To elaborate on said situation - I went to a top 50 US public university for a few years majoring in math and during this period of time I had no significant interest or motivation in school, much less any graduate school aspirations. I didn't do *horrible*, but my gpa was about a 3.1. I took some time off from college to uh, soul search and I proceeded to move to another state and was fortunate enough to transfer into a top 30 university with a fairly strong physics program as a physics major. It was there that I discovered my passion for physics which gave me a lot more motivation in academics all around. Over the next four years I racked up a ~3.88 GPA with a double major in physics and mathematics at my new university, retaking all of the old math classes I didn't do so well in and showing that I could understand the material. I did 3 summer REUs and an honors thesis that led to a publication. I have the typical awards people get for a strong GPA, some tutoring experience, and what I believe to be strong recommendations from professors who supervised my work and I got a 890 (86 percentile) on the PGRE. I'm really hoping to get into a top ten program but I am very worried that my less than ideal performance at my old institution will kill my chances. Will it? Please be brutally honest. I'm interested in exp. rather than theory.