Physics for me the last couple undergrad years has been a rough endeavor. Not to say that I haven't succeeded, I have. Only, my freshmen year of physics was abysmal (and by abysmal, I relate that to the standards of those super-physicist people who deem anything below a B to be awful) landing in the rough mid-C range. My sophomore year has been looking up with my grades steadily increasing with time. All the general undergraduate requirement (GUR) classes that I've taken I've B'd or better'd, so that's really no factor, but my GPA is still going to wind up being impossible to pull out of the low 3s. With they way quality points and those things work with regards to GPAs, it's not like getting a bunch of As will launch my GPA back up into mid to high 3s, so I'm getting worried. I'm involved in research in astronomy, aiming to get into a good school for astrophysics. My main interest is Dark Matter with no real guidance as to what I would possibly specialize in, in that field. Given that, and given that schools (or schools with good departments in astronomy/physics) are rather nit-picky about GPAs, I was wondering if the myriad of other things I've been involved in would help to skew the picture to, "well he wasn't doing so hot initially, but he's a rocketship of success now!" Allow me to clarify: at the end of this junior year, when I'm applying for grad schools, I aim to have a full box of tools at my disposal to make me stand out. GPA is my one weakness, here are my strengths in terms of extra-curricular activities. Physics lectures Planetarium work Lab TA work Involvement in faculty research Papers published Books published First the lectures: these are 4 or 5, 1 hour-long public (and serious, academic) lectures given with sponsorship from the Physics department at my university. The topics range from time travel to the history of the universe to dark matter, etc. Planetarium work: I've been volunteering at the planetarium here for some 2 years now, giving shows and doing the run-of-the-mill planetarium job description. This year I plan to start my lab TAing, which I should've done last year, but didn't get up and do. As stated before, I'm doing research in galaxy cluster size modeling. I hope to publish at least 1 paper with my adviser before the end of my junior term. I hope to publish at least 1 book of mine based either off the lectures as stated above (which would be short and follow the lectures rather closely) or off of my podcast that I ran for several years devoted to Thought Experiments in philosophy, mathematics and physics. I also want to get elected president of my university's Society of Physics Students (SPS) club. (There are other extra-curricular activities I'm involved with as well, but none of those are physics related.) It's a lot to accomplish, but I already have the lectures done and making chapters out of the outlines that I have for all my lectures shouldn't be all that hard. I am taking classes this next quarter, but I will have a lot of free time, as I'm only taking 12 credits or so. The research I'm doing is going on now (I'm on campus for the summer) and a paper doesn't seem too out of the question. The rest just shows I'm devoted, I guess. So the bottom line is this: will my activities in the world of physics and education help to balance out the fact my GPA is sub-mid-3-range?