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Graduating, need advice

  1. Dec 14, 2005 #1
    I just turned 24 and I'm finishing my last semester for my BS in Astronomy. I will be graduating in May but I will be enrolled in the spring semester to either bring some grades up or take whatever classes I want.

    My problem is that I can't get into grad school with my grades. My overall GPA is 2.8 and my major GPA is 2.4. I also didn't mingle much with the faculty so letters of recc. is another issue. I'm not comfortable taking the GRE's right now either.

    In a nutshell, I struggled with personal struggles and I let apathy, cockyness, and lazyness dictate my efforts. Honestly I probably put forth as much effort into my classes as I did putting on socks (thank you video games and weed!) but I did manage to squeeze some good grades in so I know I have the potential if I try hard like everyone else.

    Maybe I wasn't mentally prepared for college, maybe I felt really comfortable sliding by with mediocre passing grades and had no one to kick my ass for me because I couldn't do it or see the grave I was digging for myself.

    Here are the options that I'm thinking about:

    1. Take a year off, study for GREs while working on projects with teachers to get my name on papers. Then apply for masters program. Finish masters and either apply for PhD or teach at a JC.
    2. Change schools and major in Botany. If I had graduated high school with my current mentality, this is what I would majored in. Eventually leading to a PhD program and possibly teah. I love plants.
    3. Single subject teaching credential: I love basic astronomy, I thouroughly enjoy talking to people about it. I also hate the way the credential program works. I have lots of hoops to jump through for this program so It's really my last ditch choice.
    4. Live with the fact that I half-assed college for the rest of my life and ruined a great chance of doing something I really love. Maybe get a job sharpening pencils at a junior college.

    I'm 100% ready to turn my life around at this point. I know I can be that student that jacks up the curve. Aint no shame in being in college when you're "old". :wink:
    Thanks for any comments and opinions!
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2005 #2


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    The only advice i can offer you is this. If you want to continue your education. No matter what path you choose. STOP THE WEED!!!!!!!!! and video games, drinking etc. only in moderation if you want to get a PhD prepare make your studies your life because thats what they'll become whether you like it or not. Or so I hear. I'm still an undergrad, but I believe I know enough to tell you weed will not help you in any way. Stop smoking.
  4. Dec 15, 2005 #3


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    Don't stop only weed, but everything that takes too much time.

    Videogames, TV, too much partying, MSN, hobbies, etc...

    If you Astronomy, you should do anything for it.

    You can have a life, but make your life work well with Astronomy, and not the other way around.
  5. Dec 16, 2005 #4
    Hey guy, It sounds like You and I have alot in common. I am 24 as well and I SHOULD graduate with my physics degree next year. But I know what you mean about apathy and all that jazz, It seemed like I just hit some kind of "wall" after the novelty of college had worn off and it was very difficult to get motivated to do anything. Anyways Its good to hear that you WANT to straighten up. I guess its up to you to really pull through if you want to make this happen. But one thing I would like to point out is that it sounds like your not quite sure what you want to do. Maybe you should sort this out (and take a year or so if you must) before plopping down a couple grand and devoting the time and effort into getting one of these degrees. College alone is not for everyone and im guessing this certainly can be said about graduate school. Don't start thinking that just because you don't have a graduate degree means that you are less valuble or "couldn't cut it". You should be proud you graduated/graduating because having a college degree makes you among the worlds top 10% of educated people (I looked at this sentence for a long time and it just seems that I worded it wrong :P).

    That being said, ive heard you can take non-degree seeking courses after you graduate and get to know the prof so he/she can write you a letter of recomendation. Also, the University of Idaho in Pocatello seems to be quite a bit more lenient in thier graduate admissions. Maybe because they have to compete with much larger state school for students but last I checked you only need to score something like in the 35 percentile on the GRE. I'm not saying go to Pocatello, but I am saying you should shop around. There are tons of grad schools and if you look I'm sure you could find something.

  6. Dec 16, 2005 #5
    I think you've pretty much summed up why I got the grades I did.

    Honestly, I don't blame anything (games, weed, parties, internet) except myself. Those are all fine with moderation and time maganement but I lacked the motivation to make school my #1 priority and that's basically what I'm ready to do now.

    I remember when I was taking freshman physics my professor told me that I'll probably go out to the movies once a year after I start my junior year unless I was a genius. I snickered and though that was BS. Oh, how wrong I was.

    You guys are right about still being indecisive though. But I see it as a good thing right now because I actually feel like I can do all of the things.

    My reasons for getting another degree came from doing A LOT of thinking. They have nothing to do with feeling less valuable or not being able to cut it, but rather hindsight; knowing that I fooked up something important to me that ultimately lead me down a different path in life.

    I really do want to teach at a university, I find it more motivational/fulfilling/enjoyable to help other people learn. I want to give myself the opportunity.

    Thanks a lot for your replies.
  7. Dec 16, 2005 #6


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    I made bad decisions myself. My first year not being so great, and my current second year could have been better.

    I now decided to make school #1.

    Honestly, work hard and review your stuff. Anything is possible.

    Note: I failed mathematics in high school and now I'm a math major. :biggrin:

    ...I never went to class. :grumpy:
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