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I messed up and need some honesty here.

  1. May 29, 2010 #1
    Hi everyone! I've been perusing these forums for quite a while now and never introduced myself, but for lack of anything better to say for now, I'm Joey and here's my situation.

    Too keep things short, I basically failed two courses, and got a D and a C in my other courses a year ago. I was severely depressed, in a horrible relationship and living situation, and basically gave up. I knew sympathy would never resolve my situation, so being the humble person I am, I accepted my failure and didn't let it bring me down any further. This happened in the spring semester. That summer some things changed for me. I got help with my depression, and though I was still in that crappy relationship and living problem, I was full of new determination not to give up. I had some hope for my future. I brought myself back to the university in the fall to make up the courses I had failed, and to bring more encouragement I took an intermediate course in Cosmology, which was thrilling and a good move. I forgot to mention that I failed physics I and am a Physics major. OUCH. Anyways, I busted my ***, eventually left the person I was with and living situation, and got great marks! This past spring I was short by a B to having straight A's. My gpa went from a 2.09 to a 3.08, and I don't plan on keeping it there. I did some rough calculations and If I bust major *** these last two years (not overloading either), I can end up near a 3.5 when I graduate, with a minor in math.

    So I am curious, if I stay true to my path, do I have a chance at entering graduate school? I know you really can't answer these kinds of questions certainly. I plan on doing research during these last two years, and learning a few programming languages more to be more useful I suppose. I know graduate admissions look at your coursework, gpa, and GRE, but do they consider YOU? Will that one semester of failure be enough to make me appear unworthy, even if I surpassed it like a bat out of hell? I just need some really honest imput here. I really love astrophysics thus far, and want to study it at the graduate level. Is there anything I specifically should do to better my odds? I wouldn't be crushed if I didn't get into any of the top universities, but I would be if I was rejected by all and was stranded with a Physics B.S. and no continuation. Thanks for any imput! :]
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2010 #2
    Hello, Joey! I can't provide you with specific information about graduate schools admissions (because I'm a humble freshman :approve:). But I will advise you to please remove words like "unworthy" off the list of words to describe yourself. Don't let the future decision of a panel of glorified apes influence whom you are in any way.
  4. May 30, 2010 #3
    Thanks for the Optimism! :smile: I always try and remember my self-worth, even in times like these!
  5. May 30, 2010 #4
    Committees put much more weight on your upper level physics courses than your intro courses. Therefore, if you keep up the good work and get good grades in your upper level courses, I think you will have no problem getting into graduate schools. When you write your statement of purpose, make sure you briefly describe these personal challenges and how successful you were at overcoming them. This will definitely add something to your application.

    Overall, I wouldn't worry about that one semester. If you continue to do well, everything should work out just fine for you.
  6. May 30, 2010 #5

    I'm in the UK, but I am in a similar situation, last semester I averaged 45% (in the UK the pass mark is 40%) but since have motivated myself and this semester I am averaging about 70% (70% + is a 1st class honours, the highest class of degree awarded in the UK). But given my semester one average it will take my years average to the 50's. I'm in the second to last year of my degree, with this year worth 1/3 of my final mark and next 2/3. Do you think that one semester will effect me, as it will likely bring my average down considerably?


  7. May 30, 2010 #6
    Hi Jim,

    Based on what you said, it sounds like next year is the most important year for you. Therefore, if you continue to do well next year, that one bad semester shouldn't hurt that much. Both you and Joey (Jawbreaker) shouldn't let that one bad semester make you feel unworthy or discouraged about your future. Showing that you overcame whatever prevented you from doing well in the past will mean a lot more to most admission committees than that one bad semester.
  8. May 30, 2010 #7
    If you do well your last two years you will have absolutely no problem getting into graduate school.

    As it stands, you'd get into a decent graduate school with your 3.08 GPA. Keep working hard and you'll do very well.
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