My journey to UCF

By Polina Shliakhina

A chronological timeline of how I ended up studying Digital Media with a track in web design at the University of Central Florida


Graduated and terribly confused

Graduating from high school, leaving my home country, and getting terribly confused about my educational journey

Graduation picture

June 2018

High School Graduation

When I was graduating from high school, I was lost. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study, what school I wanted to attend and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Community College picture

August 2018

Cinema Major & Community College

Wanting to get out of my home country and dive into a new place, I packed my suitcase and went to Northern Virginia Community College to study Cinema.


A leap of faith

Taking a gap year, traveling around my home country, and working at an international film festival

Picture of Kyrgyzstan

June 2019

Going back home

After a year of doubts and fears, I made the decision to return to my home country, Kyrgyzstan, and take a gap year.

Picture of me working

October 2019

International Film Festival

After working as a server for two weeks, one of my regular customers offered me a position as an assistant program coordinator. Without a second thought, I accepted the offer and worked at the film festival for three months.


A year of change

Going through immigration & the pandemic, going back to community college and finding a new interest

Picture of airplane

February 2020

Immigrating to the US

My mom, brother and I immigrated to the US at the beginning of 2020 with only five suitcases. We ended up in Orlando, Florida when COVID19 hit the world.

Picture of school project

August 2020

Going back to school

After researching more about UCF, I fell in love with the Digital Media major. Deciding that this is the route I want to take, I started taking required classes at Valencia community college in order to transfer to UCF.


The Beginning of coding journey

Getting interested in web development and taking baby steps to front end development through online courses

Picture of computer and dog

June 2021 - December 2021

Falling in love

I didn’t want to wait for my web programming classes to start learning to code. So I started exploring web development through free platforms such as FreeCodeCamp and CodeAcademy. This is when I started truly falling in love with Web Devevlopment.

Eventually, as I sought more structure, I enrolled in SheCodes to boost my knowledge in the fundamentals of front end development such as HTML, CSS and JS.


Enrolled and terribly excited

Transferring to UCF and getting more excited about Web Development and Web Design

Profile picture of me

December 2022 - ...

Past, present, future

And here I am, continuing to learn to code at UCF as a junior. A lot has changed since I graduated high school in 2018. Within past four years, I lived in three different places, changed my major, and found a new passion.

But most importantly, my feelings of lost and confusion changed to excitement for the future and eagerness to improve my skills in Web Development.

Coded By Polina