22-year old felon who's failed college 4 years in a row

  • #1
I still want to be a physicist. I want to go back to school next fall, but haven't really made plans yet. I went to university for one year after high school, failed one semester and withdrew the next before being kicked out of the dorms for smoking pot. The next 3 years I attended a local community college, each year failing or withdrawing due to legal or personal issues. I've completed a handful of courses, but the failed/incomplete courses decimate my GPA beyond recovery.

What I want to know:

1. Is it even realistic to seek a career in physics with a felony (Terroristic Threats) and various misdemeanors (possession of pot, disturbing the peace, and willful reckless driving, among others) on my record?

2. If so, and given that I feel I've finally acquired the discipline and maturity to dedicate myself to academics, what steps do I take to go back to college? I'm primarily worried about my academic record, and if there's a way to "start over". I'm not interested in keeping any of the credits I've earned because my GPA is abysmal.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Vanadium 50
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Your question 1 is way, way, way in the future. You need to focus on getting through one semester of community college. If you can't do that, the rest is moot.
 
  • #3
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Two words, Online Classes
 
  • #4
Astronuc
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I still want to be a physicist. I want to go back to school next fall, but haven't really made plans yet. I went to university for one year after high school, failed one semester and withdrew the next before being kicked out of the dorms for smoking pot. The next 3 years I attended a local community college, each year failing or withdrawing due to legal or personal issues. I've completed a handful of courses, but the failed/incomplete courses decimate my GPA beyond recovery.

What I want to know:

1. Is it even realistic to seek a career in physics with a felony (Terroristic Threats) and various misdemeanors (possession of pot, disturbing the peace, and willful reckless driving, among others) on my record?

2. If so, and given that I feel I've finally acquired the discipline and maturity to dedicate myself to academics, what steps do I take to go back to college? I'm primarily worried about my academic record, and if there's a way to "start over". I'm not interested in keeping any of the credits I've earned because my GPA is abysmal.
Firstly, don't give up on yourself. Secondly, what Vanadium said. Attend a reasonably good community college, or public university and take the necessary introductory (or remedial) math and science/physics courses. Learn the material well and strive for a high GPA.

Thirdly, keep yourself clean!
 
  • #5
arildno
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Take a deep, deep breath and realize that you have put yourself in a situation where cannot blame others from harbouring doubts about you.
Do NOT whine about that! Instead, if to study is what you REALLY want you must be methodical and very industrious.
You CAN succeed, but do not make light of the hurdles you have placed in your way, or expect others to do so.

If, however, you are really dedicated and motivated with your studies, I think you might well succeed.

Good luck!
 
  • #6
StatGuy2000
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To the OP:

I know that your current focus is on academics. However, you should know (if you don't already) that having a felony record will be a major obstacle in your ability to find employment.

I would advise you to request either a pardon through the governor's office or an expungement (I'm assuming that you are based in the US). I found this website using Google about the process involvement:

http://www.clearupmyrecord.com/what-is-a-governors-pardon.php
 
  • #7
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I still want to be a physicist. I want to go back to school next fall, but haven't really made plans yet. I went to university for one year after high school, failed one semester and withdrew the next before being kicked out of the dorms for smoking pot. The next 3 years I attended a local community college, each year failing or withdrawing due to legal or personal issues. I've completed a handful of courses, but the failed/incomplete courses decimate my GPA beyond recovery.

What I want to know:

1. Is it even realistic to seek a career in physics with a felony (Terroristic Threats) and various misdemeanors (possession of pot, disturbing the peace, and willful reckless driving, among others) on my record?

2. If so, and given that I feel I've finally acquired the discipline and maturity to dedicate myself to academics, what steps do I take to go back to college? I'm primarily worried about my academic record, and if there's a way to "start over". I'm not interested in keeping any of the credits I've earned because my GPA is abysmal.

As I'm sure others have said, Physics is a demanding discipline. As such, I have a few bits of advice:

First, go to another school and don't transfer any credits, your GPA will be fresh.

Second, you say you have gained the maturity and such to succeed in school. Good. You will need it and the (I dare say reckless) behavior you previously demonstrated will not help you in the slightest. Even something trivial like smoking pot will be detrimental to you. Keep yourself clean and out of trouble, note that any wasted time is time you will never get back.

Third, getting a job with a felony and multiple misdemeanors is a daunting task, for any job, let alone academia. My advice would be to see about getting them expunged if possible. If not, you will need to prove to employers that you've changed, so get involved with service organizations. Make sure that you have it on paper that you are a better, more mature person.

I wish you the best.
 
  • #8
arildno
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Basically, with your previous record, you have placed yourself in a position that would be unfair for a NON-felon:

You will have to EXCEL, in order to succeed. Both on a personal and professional level.

As long as your will is strong enough (do not fall into the trap of self pity!!), excelling is what you always CAN do on the personal level, and if you are methodical and industrious enough, you can do it so great professionally that people around you will regard you as excelling there as well.
 

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