How a Roadrunner became a Triton


Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. I am a Triton sticker in from of the Coachella public library

Alexis Carranza, Staff Reporter

Failing notices, academic probation and regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences could sum up my high school time, but I am no longer that person. That person would be shocked to know that he would get into all six universities he applied to.

It was my junior year, and I was sitting in the counseling office, waiting for Mr. Barboza. He called me into the office for my senior evaluation, something my school did to ensure a student’s senior year was planned out to ensure their graduation.

The receptionist called me in and he was in his office highlighting transcripts and schedules. In my mind, I was doing okay in school, and this was just another meeting.

But the reality was that I needed to follow his plan without any mistakes. Mr. Barboza told me that if I followed it, I would barely graduate, and if I didn’t, I would graduate in summer school.

My parents always pushed me and were willing to help me, but school and I did not mix well for some reason.

Looking back, I was never a good student.

In middle school, I was always on academic probation, receiving low grades and bad test scores, and in high school, at my worst, I had a 1.25 GPA during the spring semester of my freshman year.

How do you break the news to your family that you might not graduate?

In the end, I followed the plan and just barely graduated, now in the real world, without a plan, attending college was the last thing on my mind.

After a four year break, I found myself working full-time, bored and wanting much more in my life than just checking people in and out of a hotel. I sat myself down and realized that I had to get back to school and get an education.

Now I had to juggle a full-time job and be a full-time student. I knew it was going to be hard, but I was up for the challenge. I was working five days a week and going to school three days out of the week. If you are trying to do the math, let me tell you I had no free time!

I surprised myself and found out I was good at juggling work, school and social life.

Granted, I was tired all the time and my eyes carried bags, but I was thriving. During my first semester at College of the Desert, I made the dean’s list and got an A in every class.

With a newfound passion for learning, my future was brighter, but where did I want to go?

I visited a friend of mine in San Diego. He attended the University of California, San Diego. I was in awe walking up the snake path to the Geisel Library, college students on bikes, a farmers market and food trucks. Student life looked amazing; everyone seemed so happy to be there while receiving an excellent education.

UC San Diego became my dream school, and when I opened the email from UC San Diego, I cried tears of joy. My hard work paid off.

In high school, my counselor told me my best option was COD, and while some would call that death sentence, for me, COD was one of the best things ever to happen.

With COD as my stepping stool, I applied to UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton and Cal State San Marcos, and I got into them all. I accomplished something I never thought I could.

My future is still being written, but one thing is sure. I’m now a Triton!