I'm finishing my first semester in university with a 4.0 GPA taking Honours classes, I'm working on a paper that will be published with a post-doc in Physics, and I have a summer research position lined up. I'm doing a double Honours Astrophysics and Mathematics program and I've already read ahead in many textbooks such as topology, real analysis, and convex geometry. Given this initial head start, if I continue to get lucky with my opportunities and finish my undergraduate with a very high GPA (3.9-4.0), would I be in a suitable position to get into a top grad school and then a professorship (later)? I know that is a massive assumption that I would be able to make it as far as finishing my undergraduate with a 4.0, but entertain the thought for a minute. Are there thousands of other students out there just like me, who would be applying to the top grad schools as well in a couple of years? Anyone who has been at the top, gone to graduate school at a top 10-25 school, is the competition really as fierce as everyone on this forum makes it out to be? I know it is quite premature to be saying any of this, but I would rather crawl up in a hole and die than not pursue an academic career... I would not be able to work on some menial tasks all day long that do not contribute to human knowledge or grant the personal satisfaction and excitement that deep thinking does. tl;dr: For someone who is having a good start in their undergraduate and "seems" like they have the potential to continue with that success, if I play my cards right will I be able to end up in a research position if I keep at it for as long as it takes?