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Starting over at a new school after a shaky academic past

Most of you guys know that I'm in community college in Dallas right now. This is my first semester in school full-time since 2009, and I have actually been doing very well, grades-wise. Prior to my break from school/subsequent re-entry, I went to a small university slightly north of here and was majoring in music. I was doing fairly well until something traumatic happened to me during my third semester there, and my grades hit rock bottom. My transfer GPA from the old school ended up being a 2.2 or thereabouts.

The reason why I bring this up is, I've been thinking about my future, specifically where I'd like to go to school once I've finished my general education courses here at the community college. I've decided that I'm really interested in going to UT.

I've always wanted to attend there and live in Austin, but I was afraid of even applying and them telling me I didn't have what it takes. But now with just a few weeks left in the semester here, it looks like I will have three a's and one b.


In addition to this, most of my professors seem to really like me and compliment the quality of my work (especially my writing and analysis skills) pretty frequently. Also, during my time out of school I did a TON of relevant volunteer work in the field I'm wanting to study (counseling.) I think both of these things will get me some very solid recommendation letters. Plus I know for a fact I can write the HELL out of an admissions essay.

Other information- Next year I'll turn 26, which would put me in the "non traditional" student category, and I've got quite a need financially. Seriously y'all, I'm very broke, my entire family is broke, and neither of my parents completed college.

The point is, I know I'm very smart. I love learning, and I'm so passionate about the field I want to study. My previous grades and high school grades were not good, but I know what's required now, and I really had to overcome a ton of obstacles to even get this far. What do y'all think? Do I have a shot? Has anybody else had any experience with something like this? Any insight from you college professors that I know are in the hive mind?

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