When I took my first college course, I was 14 years old, and attending Young Harris College. I had a high school diploma and was eager to continue my education.
But things didn’t go well there. During my two-and-a-half years at YHC, my resolve gradually slipped. I’d only attend some of my classes, and do the bare minimum needed for a passing grade. Somehow I still managed to graduate, at age 17, with a GPA in the mid-2s. I could chalk it up to puberty, or to teenage apathy, or to home life, or to social problems, but the reason doesn’t matter. I was a slacker.
It was my last semester at YHC that made me wake up and realize the error of my ways. The realization of how close I came to failing out of college lit a metaphorical fire under my butt. And my attendance and performance have been exemplary since. In the six years I spent at Polk Community College (now Polk State College) and USF, I skipped only a handful of classes, and I’ve put in the effort needed to excel. My GPA at USF was 3.68, and my GPA at PCC was even higher; only my history at YHC kept me from honors when I received my Bachelor’s. (My cumulative GPA was 3.36.)
Once I turned things around, life was good. When I moved to Florida, I had to re-earn my Associate’s degree, as Florida universities wouldn’t accept an Associate of Science. (Never mind that in Georgia, where I earned the degree, scientific majors were awarded an AS, and humanities majors were awarded an AA.) So, I attended PCC for a couple of years, re-earned my Associate’s (in Arts, this time), and started at USF.
Beyond the CS courses I was already taking, I had an interest in Electrical Engineering, so I added that major. However, my financial aid was running out, and I couldn’t afford to keep going on my own. So, instead of CS/EE, I took an extra few courses and earned a dual major in Computer Science and Computer Engineering.
That’s where I am now. Two Associate’s degrees (Associate of Science and Associate of Arts, both in Computer Science) and two Bachelor’s degrees (Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering). It’s time for me to add two more: Masters of Science in Computer Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science.
And I need your help.