Undergrad Shooting for Prestigious Graduate School
Alright, so basically I just want to know--based upon the factors discussed herein--would it be generally okay to assume that I'd have a chance at being admitted to prestigious graduate schools such as, but not limited to: Harvard, CalTech, Stanford, University of Chicago, ect.
So I am currently an undergraduate at a public university, Ohio State University to be exact. I am majoring in Physics(advanced concentration) and am also shooting for a minor in Computer science. I am planning on going on to graduate school for either Theoretical physics or Astrophysics. I am enrolling in the honors program at OSU and am planning to do research during my stay. I am currently a Sophomore. I dislike typical college party life(abhor, actually), and am very academically orientated. I plan to keep my grades as flawless as possible(knowing physics is probably going to fight back) without killing myself with work and driving me absolutely insane.
If I started research the spring semester of this year(sophomore year), and continued to do research until graduation, all the while staying in honors and keeping high grades, would I have a good shot at graduate admission? I feel a prestigious graduate school would give me the best opportunity to go where I envision my degree taking me: research. Note that a job is not what I'm after. I don't want a comfy, well paying job. I want to do research, research, and more research. CERN would be fantastic(pipe dream), or anything close to the sort is what I am after. Note: Yes, I know I am going to need Phds to achieve my work goals. I am also planning on doing those, as well.
Knowing that life never goes how one plans it, to what extent--based on rough guess-timations--can these variables change without hurting my chances at grad school? Like GPA fluctuations, or maybe if I miss a year of research? And yes I know graduate admissions to such schools is a crapshoot, at best. I just kinda want a rough idea, and I don't want to delude myself into thinking for the next three years that I have it made. A reality check is what I am looking for.
Thanks for any time that you all spend answering my thread.