I did really bad this year (freshman year). What can I do to get back on track?

So this year I got bad grades (a D in chemistry and apush), did absolutely no extracurriculars, and haven’t even started with my service hours. At the beginning of the school year I had aspirations to get into really good colleges and I still do but now I’m lost. I just couldn’t adjust to normal school life after a year of online learning (while most of my classmates were able to) and I still have no idea what I’m interested in. Can anyone share any advice?

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hello! sorry i’m So late but what u can do is Go to tutoring if ur having Any trouble with ur homework! and also study hard when there’s an Upcoming test!

It is ok to not take AP/Honors in Freshman/Sophomore Year. Do not push yourself too hard. Take normal courses and get the GPA back up.

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What do you think was the main reason for your low grades? Without knowing more about that, it’s hard to offer advice.

Be honest with yourself and us. Then we can try to help.

Generally, one thing students find hard about high school is the pressure to do well in anticipation of applying to high school. Take classes you can manage (don’t try to load up on every hard class), and always see the teacher for extra help BEFORE the class gets really hard and before you find yourself falling behind. Be disciplined about doing your homework. You can I love your grades and there is still plenty of time to change course and have a successful time in high school.

For starters, you should take a step back and take a deep breathe. Even if you don’t have a GPA of 3.99, there are, literally, hundreds of really good and excellent colleges to which you would be accepted. Despite what you may read here on CC, around 75% of all students how attend a 4 year college attend colleges which have acceptance rates of over 50%.

Not attending Yale, Duke, or Northwestern does not doom you to a live of penury, hard labor, and intellectual destitution. Not being accepted to Harvard, UChicago, USC, WashU, or NYU does not mean that you won’t be going to a college, or even that you won’t be going to an excellent college.

OK, now that we got that out of the way, a few words of advice:

First, take the advice given to you about tutoring, about studying, and about taking care of yourself. All of it is excellent advice, and will help you a lot.

Second, high school is about doing well in high school, not about “getting into a good college”.

College is not a goal or an aspiration. College is just one more segment in your journey. You should not plan your life with “accepted to a good college” as some sort of end point. You should choose your college based on what your high school years look like, not try and curate your high school for the purpose of Being Accepted To A Good College.

Focus on doing well, taking care of yourself, and developing as a person. Leave college thoughts to the middle of junior year.

Good luck!


Figure out what’s wrong and try something to address it. It’ll take some humility and being honest with yourself, and then you’ll need to change things, which is also hard. You need to want this enough to actually do the work, skip the social media, not hang out with friends before or after school, and a bunch of other not fun stuff. Getting excellent grades usually takes a lot of boring, grinding work. You’ll need to want awesome grades more than the things you’ll have to give up to get them. This is not always easy to live with, and frequently turns out to not be true.

The next step is to use all the resources your school provides: form study groups with friends, go to your teachers’ open office hours for help, if there’s a tutoring service at your school show up. They can all provide different supports for whatever might be your issue. If you aren’t following what’s being explained most teachers are happy to try another approach for interested students. If you have a learning disability like dyslexia then tutors can help diagnose it and show you techniques for working around the places where you have trouble. If you are lazy then having your friends call you and expecting you to do your share of the work will get your butt moving.

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Incredibly well-said!

Thank you.