What should I do about my extremely low GPA?

TLDR at the bottom. So for some background info, when I was in high school I was a major slacker so I knew I would have to go to a regional or community college. I did the fall after high school, but I was still in my high school ways. I got a 0.9 GPA my first semester of college (I know I know it’s super low) and got put on academic probation. I dropped out and left school for 2 semesters to figure out what I wanted to do and establish my goals, because I had none. I found my goals. Decided to transfer to another school to start anew. My first semester at that school I got a 3.1 GPA, my second semester I got a 3.7 GPA. Next semester I’m hoping to get a 4.0 and then start applying to transfer to university. The problem is that my cumulative GPA would still only be a 2.9. Theres no way I’m getting into any school with that. I’m panicking, and no I can’t wait to apply later for personal reasons. What do I do?

TLDR: Because of my first semester being a 0.9 GPA, despite my now good grades I still only have a 2.9 cumulative GPA and I’m applying to transfer soon. What do I do?

University admissions staff are human. They understand that different students mature at different times. They also understand that some students sometimes have a bad semester.

Do not worry about your bad semester. It is the past. You have started doing really well. Universities will see this. Keep doing well and you will have very good opportunities, and you will be able to transfer to a good school.

Admissions will look at a lot more than just your overall GPA. They will look at your recent strong semesters.

The transfer advisors at your current school should have a good sense what universities you are likely to be admitted to.

Actually your story is one adcoms like to see! As @DadTwoGirls wrote, they understand that not everyone is ready for college at 18. You have a compelling story to tell in your essays of how you took some time off, regrouped, and are now applying yourself (and getting results).

One other thing to look into is raising your gpa by repeating some or all of the classes you got low grades in with a class having similar content. Many colleges will replace the earlier grade in their applicant GPA calculation; for example the UC system will do this for any class in which you earned a C- or lower.

Surely there are less selective universities in your state of residency which will admit transfer students with 2.9 college GPAs.

Others can help you better if you describe things like your state of residency, cost constraints, and intended major.

So, you’re at a two-year school? First of all, what established transfer pathways does your school have? If you have a safety where your admission is guaranteed, then you can build from there without so much stress.