Voices of Oswego Veterans

Busy Lives

Jessica Dorans

Photographer: Hannah Deutsch

Featuring: Jessica Dorans

An interview with veteran and SUNY Oswego undergraduate Jessica Dorans, where she tells us about what life is like as a mother, student, and soldier.

Read Audio Transcript

About Jessica Dorans

Jessica Dorans is a veteran, college student, wife, and mother of two young children. She served in the Army for eight years and was compelled to join because of a deep family history of military service. She also wanted to take advantage of the great benefits. Jessica is an accounting major who also balances a busy family life. In her free time, Jessica and her family like to camp, watch movies and go to hockey games. The military helped Jessica easily transition from the Army to college, as well as providing her with skills that will continue to help her throughout her life. In the future, Jessica hopes to use her education at Oswego to help her obtain a job as an accountant.


Listen to Audio

Erin: Hi I’m Erin

Nyiah: and I’m Nyiah, thank you for listening to our podcast, Voices of Oswego Veterans.

Erin: Today we will be discussing what it’s like to be veteran, mother, and student. Anyone who has had a glimpse at any of these roles knows the toll each one takes, and the amount of time and effort each job consumes.

Nyiah: So what does it mean to be a mother, student, and veteran? Well, it means time management, strong commitment, and persistence. Our episode, “Busy Lives” features a series of questions and answers with veteran Jessica Dorans.

Erin: We’ll cover topics such as why Jessica decided to join the military, what it was like to be a woman serving, how she balances school with family, and much more.

Erin: How do you balance school and family life?

Jessica: I just do it. It was difficult at first but I have plenty of time to get homework and studying done before classes and some of them between classes. I also do a lot of homework on the weekends. The first week of each semester is usually the roughest because I have to get into a pattern and a feel for due dates and when everything is due to be able to finagle my homework. Another complication is my son starts hockey up, so there’s a lot of traveling and practices so I still have to manage to somehow find time to get things done.

Erin: Right, so it’s certainly busy, so outside of that, do you have any hobbies or clubs you partake in at Oswego?

Jessica: I am currently the treasurer for both the Veterans Club and the Non-traditional Student Organization, and I am a member of the Accounting Society.

Erin: Was it difficult to adjust to college life?

Jessica: Not too bad. The biggest adjustment was actually doing homework and ensuring that I made sure to get it done. I was used to being on a set schedule, so that was really not a big transition.

Erin: What was it like to be a female in the military?

Jessica: Physically I wasn’t as strong as, you know, my male comrades, but I didn’t let that bother me. I tried to be as tough as they were sometimes and lent a hand whenever I could.

Erin: What do you feel you brought to the military, or even just in your profession, as a female?

Jessica: So as far as the male dominated, I was a mechanic so at one point I was the only female out of our whole motor-pool which is a little crazy but they treat me like their sister, I was always there. I remember a time I had one of our fellow soldiers used me as a set of listening ears and I sometimes gave him advice on relationship stuff, so, I just learned to blend in.

Erin: So, I know you said your job in the military was a mechanic but what did that entail?

Jessica: It actually pertained to wheel vehicles where I did anything from repairs to scheduled maintenance such as doing oil changes and stuff like that. Repairs would follow under unscheduled so I’d order a new part for it. But with just doing the vehicle stuff I also did other positions, like for example, when I was pregnant with my son they had me do office work, so I filed paperwork and various odds and ends.

Nyiah: What are some similarities and differences between college and the military?

Jessica: One of the biggest similarities is that you meet new people and you end up making lifelong friends, and both of them, I feel, were learning experiences. One of the main differences that I find in college, there isn’t a set standard on appearance such as what you wear and how your hair must be, because I’ve seen some pretty crazy things. Nonetheless, another difference is that the election and everything was going on, was that not everyone carries the same values and respect towards the US and the flag, to include the president, regardless of who’s in, so it’s a little complicated.

Nyiah: Okay, how did your military experience help you to pick your major?

Jessica: Well, unfortunately, mechanic doesn’t transfer into accounting so that didn’t make me choose but the last two years of my service I pretty much worked in front of a computer all day, and providing customer service. I mean, I enjoyed it, I loved helping people and I was always busy, at least it seemed like it. I also had a lot of tasks I had to do like maintain files, and conduct inventories of the parts we had on hand. I just loved doing that type of stuff, which aided in my decision to become an accountant.

Nyiah: Do you feel veterans are represented enough on campus? If not, what would you do to improve this?

Jessica: Although veterans are a minority here, I believe that they are very well represented. Ben Parker, the veterans’ coordinator, does a great job on informing veterans on upcoming events, along with setting up veteran-only events. I feel appreciated, and it is a great feeling, especially with the sacrifices I have made along with my fellow veterans.

Nyiah: How has being in the military affected your life?

Jessica: I would say during my deployment, I missed a whole year of my son’s life. He was, I mean, three going on four, with his birthday in July, so, you know, it was hard to cope with that but on the plus side I had my husband. It gave me the numerous life skills that helped me become a better person. Also has given me the ability to adapt to just about any situation, in regards to schedule and other miscellaneous changes as well.

Erin: Thank you for listening to “Busy Lives” with guest Jessica Dorans. We hope after listening you keep in mind the sacrifices our veterans have made and continue to make in their daily lives.

Authors: We’ll catch you on the flip side!