After years of mulling about, I've come to realize that I want to to go to university and gain a proper liberal arts education. For the first time in what feels like eons, I feel enthusiastic and motivated. Trouble is, my first attempt at doing so was three years ago and under much different and more trying circumstances. It seems that the consequences of my halfhearted younger self have severely damaged my future possibilities. What can this 21-year-old do to demonstrate his new-found ardor for all pursuits academic?
-- Background --
I attended a top 100 school in my home province of Ontario starting in fall 2008 studying software engineering, a field I didn't necessarily hate but didn't so much care for either. My disdain for the school and my field wouldn't have been as strong had they not been essentially chosen for me (a common theme in much of my life). I had ok grades in my first three semesters and managed to achieve a ~3.2/4.0 GPA earning 50 or so credits. After this, everything went to hell and I fell into a depressive haze interrupted by bouts of stimulant abuse (and sometimes the other way around). As such, the three subsequent semesters were a disaster that led to me failing every single class. It wasn't until my GPA dropped to a benthic 1.7 and I was thrown out of my program earlier this year that I became wise to just how fetid the funk I was so mired in was.
Back when I previously wrote about my situation
, all I knew was that I wanted away from my parents as much as possible. Since then, I've taken the advice of several posters and left home and moved cross-country and am now (barely) supporting myself. Removing the biggest stressor in my life made it so much easier to organize my thoughts, get help, and pull myself out of disarray. In the intervening months between then and now, I've had time to think about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to and have concluded that this is indeed what I want.
I have been a very high achiever (and borne an equally high burden of expectation) all my life. Naturally I had dreams of attending one of the big names in schools (The Ivies, the Oxbridges, etc.). However midway through high school began the tedious cycle of self-destructive behaviour followed by feeling sorry for myself that sapped all what passion I had for learning. My grades were decent enough that I could afford to cruise for a while without doing much in the way of work until the aforementioned ejection from my program. This detrimental attitude has all but extinguished that dream. An admissions counsellor glancing at my transcript or resume would be remiss to admit me to any respectable school or program therein (I have achieved literally nothing since 2010).
-- Question --
This is where I need your help! What can I do between now and the next several months and years to demonstrate to a university admissions board that I am fully win or at least enough win to approve a transfer? Enrolling in community college, yes? Which ones? (Citizen of Canada, btw). I don't have any specific university in mind at the moment to eventually transfer to, but I'd like to keep my options as wide as possible. Any suggestions, tips, advice, anecdotes, or reprimands?
(Also, since I'm sure someone will bring it up): My university did give me the option of applying to another program on probation to bring up my grades with the goal of eventually completing my degree. However this would most certainly mean moving back in with or at least close to my parents and this, as I mentioned previously, is simply not something I either want or need in my life right now. Perhaps someday I'd like to repair relations with them but certainly not now.