Probably won't be admitted to USC (LONG THREAD)

SAT/ACT: n/a
HS GPA: I don’t even remember
(never taken honors or ap classes)
EC: Did a lot of community service in hs, was captain of the culinary team my senior year

I’ve never taken school seriously. My first two years in high school I decided that I was going to attend a community college because of how poorly I did my freshman year. Knowing that I was going to a CC after high school, I cruised through the rest of the school years not worrying about my grades. I didn’t even take the SAT or ACT (still haven’t). Committing to going to a CC was my excuse to not take my education seriously.

I’m currently in my second year of community college at IVC and I’m now realizing how screwed I am. At the time, I had aspirations of becoming a Physical Therapist so I had started looking at USC’s DPT program. The courses weren’t anything that I’ve never heard of so I thought they’d be a walk in the park. However, the transition from high school to college was quite difficult on me and it affected my grades drastically. I ended up with all C’s in: Bio 1, Intro Gen/Org Biochem and a Writing 1 class. After my first semester I decided to take classes that I thought was going to help me transfer to USC. But it turns out those classes aren’t transferable. They definitely boosted my 2.0 GPA; but that doesn’t matter since the classes aren’t transferable.

COVID hit during the end of my 2020 spring semester and it wasn’t easy. At the end of the semester I ended up with a 3.67 (with the non-transferable classes) and decided to take a summer course while working full time as a prep-cook. Taking that class was by far the worst mistake I made in 2020. I thought I could juggle working full time and taking an 8 week trigonometry course all at the same time. I came home every night extremely exhausted and without the energy to wake up for my 8AM trig class the next day. The only free time I had was spent watching hours and hours of lecture recordings. To no surprise I ended up getting a F in that class which dropped my cumulative gpa down to a 2.28.

During the first couple of months of the initial lockdown I realized that maybe going down the DPT route wasn’t for me. I started to recognize that I stopped being proactive in learning about kinesiology and fitness. I was more focused on trying to prevent myself from looking older than I actually am; I was trying to prevent myself from balding. I found so much joy and comfort researching about the medicinal treatments that there are about hair loss prevention. And as a very young adult male, this topic isn’t something that we are very well educated on. I want to be the person people come to for questions about hair loss since no one was there for me when I had these questions.

I’m now focusing on transferring to USC’s school of Gerontology in hopes to becoming a dermatologist that specializes in hair loss. I hope to start applying to different schools by my junior year at IVC, but that means I’ll have to take summer courses to get myself caught up. I always talk about how I’m going to transfer to USC but I don’t actually have the grades/extra curriculars to back up my claim. All in all, I’m a below average student that has aspirations that may be too high to achieve.

I think it’s great that you’ve figured out what direction you want to go. There are plenty of schools other than USC so even if that doesn’t eventually pan out, can you go somewhere else? I don’t think your grades should doom your future. If you commit yourself to school going forward, you can turn things around. Good for you for figuring out what you’re interested in pursuing, and that it’s a field where you’ll help others.

There are other schools with gerontology programs, some of them online. Look at UMass Boston’s undergrad gerontology as an example.

If your grades do not allow for admission as a matriculated student, you can take classes as an unmatriculated student, earn good grades, and then apply for admission— at schools that allow that path.

Is there anything you can do about that F? Retake? Talk to an advisor? If you were depressed or stressed, perhaps it could be converted to a W with documentation. This can be done retroactively. It does sound like the job was too much when you were taking a tough class. Talk to someone if you can.

I haven’t looked at any other schools besides USC (bad idea). USC has been my dream school since middle school. However, not being admitted won’t be the end of the world for me. I’m definitely going to look at more schools with gerontology programs that are preferably in state. I also put in a one month notice at my job so I could focus primarily on school.

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I would prefer to stay in state to avoid the out of state tuition. But I’m going to start looking at other schools besides USC. I plan on scheduling an appointment with one of my schools counselors to talk about all my grades and my academic plan going forward.

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Your story is inspiring and I commend you for your aspirations. It definitely wouldn’t hurt to shoot your admissions counselor an email and tell them about your story and your situation. I’m a senior in HS right now and usually maintained around a 3.65 GPA. Then, at the beginning of the year, I broke my hand. Distance learning made everything pretty difficult and my GPA dropped to a 3.2. So, my solution was to send my admissions counselor an email and then try for the rest of the year. Decisions still aren’t out but all I can do at this point is hope and pray for the best. Nothing beats a fail but a try and I think that there might be a chance for you to get admitted if you try talking to your admissions counselor. Good luck, I’m rooting for you!