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Help with my situation

  1. Jul 10, 2007 #1
    Hi everyone. I'm an undergrad physics student who ultimately wants a Ph.D. I originally began school two years ago, but that year I ended up failing 3/5 courses and was kicked out for a year. I wrote a letter to the Dean, accompanied by a letter from my doctor, explaining that I had 2 medical conditions that year which significantly affected my performance. The Dean waived the requirement to withdraw, but the courses I failed and the withdrawal/waiver still appear on my transcript.

    This past year I returned to school, retaking the failed courses, but dropped everything before any academic deadlines to pursue professional poker for the year, with the intention of returning to school for fall '07. Since I dropped these courses before the deadline they do not appear on my transcript.

    The year has gone very well, but September is approaching and I am still certain that I ultimately want a Ph.D., and I intend to complete my physics undergrad as a full-time student in the next 4-5 years, and then go on to grad school, with a possible year off in between.

    My question is what affect will my first year of school have on my academic career? I am very capable of getting excellent marks in any course, and that is what I will be doing for the next 4 years. I am also going to try and spend my summers working with professors on their research, even if I have to start off fetching their coffee and typing out their data at first.

    Will I be at any disadvantage, even if I perform excellently for the next four years? I will obviously write a letter whenever necessary explaining the blemishes on my transcript.

    Thanks in advance for any responses. I look forward to becoming a member of this forum.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2007 #2
    From what I understand, the lower-division courses are mostly general-education. I would focus on making sure that the courses relevant to the degree are reasonable, though if one pursues a PhD, a very strong foundation must be laid, and that is not seen through the grades of the starter classes, but in those that come later.
  4. Jul 11, 2007 #3
    Don't worry about your first-year grades. Just keep up your focus and your resolve and do your best in the courses you register for this year.
  5. Jul 11, 2007 #4

    George Jones

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  6. Jul 11, 2007 #5


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    You quit to play poker. That doesn't sounds too good.

    1st year really doesn't mean anything, but at some point you're going to have to make better decisions.
  7. Jul 11, 2007 #6


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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2007
  8. Jul 11, 2007 #7
    I realize how it sounds, but I am by no means a gambling addicted losing player who thinks they can win. I am actually able to beat some pretty considerable levels. Since I was a typical broke student relying on my parents for money, and I saw a great potential in poker (a 13 year professional was coaching me), I took the plunge and am now financially independent. Like I said in my OP, I had no intention of playing poker professionally for the rest of my life, I simply decided to take a year off to learn the game and it has paid off. Thanks for the concern, but I don't consider it to have been a poor decision at all.

    Everyone else, thanks for the replies. I will be reading the links shortly.
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