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Future in Physics?

  1. Sep 24, 2014 #1
    Sorry for the long post, but I'm in a tricky situation and have a lot of questions. I am a community college student who wants a career in astrophysics. My end goal is to contribute to scientific knowledge doing research, but my focus is on being a popularizer of science, teaching in some way to the public and hopefully inspiring people to want to learn. Here is the snag, though: I have always been impeded academically by severe clinical depression, even if I didn't always know it. I tanked my first year at this school with B's and a C in my major courses, started getting professional help while taking time off of class, and then came back to school after a semester. I've taken three classes in the last two semesters, and have B's in all three..two of them were elective courses that I didn't even need and one was Linear Algebra. I'm in a position now where if I can get straight A's in my current courses, I can TAG to UC Santa Barbara and be on my way. If not, though, where can I transfer with a 3.1 GPA? And if I'm struggling now in the easier courses, am I setting myself up for failure in upper division physics? Or let's say I get better as a student but not in time for this semesters transfer apps; can I still get into a good grad school from a lesser known and less selective school like San Jose state or San Francisco state, and if so, how well would I have to do? Should I abandon physics for now and try an English major or something, and come back later in life?
    As of right now, my transfer application is strong in my personal statements and in that I spent a year as the president of the schools astrophysics club, where we hosted public events. My biggest weakness is a GPA almost as low as the cutoff rate.
    Thanks in advance for your replies, and I appreciate you taking the time to read this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2014 #2
    I wouldn't wouldn't switch to English. I would switch to engineering. You will find it is easier. The great thing is that you can still get a job in astronomy as an engineer. Every observatory hires engineers to design experiments and keep things running. That said, to be a real astronomer is like being a professional athlete. It is said that if you have not been the very best athlete on every team you have ever been on, becoming a professional athlete is hopeless. The same applies to astronomy. The competition is that intense.
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