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Bad grades in college (yes happens to everyone but i got hit BAD)

  1. Mar 16, 2009 #1
    first of all, i am an aspiring EE student. At my school (as with many), students must actually apply to the engineering school usually at the end of their sophomore year. There are exceptions, such as early admission or direct freshmen admission, but most just do sophomore year.

    Ok so i kind of have a strange grade trend.
    Most people get into college and their grades drop because of the significantly increased workload.

    I actually started out college getting 4.0s and 3.9s, and not in exactly easy classes either (calculus series, diff equations, physics, well these are intro so i guess they are relativelyeasy ...) but then i started to tank BAD. I don't know how, maybe i got "depressed" or soemthing and need counseling (i dunno everyone suggests this to me but i don't really feel depressed), but i really have gotten incredibly lazy.

    Anyways, i'm not going to explain everything cause there is really nothing to say. I simply just got slacker-ish, and now i have been pretty much getting Ds and Cs for the past few quarters. I am reaching the end of sophomore year, which is the time pre engineering majors apply into their respective departments for admission. Most people who have around 3.2 get into most departments like electrical, civil, aeronatical, mechanical, whereas more competitive departments such as Bio and Computer science have an average entrance gpa of 3.6.

    Now i clearly don't fall into either category. If i get lucky i might have barely a 3.0 by the end of the year just cause of the fluff i've built myself with early 4.0s, but i doubt i'll get into any department.

    Anyways, this doesn't concern me that much. While most people enter the departments at the sophomore year, it isn't uncommon for people to enter their departments senior or, or spring of junior year. SO i am shooting for those.

    I am SERIOUSLY going to try to get my grades up during junior year, and the final quarter of my sophomore year. I might even throw in summer school to try and fluff my GPA. If i can't pull my GPA up to atleast a 3.3 i'm kissing engineering goodbye and just transferring to an open major such as construction management or applied mathematics (with emphasis on engineering). However, even if i do manage to get my grades up, how the hell would i go about explaining to the department this period of several quarters where i got only Cs and Ds and maybe a low B?

    O yea, and the departments do not encourage faculty letters of recommendation, so i can't just kiss a profs as s in hopes that he'll get me in.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2009 #2
    Just be honest with your department. There must be some underlying reason that you slacked off. Your department will likely want to see you demonstrate improvement before admitting you.

    From my own experience, I was on academic probation twice during the beginning of my college education. I did eventually graduate (with very good marks the last two years of college) and sought a job. Potential employers sometimes inquired about my poor grades. I explained who I was at that moment of time and how I am not that person now. In effect, my personal character was strengthened as a result of those experiences, and likewise, you can do the same.

    You say that you are an aspiring EE student, yet my judgment tells me that you expect failure based on the content of your post. Now is the time to work towards your goals rather than dreaming about it. You can still affect the final outcome of this semester.
  4. Mar 18, 2009 #3
    I'm sure there is some underlying reason, but i cnanot pinpoint it exactly.
    The best way i can say it is that i had no specific goals, which lead to lack of inspiration/motivation, which lead to laziness/slacker but still that doesn't sound good at all.
    It makes me sound like an as$shole.

    BTW, what did you major in? and also, wouldn't you get kicked out if you were on probation twice? I mean, they call it "probation" to make sure it doesn't happen twice in the first place.
  5. Mar 18, 2009 #4


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    You need to try and pinpoint the underlying reason, otherwise you will not be able to counter it, and will continue to perform how you are doing at the moment. I wouldn't be too quick to label yourself as depressed. In my opinion, this is one of the 'medical' terms that is being thrown around far too easily nowadays, which only serves to disadvantage those who are seriously struck with depression.
  6. Mar 18, 2009 #5
    My major was in science education during my first trip through college. At my school, it (probation) can happen twice, just not twice in a row :wink:
  7. Mar 18, 2009 #6


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    Well, if a lot of people are telling you to seek counseling for depression, even if it's not depression, maybe you should consider seeking counseling for "slacking." That still is something that a counselor can help with, to talk with you, see if there's an underlying reason for your slacking that you haven't noticed for yourself, and help with strategies to fix it.

    Though, from your description of major choices that sounds like a lot of, "If I can't do this, I'll do that, or something else, or whatever..." and your later comment that you have no specific goals, I suspect the problem may simply be that you have not really found the major that most appeals to you yet. Why do you want to be an EE major? Maybe your lack of discipline in studying is really just a lack of interest in what you're studying.
  8. Mar 19, 2009 #7
    You should go get screened for depression.

    A lot of things can come crashing down on you in early college, some of them in your control and others not so much in your control. If your neurochemistry is betraying you, you will find it very difficult to pick yourself back up.

    Even if you aren't depressed, you might benefit from some counseling. I don't know whether I was really depressed, but I toughed it out and tried to push myself back into shape after crashing in my second through fourth semesters (late Frosh to end of Soph.). If I had sought help, maybe I would have been back on track sooner than I was on my own.
  9. Mar 20, 2009 #8
    anyone here having depression through competition?

    whats the big deal with competition anyways? its not like they own you. others kept being loud in class when reciting- (some know it alls), it looks to me like some kind of trash talking

    actually not really depressed but pissed

    i just want to learn not to compete
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009
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