I’m so stressed about college

Hi! I’m Maria and i’m 16 :slight_smile: Well, starting with my dilemma. I had an eating disorder that put me in the hospital my entire freshman and sophomore year and i did no work during that time (obviously, i was more worried about dying) due to that, i only have a 2.9 GPA. I am wonderful in Language Arts and Science (A’s) so i’m not completely stupid even though i tell myself i am most of the time lol. My main struggle is Algebra. I am in Liberal Arts and listed as a Sophomore in everything (yearbook, registration, etc.) My guidance Counselor says that is just a formality and i will graduate on time as my friends, but i obviously don’t believe her. I have 6 credits now, will do 5 this year and am taking 7 next year to do the 18 credit plan. I am just so worried i will never make it into college, i cry every night over this (COVID didn’t help me at all:)) i’ve been considering dropping out for a year to regain my mental stability since i’m still young and there’s a huge chance i won’t even graduate at all, i just know it. So, my question is, what college will even accept a student like me? I can not go to community ( my parents are very picky and my sister burned out so bad, but she still went to a 4 year university.) I hope this wasn’t too long and someone could help me :frowning: thank you!!

Hi @MariasMeadow, your health (mental and physical) is the MOST important thing for you to attend to right now. If you take care of yourself, everything else in your life will follow. There are colleges for every kind of student. Many people have early hurdles in life or are late-bloomers and succeed on their own terms when they are ready. Please read (if you can order it or find it at a library) the book -Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be- by Frank Bruni. Also, look into the book -Colleges That Change Lives-.

I’m surprised to hear that your parents would not consider a community college for you after the frightening ordeal of your long hospitalization. Do you have the ongoing support of a therapist at this time, who can help you cope with the things you’re worried about and to help you put issues into perspective? A therapist can also help you to find ways to communicate with parents. Also, try to reach out to any teachers you like and trust as well, even if it’s only via your computer…teachers can become supportive mentors if you let them. Show them that you want to understand the material and to do well in school. I believe many/most teachers care about their students and will go the extra mile to help.

College is still a long time away. Yes, there are schools who will take students with your GPA, but you have time to bring up your GPA to open up more possibilities. It’s promising that you are making some A’s in subjects you like. It’s OK if you don’t do as well in some subjects as others as long as you do the homework and get help from teachers with whatever you don’t understand. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to attend an elite college to do well in life. I know it’s hard not to worry, but worrying will take up a lot of the time and energy you could be putting toward staying healthy, enjoying your life AND finding joy in your studies (the path more likely leading to your eventual success in college and beyond).

Hi @MariasMeadow. I just wanted to start by saying that I feel for you so much. I also missed significant amounts of school for eating disorder treatment and I know the intense anxiety and fear that accompanies it. I am here for you - if you ever need someone to talk to, PM me.

As @inthegarden said, your mental and physical health are the #1 priority AT ALL TIMES. School comes secondary. If you feel you need to take more time off from school to focus on your health, definitely do so, especially given we’re living in the middle of a pandemic. It may seem like you’re getting farther and farther away from your goals, but the truth is, it is actually bringing you closer. The biggest regret I have from my experience in treatment is trying to rush through it to get back to “normal life” faster, only to relapse countless times and end back up in square one because I didn’t take the time to actually heal. Especially since college can be a major trigger for many, it’s 110% worth reaching a solid place in recovery while you’re still in high school.

Colleges will understand missed time due to medical reasons - unfortunately, thousands of high schoolers are in the same boat as us, so this is nothing new. You do not have to disclose your eating disorder, but you can mention (and your GC can as well) that extenuating medical circumstances impacted your high school career. From what I can see, you have very strong grades. You’re showing that you’re an academically rigorous student, and even though your GPA doesn’t reflect that, colleges will know.

You can get into college. I promise. My roommate in treatment nearly died and missed 4 months of her junior year. People assumed she would never recover, let alone attend college. After reaching a stable place in recovery, she is now attending Yale. I don’t say this to shame you or pressure you into attending an Ivy/T20; I say this to show that your ED does not have to define you and that you can be successful. But it will require that you are in a strong place mentally and physically.

Please prioritize your health. Be gentle with yourself. And know that you are not alone :slight_smile: