I’m from Arizona and I'm a high school dropout. I gave up on academics because I didn't think school was for me. I got my GED and was about to enlist, but my grandmother who lives in Northern Virginia found out and said she really wanted me to come to the area and go to college.
I hated high school, but college has been different experience. You have to think critically and it feels real. It doesn't seem like you're learning about abstract concepts that aren't really going to help you in life. I like the idea that by studying science I have a tangible way of understanding the universe, but I also have a way that I can affect it.
I'm in the honors program and I think that being a part of an academic community is probably the most positive thing that's ever happened to me. I’ve done things that I wouldn't have normally done on my own; I went to two conferences last semester. I did a presentation on gender bias in the sciences and it was really incredible because I gained experience and I put it on my resume.
Some people come here and think they can skate through, but if they took time to focus and appreciate where they, they'd realize that there are a lot of great opportunities to excel at the College and continue to progress and make something of their lives.