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Grad school help, please. I did really bad in my concurrent classes in high school.

UGHBOYUGHBOY 13 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
edited May 13 in Graduate School
I have been admitted to UCSB conditionally under the major of physics and will attend as the class of 2023. I took calculus at my local community college. First semester I took calculus 1, failed it, retook it second semester and got a C. First semester of senior year, I took calculus 2, failed it, and am currently retaking it. I just took a test today and am so sure that I failed it, so now my best bet is to get a C.

I called UCSB, and they said the credits will transfer over, but it won't calculate into my UCSB GPA. However, I do hope to apply to grad school, and they said that grad school may look at my concurrent classes.What are my chances of fixing myself to be able to go to grad school? I'm so scared and lost right now and I don't know what to do. Anyone who has had experience with applying to grad school, PLEASE GIVE ME ADVICE ON MY SITUATION. I want to know how much of my future is ruined based on my poor choices of taking calculus and laziness to study.

Please help.
edited May 13
21 replies
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Replies to: Grad school help, please. I did really bad in my concurrent classes in high school.

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 32864 replies3608 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 36,472 Super Moderator
    You are so putting your cart before the horse at this point. Don't even think of Grad school at this point. You need to orient yourself to being ready for your undergrad courses first. The best thing you can do is focus on those and do well.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1196 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,212 Senior Member
    First the good news. Graduate Schools, unlike Law and Med, tend to be more interested in your upper level class. Especially in your major.
    The bad news. If you are having that much difficulty with Calc 1, a Physics major is going to be very difficult.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26529 replies172 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 26,701 Senior Member
    ^^This.

    I second the idea of seeking out a different major. Physics is all-math-all-the-time, and if you struggle in basic Calc, that may not be the major for you.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3256 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,267 Senior Member
    Yes, physics not the right major and I am wondering what the grad school plans were - more physics?
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  • juilletjuillet 12575 replies160 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 12,735 Super Moderator
    I agree that you're putting the cart before the horse. First of all, there are ways to come back from poor performance in undergrad, especially poor early performance. Second of all, not getting into graduate school (or not getting in right away) won't "ruin your life." There are millions of things you can do with your life, many of which don't require going to graduate school (either right out of college or at all).

    But I also agree that you should re-evaluate your major plans. If you failed calculus I, on the retake got a C, and then failed calculus II and are *also* on track to get a C on the retake, one of two things is happening: you're not studying effectively and are not showing off your full potential in math/science, OR this area is really not for you. I think unless you're doing something really egregious, the first option seems less likely than the second, since at this point it's a sustained pattern.

    Are you understanding the calculus? If you sit down and really spend a lot of time on it, do you understand it, or do you have the barest grasp of the material (which two Cs after two retakes tends to signal)? And even if you do understand it...eventually, how long does it take you to get there relative to the rest of your class and where you are in the coursework?

    It's generally true that upper level coursework is more important. However, graduate school committees will also take note of foundational lower-division coursework if there's something that gives them pause. Failing two foundational courses - ones that literally give you the background for everything else in the major - and only getting a C on retake will raise some eyebrows unless you have some truly excellent upwards trend that shows it was a fluke. But if you have mixed performance on later classes, professors may conclude (and perhaps accurately) that you don't have a good enough foundation in the basics to succeed at the graduate level.
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  • boneh3adboneh3ad 7435 replies129 discussionsForum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,564 Forum Champion
    Jumping to the conclusion that physics is the wrong major is premature here. Performance in math courses is not an immutable quantity, and OP certainly has the ability to improve in that realm provided they are motivated to do so and find a study strategy that works. The important thing here is that this seems to be a pattern, so their previous approach to these math courses is clearly ineffective and they need to make a change.

    Also, I will second what @juillet said about looking at foundational courses. When recruiting graduate students for my lab (aerospace/mechanical engineering), I don't so much care if they got a C in, say, thermodynamics or solid mechanics or something, but a series of Cs in calculus is more of a red flag, despite it being early in the academic career. It's not an instant killer, but there is going to have to be some indication that you eventually figured it out later.
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  • UGHBOYUGHBOY 13 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Thank you so much for replying. I forgot to clarify that I am still currently in high school, and I started the calculus mess my junior year. Does that make a difference in the severity of my grades?
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  • UGHBOYUGHBOY 13 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Hi, thank you for the reply and taking your time to write a lengthy explanation. I forgot to mention that I am still in high school and I started the calculus journey my junior year. I do understand calculus if I put in the time. This semester on the calculus 2 retake, I've gotten a 99 and a 93 on two of the chapter tests, so I think that shows I can do it if I put my mind to it.

    My problem is motivation. I am not motivated to study, and it's due to a lot of problems, including my social anxiety, depression, internet addiction, and me just feeling down and lazy. The thing is, I don't want to stop fighting because if I do I feel like I'm succumbing to the bad side of me. The depressed, pathetic side of me. I really want to make something of myself, but I'm just not finding the motivation or strength to.

    Sorry for being over personal. I just feel so lost and alone. Any advice about studying or success or life would help. Lol. Thank you.
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  • UGHBOYUGHBOY 13 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    What about companies? Would they look at my calculus grades, even though they are taken when I am in high school?
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  • UGHBOYUGHBOY 13 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Hey, thanks for the reply. I forgot to explicitly mention that I am currently still in high school and the calculus journey started my junior year. I understand physics is going to require a lot of math. That's why i decided to take calculus early. I wanted to prepare myself earlier and stand out to colleges. The problem is that I wasn't ready for the rigor and I crashed and burned.

    Most of my failures are attributed to my internet addiction, which has grown immensely since 6th grade. As a kid, I was the one out of my siblings and cousins who wouldn't really care for playing games or going online. However, the internet became a way to cope with my social anxiety and depression because as I grew up I got depressed from social anxiety. In addition, i wasn't aware of how bad it is getting because it was an escape from reality, and I was chasing the internet high. Things went unchecked and now I am here, fighting a battle between my depression/social anxiety/internet addiction and my desperate aspirations to become somebody/not give in to my bad side/do space research.

    Any advice would help, honestly.

    Thank you.
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  • UGHBOYUGHBOY 13 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Thank you for replying. You're right, I shouldn't focus on grad school. I was just thinking that it's best to prepare myself for the worst by considering the fact that I may go to grad school. In a dream land far, far away, I have this crazy idea to be an astrophysicist. I know, I know, I am definitely not on the right track. But I still have four years ahead of me and I don't want to throw all dreams away yet.

    My poor grades in calculus is due to my lack of motivation to study because of my internet addiction, social anxiety, and depression.

    Any advice on studying, mental health, life would help.

    Thank you.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28057 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 28,113 Senior Member
    For grad school, as others said, likely no issue. Not gonna matter for most jobs either as they’ll likely just want your graduating college transcripts and you’ll likely have time to deal with the issue if they want the whole ball of wax.
    For professional schools, yes, it can be an issue. They tend to ask for ALL Of your college courses and the GPA they calculate can include those courses. That’s why on this forum, you’ll see warning to kids taking college courses here and there to be careful because those grades can carry over.
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  • UGHBOYUGHBOY 13 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    What is professional school? My far away dream is to be an astrophysicist or something that will allow me to participate in space research. I was thinking that graduate school is the key to that.
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2177 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,207 Senior Member
    Professional schools would be graduate schools in Engineering, Law, and Medicine.
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  • BeaudreauBeaudreau 1120 replies39 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,159 Senior Member
    edited May 17
    Business school (MBA) is also a professional school. Teaching masters programs are another example.
    edited May 17
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