This horse has been beaten so many times, it's not funny. But I, like everyone else need words of advice from people that aren't going to tell me what I want to hear (or maybe they will). Anyway, I messed around a lot after highschool, took numerous classes at various community colleges with sub-par grades (mainly C's). Then I 'quit' for a few years to one day wake up and enroll back in school to major in physics and eventually transferred to a to-remain-nameless university. My overall GPA is 2.7 (ugh), but since returning to school my upper-division GPA is 3.3. Just A's and B's in my junior/senior physics classes. I've been doing research for the past 1.5 years and have consistently overloaded my quarters (18+ units a quarter vs. the standard 12 for full-time). I don't know about my potential for grad school. I'm not all that sure that I even want to go. I mean, I do, but sometimes the stress of studying and the student lifestyle makes me just want to get out. My question is this: Given what I have briefly described of my academic record (both good and bad), and let's pretend I can do fairly well on the GRE, do I have a shot at getting into a 'respectable' grad program? I'm not gunning for MIT, Caltech, or Princeton...just something with a decent reputation. My pessimism tells me I'm sorta screwed given my academic past, but I wanted to present this to the physicsforums community for some input. Thanks.