Desperate for advice on where to transfer from GWU
My story has many complexities and I hope I can do my best to effectively summarize it. Last year I was a freshman at GWU, I thought (like so many kids there do) I wanted to major in international affairs. Turns out, I hated it. I hated the environment at GWU and DC in general, in fact I'm mostly over anything politically related as far as a career goes. I'm Hispanic and from a low-income household and thus found it extremely hard to relate to anyone there. Additionally my grandfather passed away fall semester, and later my mother grew extremely ill as well in the Spring semester. As a result my grades were abysmal and I was subsequently placed on academic probation after my freshman year. Later my mother was forced to undergo serious surgery to remove some tumors (thankfully as of now they believe she is cancer-free). It would have been impossible for my parents to pay for tuition this year, although I only pay roughly half of overall GWU expenses, as well as my sister's tuition at UW and my mother's medical bills. I voluntarily took the year off so that my sister could finish her last year and my parents could get back on their feet.
Fast forward to today, I've been living in California with a close friend and working full time to support myself and save funds for education. My main dilemma is that while I am absolutely re-focused on education (the real world sucks with no degree it turns out), I am about 99% sure I do not want to go back to GWU. Truth be told I would love to stay here in California, I'm currently in the bay area and my new dream is to attend Berkeley or UCLA and study economics. The problem is, obviously, my extremely low GPA would make it impossible (I'm assuming) to transfer into these schools. I'm wondering if I should instead opt to go to community college here in California and try to transfer into one of these schools after performing well in those courses? Is this something that is realistic? One of the reasons I want to attend a UC school is because the cost would be dramatically cheaper than GWU. That being said, I guess I could also apply at UT (I'm a Texas native) and pay in state tuition there. Although they apparently also have a good econ program I would like to eventually work in San Francisco in banking and thus a California school would seem to make more sense as far as opportunities for future employment/internships.
I would greatly appreciate if anyone could chime in and help me with this particularly difficult decision, many thanks in advance!