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.