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Feel like giving up!

  1. Jun 2, 2013 #1
    Growing up i have always wanted to be a physicist. I knew since i was in first grade. But now that i am coming up on my last year i have little chances of getting into a grad school. I have around a 2.8-3.0 Major GPA and a 3.15 overall GPA. I have two publications with no internship. I worked very hard and thought this semester would show the level of dedication i put fourth but apparently it didn't. I normally dont complain about my grades because its not responsible of me (but i feel as though my grades were complete bull).
    The family hurdles i have overcame, and the goals i have set really makes this semester a depressing fact when i start to realize that i may fall very short of my goal to be a physicist. I feel as though i have a good conceptual grasp of physics and i am a really good tutor but i seem to always fall short technically and i suppose just simple mistakes that are costly. Working to help support my family and myself, and commuting really had an adverse effect. All those excuses changes absolutely nothing, but it still stands that i feel as though i wont be able to get in.

    What should i do? What are my options? Should i take some application/programming courses just so i can get employed? AHH freaking out please help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2013 #2


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    Programming makes you a valuable asset should you not make it into graduate school.

    The caliber school you went to may affect how costly your grades will be to graduate admission.
  4. Jun 2, 2013 #3
    I dont care where i get into, and the school i go to isnt TOO good and doesnt have a Grad program but it has some great profs.
    Do you think that i should still study and take the GRE or is it a lost cause.
  5. Jun 2, 2013 #4
    I feel for you brother, I'm in the same position. Kind of. I graduated in 1995 and instead of applying for grad school decided to "take some time off" as I had done nothing BUT go to school ever since I could remember. Make a long story short, that break turned out to be 18 years and I am now myself studying for the GRE. In fact, I just took a practice test and bombed it! It is, for me, been an entirely depressing and frustrating experience. I am fairly well known in the small specialty (biology) community I study in, and have published a number of major review articles and given a good number of conference talks over the past 18 years. I feel insulted that I'm being rewarded for that effort by having to take what I feel to be a remedial exam which is basically just a collection a trick questions designed to fool a clear, logically thinking mind. My brain rejects such chicanery so it makes it very difficult for me to concentrate on learning the tricks you need to know for the test.

    So, if my story can serve as a lesson for you, I'd recommend taking the GRE as soon as possible before you get too jaded and focused in one specialty like I am. Then at least you won't have to worry about resenting having to take it down the road if your path toward academia takes a few detours.
  6. Jun 2, 2013 #5
    You have 2 publications, which depending on the field you want to apply to, almost certainly makes you a rarity among grad school applicants with comparable and even better grades.

    Since you still have a year of coursework before you graduate, you might try spreading it out into 3 or 4 semesters and tacking on advanced graduate courses to prove yourself to graduate schools that your past performance is an anomaly and/or marketable programming courses in java/SQL/C++ to keep your options open. This will help you both inside and out of academic setting provided you can afford it. I wish I had the option of doing this.

    I wouldn't wait longer on taking the PGRE at least the first time. As time goes on, they won't become any easier after you graduate as it is essentially a test of memory and quick physical reasoning, but mostly the former. If you do indeed spread out your coursework as I am suggesting, you'd have the chance to do better in your courses and retake the PGRE in April and the following fall once again and really get a decent score.
  7. Jun 2, 2013 #6
    If you can get your grades up in your last year, a common trick is to get your masters degree first. Some master's programs have less strenuous admission requirements. In addition, if you perform well in those masters classes, they will show that you can handle grad level work. Then you can apply for a Ph.D. program with a better GPA and proof that you can keep up.
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