got a C+ and other bad grades bc extenuating circumstances -- what are my chances at top colleges?

So basically freshman year I got a B+, B, B-, and C+ in both semesters of bio and geometry (both honors classes) but from then on I proceeded to get straight As.
so GPA: 3.88 uw/4.47 w
without freshman year: 4.0 uw/ 4.71 w
SAT 1: 1600
SAT 2: bio e/m(790), literature 800, us history 800, modern hebrew 770
APs: Music Theory 5, Bio 4, research 5, English lang 5, APUSH 5, Euro 5
APs to take next year: Physics, Art, Seminar, Lit, Econ/Gov, Pysch, Calc BC

Extracurriculars: Editor in chief of school lit mag, captain of model UN team, editor in chief of an international youth literary magazine, editor in chief of school newspaper, published in Pulitzer prize winning newspapers such as LA Times, NY Times, huffington post, etc and teen vogue, head of school political advocacy club, write for local jewish newspaper, fiction mentor for writing workshop, intern for (name hidden due to privacy) museum and write informational pieces, started charity to write for my religion, poetry reader for a national lit mag, am currently in city council with position in education, debate team, theatre, and photography, started school’s national english honors society, performed in local shaksphere production (with a famous actor which was super cool)

lots of volunteering (20,000+ hours), head of charity in school, v important to me, volunteer for underprivliged children, local hospital, started own charity for writing, social media coordinator for international charity of education

awards: Scholastic art and writing (can’t be too specific due to privacy issues but) multiple gold medals, (name hidden) award for essay small but won cash award and was published, won international poetry contest with over 6000 entrants, Youngarts winner and US Presidential scholar of the arts finalist, won a large scholarship (25k) in a major award for thesis on intertextuality in modern storytelling versus classic lit, MIT Inspire winner, semifinalist for another award in poetry, won japanese poetry comp, lots of journalism awards, again lots of awards in volunteering including fund to start own charity, and lots of other misc awards from local things and tournaments for debate/writing/etc

income bracket: mid middle class
ethnicity: white

Job/Work Experience: worked at synagogue, was paid assistant to a writing agent for one summer
Volunteer/Community service: refer to ec
Summer Activities: went to v prestigious journalism camp, mentorship from semi-prestigious writing journal, taught at local writers workshop, and went to prestigious writing workshop
Essays: will be about education and how much it matters to me, can’t go too much into detail yet bc not finished but as a writer I think it’s very well written and I usually hate my own stuff
Teacher Recommendations: AP Euro teacher who call me “the greatest writer she’s read in years”, and english teacher who’s really seen me grown and understands me
Additional Rec: depends on what school I apply to – if i even think about HYPS for stanford a past alum in english, for harvard a NYT bestselling alum, and for others could have recs — I’m friends w a lot of famous authors through an online book blog I have who have read my writing and think I have potential
Supplementary Material: probs thesis that won 25k, jewish course info bc I go to a religious school

so – how does the C+ affect me? I mean personally I think that bc the B- and B+ were in bio, and I took AP bio and got A’s both semesters so obviously I know the subject, but I never retook geometry. And even though it’s totally unrelated to my intended major (english w an empasis on creative writing) I’m still worried. also during that year a very close family member passed away so I’ll be writign that too plus it was freshman year.

I do hope you don’t plan claim 20,000 hours of volunteer work on your applications. A full time job eats up about 2,000 hours per year. Don’t worry about the grades, if anything they show improvement.

@CTScoutmom whoops I added in an extra zero – meant to say 2000+ not 20,000+ lol.

I dont think your freshman grades are going to impact your application. Some schools don’t even look at freshman year and you obviously turned your grades around and the rest of your application is solid. Always be sure to have match and safety schools too! (True for everyone!)

But the presentation: make sure you know what matters to the target schools. Eg, it’s not being online friends with authors, the extra supps need to be carefully thought out, alums may not have the pull you think, and “best writer in years” likely refers to in class, not in the world. And try to understand the point of the app essay. It’s not a position paper and needs to incorporate show, not tell (of the college app sort.) they look for qualities and want to see how you’ll fit in the class, not your future potential. Please know that a lot of kids write, write for various venues and win scholastic sorts of awards.

Your EC’s seem to be nearly all writing, or arts related. The other things get a bit lost in there and we barely get an idea of the vol activities (outside writing) or your role, commitent, whether it adds to rounding and perspective or is just go-go energy.

I agree the freshman grades may not hold you back, but how they factor depends on the competition from your area, how much you offer (traits, not awards) that they find compelling, vs other applicants. You want to show the right perspective and your match, to the colleges, not just your own greatness. Be savvy.

Closing thread. The OP created a second account to ask the question, which is not allowed.