Veteran receiving emails from GS

<p>Hello everyone,</p>

<p>First and foremost: Thank you for any replies. I've been lurking around this thread for a while, trying to put the pieces together for myself while refraining from bothering you all with redundant questions. I think my situation might be unique.</p>

<p>I started to receive emails from the Columbia GS, I'm guessing they obtained my contact information from the Phi Theta Kappa chapter I belong to. I've been asking myself if I'm really Columbia material. Right now I'm attending a community college, I've racked up about 50 credit hours so far. Like I said: I'm in the PTK honor society; I'm a member of our school newspaper, all of my professors said I was a solid writer so I gave it a shot; a couple of my professors came up to me and offered letters of recommendation; I'm a veteran who served as a scout-sniper team leader in the Marine Corps, I led guys in Iraq and abroad; I'd be the first person in my family to get a degree; and I've received pretty much all A grades, even in one of our school's few 200 level classes.</p>

<p>Here's my main concern... When I got out of the Marine Corps, I was scatterbrained. I left a bunch of guys who I consider family, a girl I was in love with broke up with me, and I scrambled to find something to do. I decided to take an EMT class at my college. I was doing great until I compared a medical scenario to something I did in Iraq. The EMT professor told me that my past wartime experiences had an influence on how I approached civilian medical situations. I did not take that comment with a grain of salt. I guess you can say I felt alienated. After that comment I spent my weekends driving around, climbing to the highest point of certain states, hiking mountains, trying to find answers in solitude, spending holiday weekends with guys back at base who didn't have a family, and I didn't study; I still had a perfect attendance record, but my grades soon reflected. I received A grades in the practical application class (3 credit hours) and clinical duties (3 credit hours), but I earned a C in the academic portion (a 9 credit hour class). That's the end of my pity party, hah.</p>

<p>Anyways, that 9 credit hour C has had a negative impact on my overall GPA. If you were to omit all the EMT classes, I would have around a 3.85. Do you guys think they'll look at that C grade and my beaten down GPA as a deciding factor when I apply? Should I try attending a four year university for a semester or two with rigorous classes and then attempt to springboard into Columbia GS? I hear different suggestions from school counselors, one even asked me if I could go back in the military. Then again, a professor of mine thanked me because I was such a diligent student and that my insight on certain topics was great, he told me that I should apply; even offered the opportunity for me to sit in at classes he teaches at a nearby university.</p>

<p>I'm kind of torn between all these polarizing opinions. I figured you all would know best since you've probably heard countless stories like mine and are currently enrolled at the school. Sorry for writing a novel, but thanks a ton for any advice.</p>

<p>Take care.</p>

<p>This is the best written introductory post I've seen this year. You remind me of Tobias Wolff, post Viet Nam, studying for the Oxford placement exams. </p>

<p>I don't know, bro. Something about you comes through in your post that gives me a good a feeling. I can't tell you whether or not you're Columbia material, the admissions office can, but I'd be upset if you didn't apply. Like, soon. So, how can we help?</p>

<p>hellojan,</p>

<p>Really appreciate the response and the encouragement. I suppose I was just looking for anyone with, or who's heard of, a similar story. Also, was curious in regards to attending a four year college for a little bit and reinforcing my academic record with some rigorous university courses. Thanks again.</p>

<p>By the way, I'm going to be looking up some Tobias Wolff because of you, hah. I just read "Matterhorn" by Karl Marlantes a few months ago, seems like some of Wolff's work will be right up my alley.</p>

<p>Once again, thank you and I'll be applying once I finish this spring semester.</p>

<p>Read "In Pharaoh's Army" if you get a chance. But, yeah, I think that if you were to reach out to the campus veteran's club, the Milvets, you'd be able to make some good connections.</p>

<p>As far as attending a four year, do what you think is best. But, if I had to push you one way or the other, yeah, I'd like to see someone with your potential apply sooner rather than later.</p>

<p>I would encourage you to go ahead and apply. I don't think a semester at a four year program will help, and if you're already over 50 hours you'll be hurting yourself. GS (and many other schools) accept only 60 credits for transfer. If you rack up 80 credits at another university you're wasting your time and money.</p>

<p>I wouldn't worry too much about the C. I think you just need to explain what you told us in your essay. GS is full of non-traditional students, many of us with academic black marks on us. Address it, explain why it won't be an issue at Columbia, and move on.</p>

<p>hellojan and campaigner,</p>

<p>The insight and encouragement is much appreciated, really.</p>

<p>By the way, just added "In Pharaoh's Army" to my list last night.</p>

<p>Expect an update from me in the future, time to get this ball rolling...</p>

<p>Take care.</p>