Guest Post by Joy Pecoraro: My Secret for Getting into the University of Texas

by Joy Pecoraro, Founder of the #WOWW Campaign
Austin, Texas

I was attending Mount San Antonio Community College, outside of Los Angeles, in the fall of 2006 with dreams of transferring into the University of Texas at Austin to earn a degree in Economics. I was on a mission to be a Longhorn.

Statistics at the time showed that less than 7% of UT students were admitted from states outside of Texas. I was in California. I knew I needed to impress the admissions department but didn’t anticipate just how much effort that would actually take.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But I had a plan.

I loaded up my first semester by enrolling in 22 hours and managed to work part-time through it all. I went to school in the morning, worked in the afternoon and headed back to school at night. That was my life for two years. My friends and family would ask me, “how do you balance it all?!” They didn’t understand how I managed to make time to study, complete my assignments, and get straight A’s while working a part-time job.

My secret: public transportation.

Making graphs and charts was fun to me (I’m kind of a nerd) so I created one that listed the pros and cons of my daily routine. One of the things I noticed immediately was how much time I spent sitting in traffic. Because I was taking difficult courses, keeping up with the reading was at the top of my priority list. Being stuck behind the wheel of my car in LA’s gridlock was not helping these efforts.

So I got a bus pass. I call it my “pass to freedom,” meaning I got my time back. Time to be productive. Time to chip away at my goal of getting into my DREAM university.

For two years, I revolved my schedule around public transportation so I could use that time to study and review my notes. In the beginning, I worried this route would actually take more time than driving. However, what I found was astounding and the complete opposite of my original concerns.

Taking the bus to school eliminated the most daunting task: parking. It actually made me more punctual. I couldn’t afford to miss the bus because it would throw off my entire routine, so naturally, my punctuality improved. The best thing? I was less stressed. You never realize how much traffic and driving impacts your nerves until you don’t have to do it anymore. Not only was I calmer, I was always prepared since reading and studying became part of my daily routine.

Getting into UT was no walk-in-the-park but I did it thanks to my personal driver: public transportation. The return on investment was far greater than my acceptance into UT. I obtained my economics degree from a highly accredited university and started my own business thanks to the information I absorbed in college.

According to a 2014 study, 31 percent of UT students use public transit to get to class.* What could YOU accomplish if you had your own little “sanctuary” to get around town in, as opposed to driving and parking?

*Survey by UT Parking and Transportation Services. (2014)

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About the WOWW Campaign

The #WOWW Campaign was started in an effort to bring women together that aren’t afraid to have dialogues that can assist others in their personal and professional development. The #WOWW Campaign interviews amazing women that are willing to be vulnerable and share their experiences so others can feel empowered, connected, and united to one another. She hopes to change society’s perspective towards vulnerability so that communities grow closer together by sharing pivotal moments in life that could positively impact those that are listening.

The #WOWW Campaign is committed to providing educational resources that help women get closer to their personal and professional goals. Through interviews, events, and learning material, the #WOWW Campaign seeks to connect women with similar objectives and provide essential tools that assist with various key initiatives.