First, I believe I should mention that I have almost no idea how admissions to grad school works or of how grad school works in general. Basically, I want to know what I should do to get into the best Grad school in the future. When I got to college, I had wished that I had begun preparing for college early. By that, I mean I wish I had kept my grades up, done volunteer work/school activities, and other things that would make it easier for me to get into college. I beleive that I may have already ruined my chances of getting into a good graduate school because of what happened in college the year before last. Basically, I entered as a freshman, with a full scholarship and a member of the honors program at my university. I technically never met the requirements for neither my scholarships nor my honors program. During my first two years of high school, I had really bad grades, and was getting in trouble at school a lot. It wasn't until I hit the 11th grade that I began to change. In a hospital visit, I picked up a physics book and realized how much I liked it. I then began to teach myself math and physics for fun, and my grades also began to rise. By the time I was in the 12th grade and applying for college, I had already taught myself Partial Differential Equations and had done classical mechanics and a bit of quantum theory. However, my overall GPA was only about a 2.4ish. I was lucky enough to get a full scholarships even with the low GPA because of the math professors that saw how much I had accomplished by myself in such a short amount of time. When I finally got to college, I did good the first semester, then I ran out of health insurance, got really sick (both physically and mentally) and my grades plundered. I was kicked from honors and lost my scholarships and put on academic probation. I missed a full year of college due to problems at home, etc. I also had to go through some intense therapy for my severe depression. I'm now on medications for ADD and depression, and getting counseling for my mental conditions. I'm also getting a lot of therapy, and I'm finally ready to get back into school. I've already talked with the honors college; I can be readmitted and could get some scholarships and aid back, as long as I do well for one semester. The question is: Will this time where I really really screwed everything up look really bad when I try to get into grad school in a few years? How bad will these screw ups hurt me? Also, what can I do now to increase my chances of getting into a really good grad school? I know keeping my grades up will help, but what else is there that I can do to further improve my chances? I'm a double major in math and physics at the moment, and I plan on going into particle physics in the future, if that matters. I hoped that I could get a Ph.D in both math and physics, but after talking to a few people, that seems unlikely.