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I'm in a predicament. (Long, TL;DR at bottom)

  1. Dec 7, 2014 #1
    Hello all!

    So before I begin with my current dilemma I believe I should first provide a little background. I'm currently a freshman level student at a rather large university (20000 students I believe) with a significant amount of prestige accredited to its name. All throughout high school I made Bs and Cs, primarily due to my lack of studying and incomplete homework. I've never failed a test up until college, and my testing well is the reason for me being able to attend such a university. During my first year of college I told myself that I wasn't going to be introverted, and I was going to try to meet new people and develop some social skills. So, I started in the place I felt the most comfortable: the physics department. I met a ton of people that I enjoyed talking with, including a professor who said he would be willing to take me onto his research team during the spring semester of 2015.
    My time during the semester also included driving 45 minutes one-way to a psychological evaluation mandated by my doctor. I was diagnosed with depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and general sleep disorder after about a months worth of testing. I've been dealing with abusive parents for the past year and a half. Most recently they have tried to control me by taking my car and threatening to quit paying for school (which is the only way I am able to afford to go to such a prestigious university). I have no scholarships or any money saved up to pay for college.
    Over the course of the semester, I spent almost no time studying or doing homework, and that has caused my grades to drop drastically. At this current moment, the best case scenario for me is that I finish my first semester with a 2.0 GPA and am put on academic probation and can't afford to go to school because my parents refuse to pay for a "failure". The worst case scenario is that I flunk out, and as a result my parents refuse to house a "failure". I have no idea what I am supposed to do in this situation. I feel like if I continue to go to college for physics (assuming I can afford it and that I don't get kicked out), my grades wont be good enough to merit admission into a semi-respectable graduate institution. I have developed good study habits recently, and I aced the last test before the final in my calculus class. However, after calculating my highest potential grades I almost have no drive to study for finals because I'm not even sure if it's worth it at this point.
    I'm scared. I have no drive after I found out my highest potential grades. I'm not sure what to do. I want to be a physicist so desperately, but I've dug myself into this ditch and I don't know how to get out. I can't see myself doing anything other than physics, and the only debate I've had over my career/major has been what field in physics I would like to focus on. What are my options at this point? Should I look into other schools/other majors? Should I beg my professors for extra credit? Should I quit everything and become a vagrant? (The last one is only about 10% serious.)

    TL;DR: Academic Probation/Expulsion imminent, no way to pay for college if the outcome is probation. What do I do?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2014 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    Science Advisor

    It would be better to "withdraw" than to flunk out. One of the few advantages of your psychiatric diagnosis is that it might be justification for college officials approving you to withdraw late in the semester. There are probably various technicalities about whether you can re-take courses that you passed with a low grade. Some universities don't allow it. If you withdraw you might keep some D's off your record and be able to retake the courses.

    One of the dilemmas you mention is having dim prospects of getting into a good graduate program. You should focus on the immediate problems and worry about that later. You can withdraw and go to work for awhile. Not being a student doesn't mean you have to be a vagrant.
  4. Dec 7, 2014 #3

    I thank you for you prompt response. First I would like to say that I will be checking with the college administration for an exact analysis of the situation. However, as I understand it the class retake/withdrawl policy for my school limits withdrawls to 18 credit hours, with the grade for a withdrawl being assigned as either a W or an F which is up to the instructors digression this late in the semester. At this current point in time (before finals) I could only retake 1 class for a better grade. The only issue I see with withdrawing from my classes is the issue of being assigned an "F" for the semester, which would leave me even worse off than I currently am. I also don't see any potential in my future as a physicist if I don't attend grad school (I'm also not sure of the validity of this statement, correct me if i'm wrong.) As for the "vagrant" issue, I was (mostly) joking about that. If I can't be a student then I would absolutely love to travel and see the world.

    Once again, I appreciate your advice. I will be checking with my school officials ASAP so I can determine what the best choice will be in this situation.
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