Join Date: Jun 2012
Not your everyday thread come check it out
All right. Here goes nothing. Somewhat of a long read.
I came across this site in my internet travels and think it might be a good place to find some answers. Here's my story, in a nutshell:
I did terrible in high school. Dropped out, got a diploma through a local CC. I attended a local CC for about a year out of high school, but did terrible, dropped most of my classes and stopped going. Why, you might ask? I won't make excuses.
At the end of that year I was convicted of a felony for selling narcotics. Going back to when I was 16 years old, all I can say is I had some issues. I made a lot of bad choices in my younger days. It caught up to me at age 19, and I have since paid dearly for it. I never did prison time but I was in the justice system for several years after my conviction, and, both during that time and since that time, I have faced formidable obstacles as far as trying to survive with a criminal record and trying to live right. It has been hard to find gainful employment and even places to live, but I've done it. I've done it with the help of my friends and family, but the most important thing is that I WANTED a change.
One of the hardest things I had to do was seperate myself completely from that old lifestyle. 2 years ago, I had finally gotten financially comfortable enough, and reached the necessary level of maturity, to give school a second shot.
When I was attending CC after high school, I was put on academic probation at one point and had to convince the dean not to kick me out. I had a terrible GPA. Before i started going to school again, at age 24, I was diagnosed with ADD, something I never knew I had in high school or when i was younger, and began taking medication that helped me tremendously. I worked hard and got my GPA back up to a 2.7. Nothing to write home about, I know, but coming from where i was initially, it was a lot of hard work. I graduated this past spring with an AA degree, and was accepted to UNC Greensboro. I had applied to UNC Charlotte and UNC Asheville as well. I knew Asheville was a long shot because it is a small school, and UNC Charlotte really had a problem with my criminal record, even though the event was 7 years ago. Greensboro has given me a chance.
Why am I talking about this in the UNC Chapel Hill board?
I didn't apply to UNC Chapel Hill out of CC. I knew my grades weren't good enough, and, since I worked so much, I just didn't have time to become involved in any extracurricular clubs in CC or perform any community service, two things that I know UNC CH looks for in their applicants. Then there is my record, which has held me back in so many ways.
While i was going to CC, I found that computer science is a real passion of mine, that along with foreign languages. I discovered gifts in both that i never knew I had, and have learned so so much in both areas. I am approaching fluency in spanish and want to learn more languages, and have found computer programming interesting and enjoyable, as it also involves learning languages, except they are programming languages. So this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. Specifics aren't that important in this thread. UNC Greensboro has an accredited computer science program, and has a reputation as a decent school. I know my time at UNCG will be a challenge in its own right, but I am still looking toward my future.
UNC CH has one of the top-ranked computer science programs in the country. It is also known across the US as a great school, consensus is that it is up there w/ Duke depending on who you ask as the best school in NC. It is a place that means a lot to me; growing up nearby in Raleigh, I have tons of great memories spending time in CH. My father received cancer treatment at UNC and has been cancer free ever since. My mother got a cytology certification there and hopped right into the workforce. So UNC CH is a place that means a great deal to me, and I've always had a dream of going to school there.
When I was 19, I honestly didn't even know if I was going to make it past 25 years old. Some of my best friends did not, and I know that if i didn't change my life when i did, I could have gone down the same path. But I'm blessed to be here today, and I'm blessed to have the opportunities I have. I have come a long way. But I am all about progression, and I understand now that the sky is the limit for me.
What do you think my chances are of performing well and transferring to UNC CH after a year at UNC G? Or getting accepted to a masters degree program at UNC CH after I graduate UNC G? I want to be in the best possible academic environment, and I would love to go to school there, it would be like making a dream come true for me. I believe that not trying is the only true failure in life. Life is short, and you owe it to yourself to make the most of it. That means reaching your goals, and arriving at new plateaus, and pushing past them. A man must constantly exceed his own limits. That is my philosophy.
Any advice, from current students, students who transferred, alumni, or whatever, would be greatly appreciated. I would accept any e-mails from anyone as well. How well do I have to do? What steps do I have to take? How can I make it possible? Give me some advice and added motivation.
I know that it might sound like I'm counting my eggs before they hatch. Or maybe not focusing on what is directly in front of me. But I hope me explaining my experience helps whoever reads this identify with me and understand where I'm coming from.