Life after high school can take many routes for many different people. For Amanda Thomopoulos her choice was clear, the Air Force was the way to go. After six years of active duty, and just finishing up her eight-year contract, the 27-year-old is taking on her next life challenge: a business degree.
When Thomopoulos graduated high school, she knew college right away was not an option. Being a strong-minded individual helped her choose her own route, one that was patriotic and made sense financially. Thomopoulos was not ready to choose what to be for the rest of her life, so she made the arguably bolder decision to join the military.
Marrying her high school sweetheart at age 19, Thomopoulos and her husband went into duty together, and both came out stronger. Saying that the experience was necessary and beneficial for Amanda is an understatement — it prepared her to take on any other challenge in her life and made her more mature and ready for college. She said the discipline she learned in the Air Force helped shape her life choices and focus on her future.
"It was a good stepping stone," Thomopoulos said. "I knew it was something I needed to do, and I stepped up for my country."
Thomopoulos is now studying business at UNH Manchester, focusing her studies on accounting. She said she chose UNH because of the credentials as a business school, and the Manchester campus specifically because it has a the perks of the college atmosphere, but with more flexibility and closer to her home. After she gets her degree, Thomopoulos hopes to become a Certified Public Accountant and land a job in the field.
For those taking a non-traditional route to college, take Thomopoulos as your example. There's no age or time limit on pursuing your life dreams. Thank you to Thomopoulos and all servicemembers past and present for your commitment to keeping us safe.
Written by Franceska Balle '16, Biology