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Should I even bother applying?

studentwaitingstudentwaiting Posts: 19Registered User New Member
edited July 2012 in Princeton University
So I am currently a Sophomore in a relatively large high school (approximately 400 students in my graduating class), and I am getting very concerned about college. The first half of my freshman year went well, as I had all A's and an A- in all honors classes (honors is the highest level class one can take). However, the second half of my freshman year, there were some things that really hindered my abilities (I think it was because I was going through a difficult time emotionally). Because of that, my second semester grades resulted in mostly A's and A-'s and a B and a B+. This year, Sophomore year, I have really had a hard time transitioning from freshman to sophomore year, and because of that, my first semester grades were mostly B+'s and an A and an A- in all honors classes. Originally, when I started my freshman year, I was planning on applying to Yale or Harvard ED, but now, I have completely crossed off all Ivy league colleges off of my list. I have other credentials, however, I am very fearful that I will not be accepted due to my poor grades. Do you think I should even bother applying?
Post edited by studentwaiting on

Replies to: Should I even bother applying?

  • scrivenerscrivener Posts: 797Registered User Member
    might as well take a chance. keep in mind it's not all about grades, and princeton doesn't even count freshman year grades. just make sure to finish up this year strong and absolutely destroy it next year and first half of senior year. upward trend in grades is always a plus for admissions!
  • studentwaitingstudentwaiting Posts: 19Registered User New Member
    Thanks. The second semester of my sophomore year is nearly halfway done, and I really hope to improve my grades. I've really been working hard to improve them, but it is very difficult to really get motivated about it, especially since I am going through a depression. I hope I can bring my grades way up by the end of the year, but what if I can't? What if I get four B+'s/B's and only a couple A's? I know colleges look for a diverse group of kids, but I just think my grades will really be a problem even if I get straight A's/A+'s junior year.
  • glassesarechicglassesarechic Posts: 5,481Registered User Senior Member
    A) Rank, not letter grades or GPA, is king. How deep top colleges are willing to go into your high school rank-wise will depend on your school's reputation with top colleges. You can tell this from historical acceptance trends.

    B) You're a sophomore. We can't recommend any path to you because much of your resume is yet to be written. Relax and focus on your studies and other things that matter to you. If you're depressed, focusing on a goal that is both unpredictable and several years in the future won't and can't help. As someone who also had a rough go in high school--and who succeeded in spite of, not because of her unhealthy obsession with the next step--I really mean it when I say you should stop thinking about your future.

    Start focusing on the here and now, each day at a time. Notice the little happy things: your mom making you a cup of coffee in the morning, a warm day in March, a Saturday spent hanging out with friends. Delve into your classes like a guilty pleasure, pushing back any concerns about grades.

    Hell, I still have to remind myself of this stuff in college. Maybe even more than I did in high school. If I focus on the way grades will impact my future opportunities, I panic. My grades suffer. Then begins a spiral of self-loathing and desperation to raise my grades. But when I step back, make time to see a guest lecturer or talk to a professor after class or go to NY with friends, I do better. I am more alert; I pay better attention in classes; I let my work consume me as I do it, and then let it go.

    In short: Don't panic. Don't think about college. Your list will evolve naturally your junior and senior years. You can't guarantee acceptance to Princeton or any other school regardless of what you do. There really is no reason to panic.
  • myraven11myraven11 Posts: 214Registered User Junior Member
    You're a sophomore. Ask again in 1 1/2 years. Then our answers will be a bit more accurate.
    By the way, a B+ won't keep you out of Princeton. You can still get a 3.99 by senior year with 1 B+.
  • ptontiger16ptontiger16 Posts: 580- Member
    It is impossible to tell if you don't even apply. Princetons a reach for most anybody and I agree that an A/B average wouldn't keep you out given that your course load was challenging. Also, since you are a sophomore, focus on standardized testing. Make sure you do well on the SAT or ACT. I got a few prep books for those and that seemed to help a ton.
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