months of high school. Time flies so fast and, the next thing you know, you will be a grown woman making her own decisions.

I won't preach to you, but I will ask that you enjoy this time in your life and take the time to find out what you are passionate about.

No matter what happens to your relationship, I agree that it's important to find marketable skills, but passion will carry you for a lifetime. Please take the time to tap into work that matters to you.

The occupational outlook for careers in nursing is good. It is definitely a portable career for a military spouse. In a recent study of military spouse employment from Military Officers Association of America, spouses with professions in the health care field were the most likely to have found jobs

That said, I have to be honest. I think you and your boyfriend are on two different levels right now. The age difference between you is not a lot, but it is significant right now because of where you are in your lives.

I guess I'm just asking for you to take your time and not rush into anything. Get to know your boyfriend more and see where the relationship evolves over time, OK?

I hope you have supportive parents you can talk to and process all of this with to help you deal with all of the stress of high school and the relationship with your boyfriend.

Please stay in touch with me.

-- Ms. Vicki

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