Help an underachiever please..!

<p>Hello everyone. I'm looking for some advice from people who can help me with my situation. Well I just finished 9th grade(I'll be in 10th in a month) and my year sucked. I was in all core(no advanced) classes and messed up in all of them. I have a 71 average and get usually 1 B, 6 C's and an F each marking period. I go to mediocre high school in NYC and I feel like I ended any and all hope of getting into a top 15 college. I really want to do I-Banking after college and to do that, I need to get into a "Target School", in other words I need to get into an IVY, Stanford, UMich or NYU. In 10th grade, I'll most likely be in all normal classes and I know it's an important year. I've done nothing with my summers and to be honest, I have nothing I'm passionate about. I've always been told that I have the potential to get a 95 average ever since 6th grade but I've never done it. In middle school, I was always a B student who always got 100's on test but never done homework or studied. It seems like that's catching up to me now. How do you guys with the straight A's and GREAT EC's do it? I always see people with these out of the world EC's such as built homes in Haiti, won these large music awards, worked with Senators and important people, worked with MIT professors, etc...how'd you find out about them and how can someone like me get to do it? I'm currently ranked in the middle of my class and 95% of the students here only worry about their clothes, phone, reputation and sex. I will probably only be able to take 1 or 2 Ap's from now to college app time since my horrible start has set me back so I'm going to have to self study alot....how will I go about doing this? I've talked to my GC about this and she didn't even know what self studying was. Will I be able to sit for a AP test if I studied on my own...will the GC have a say in this? So to sum this up, how do I get great grades(straight A's), my school ISNT HARD AT ALL but I just don't study for try. Im not motivated by anything, I know what I want to do in life and I know what I need to do to get there, I just don't seem to listen to myself(im lazy)? How/Where do I find these EC's people do, how can I make myself competitive again in the college admissions?
My backround: Black male, 33k/year income from mom(live with mom only). My school send almost everyone to community college and unknown 4 yr colleges. Help me pls. :)</p>

<p>EDIT: I've been studying for the SAT's from the BB and if I get a 2250+ and get atleast a 95 average from 10th grade on, will I be competitive for Princeton and Stanford?</p>

<p>Try investing in stocks (equities) or derivatives. It scintillated my economic curiosity and now it is one of my passions. I had a rather mediocre freshmen year, however, some colleges recalculate overall GPA and exclude freshmen year: Stanford, Princeton, U of M, UC Berkeley. You would be an apt student for Princeton or Stanford, in my opinion, if you could pull of those stats and find an interesting passion.</p>

<p>"I really want to do I-Banking after college and to do that, I need to get into a "Target School", in other words I need to get into an IVY, Stanford, UMich or NYU."</p>

<p>I've never heard that before.</p>

<p>"if I get a 2250+ and get atleast a 95 average from 10th grade on, will I be competitive for Princeton and Stanford? "</p>

<p>It will probably take more than that to beat that 9 percent admit rate.</p>

<p>Your background and environment is certainly not conducive to a successful high school career. I believe schools like Princeton and Stanford don't look at freshman grades which you should take car of, but it is unfortunate that you're only in normal rather than advanced classes. You've dug yourself into a hole too deep i believe. But given your background and URM status, maybe you could go to a solid school but I'm not sure about such top schools.</p>

<p>If you have scored high on the standardized tests you have been taking each year, that should qualify you to take AP classes. Start studying, do the homework, etc. and you can pull up your gpa. Try some activities, clubs or sports and see what you like and then focus on those activities. Opportunities come about by being involved, developing a passion and a network of others with similar interests. Good luck. When I first read your post I thought you had already scored 2250 on practice SAT. In any event, starting to study now for SAT will definitely pay off down the road.</p>

<p>I'll try to give you some advice:
- Continue studying for the SAT and score really well (we're looking at perhaps 2000+). The higher the better, though once you pass the 2300 mark, it really doesn't make a difference.
- Work really hard in 10th grade so that it qualifies you for advanced classes in your junior year. This is essential.
- Start developing ECs. Even though you don't have a passion, explore! By joining clubs and asking about volunteer opportunities, you may eventually find something that you're interested in!
- Develop some truthful friendships with your favorite teachers! Good recommendations are almost as important as your SAT score.</p>

<p>Just keep pushing through! It seems that you have found a motivation all by yourself (your desire for top schools), so think about that desire while doing schoolwork, ECs, etc... You can do it!</p>

<p>@OhioMom3000: At this point, his 2250+ is completely hypothetical. And if he did pull it off (which would be extremely impressive... talk about top... maybe 0.5% of the US/the world?), it wouldn't necessarily qualify him for AP classes. There is almost zero correlation between AP Exams and SAT I scores, no matter what CB claims.</p>

<p>^ Yes, I did not see the "if" when referring to 2250 score. Considering he gets 100s on tests without studying, he may score high on the yearly standardized tests and if so, he would qualify for AP classes, I would imagine. That's how it was for my son. I would have to see his standarized test scores. If they are in 99 - 95 percentile, he could score around 2250 on SATs, if he starts studying now.</p>

<p>I think you could have a good shot at U of M and NYU. I am not familiar with requirements of the other schools you listed.</p>

<p>Thank you everyone who has responded, I really appreciate it. My "dream" school is Princeton, seeing as they don't count freshman year, I'll pretty much have a fresh start start there. Would taking regular classes 10th grade year kill my chances?</p>

<p>Princeton and Stanford have dismal acceptance rates.
Princeton = 9%
Stanford = 7%</p>

<p>Do the best you can and see what happens. What type of scores do you get on your yearly standardized tests, Iowa, etc? If you score high 90s on those, talk to your guidance counselor and see if you can take any honors or AP classes. If not, see if your school allows you to take AP test anyway. Some do. Check with GC, Principal or Superintendent. Then study and do the homework. And develop interest in some activites.</p>

<p>You have to immediately start doing some good work. For the most part, people get their good grades from working hard, every night, all year. Do all of your homework, and put a lot of effort into it.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I really want to do I-Banking after college and to do that, I need to get into a "Target School", in other words I need to get into an IVY, Stanford, UMich or NYU. In 10th grade,

[/quote]
Why do you want to do I-Banking? Money? Anyway, just get the best grades you can. Don't worry about what colleges just yet. The Ivies and Stanford may not be an option when application season comes around, but don't worry about that. If you start an upward trajectory, you can still go to a good college, and then you can continue to do well there and hopefully transfer. Also, some caveats:
- those are not the only colleges that recruit I-Bankers.
- you may find something that you like more than I-Banking, so keep your mind open.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I've done nothing with my summers and to be honest, I have nothing I'm passionate about.

[/quote]
Start doing as much as you can. Find small volunteer jobs or play a sport you've never pursued before. Try to find things that you like to develop passion, because it doesn't come out of nothing. Try to be passionate about learning, because then doing lots of work for school is easy. You don't have to be focused on one field just yet. Pick up lots of books and read them.</p>

<p>^ I've been putting in time at local YMCA (about 60 hours this summer).</p>