Your proudest moment.
My proudest moment was receiving the acceptance letter from Hollins College (now Hollins University) back in 1993. I’d just finished two years at a local community college for my AAS in General Studies and had been told months prior by my guidance counselor that I would never be accepted at that college. He gave me all kinds of excuses – I was too old (25), my 3.6 gpa wasn’t high enough, and I couldn’t afford it. Luckily for me, Hollins had an adult program called Horizon and I received a scholarship from that program because my gpa was high enough, especially in the courses that counted.
A little back-story. I went to this same community college when I was 18 and took Business Management classes. I hated them and I mostly made Bs. I dropped out during my third semester. I didn’t go back to college until seven years later. This time I had bigger goals. I was determined to get excellent grades and accepted into Hollins College. If my gpa had only reflected the courses I took under General Studies, I would have had a 4.0 and that is the exact thinking of the people in the Horizon program. They accepted all of my General Studies courses, but rejected 75% of my Business Management classes. This brought my gpa up to 3.8, which I maintained throughout my time at Hollins.
For those who don’t know, Hollins is a private women’s college in Roanoke Virginia. It has an excellent writing program (the MFA is co-ed) and has had some great writers graduate from there – Annie Dillard, Henry Taylor, and Natasha Trethewey, just to name a few. And the professors are great too – Richard Dillard, Eric Trethewey, and Jeanne Larsen were my favorites. Yes, Richard was once married to Annie and Natasha is Eric’s daughter. I’d read Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Jeanne Larsen’s Silk Road before I even attended Hollins and they were the driving force behind why I wanted to go there.
I am so thankful that I didn’t allow that guidance counselor to dissuade me from applying there. I took the acceptance letter to his office and laughed in his face.