<p>I am currently a junior in high school. During second quarter, I was going through a lot of problems. One of my friends passed away, and a slight drop in my grades killed my confidence and got me even more depressed. As a result, I bombed second quarter and ended up with a "b-" in ap chemistry, a "b" in ap biology, and a "b+" in ap psychology for the 1st semester. Im not going to use my sorry attitude as an excuse for my grades. I just want to know what colleges will think about my low 1st semester marks. I know that I can get the grades up in second semester to an "A" or an "A-". I also know however, that junior year is the most important year of high school, and the one that colleges look at the most. I feel as though I have effectively bombed any chance I had to get into a competitive college because my low 1st semester grades signify a drop in performance, which is the worst thing that a student could possibly do. How much will these grades hurt me when I am applying to competitive colleges? Will an uptick during 2nd semester cover up for it? What will colleges think about the slight dip in grades from my underclassman years to the end of junior year?

<p>You have an option to write about why your grades dropped on your app. Assuming those marks aren't common for you, if you talk about your friend's passing (sorry for your loss) then that can and probably will be taken as a valid excuse. </p>

<p>Your chances aren't ruined.</p>

<p>An uptick during the second semester will definitely help. </p>

<p>If you explain the situation, then admissions would probably understand and forgive the uncommon lapse. The same thing happened to me when my best friend died during my second semester of junior year. Colleges, surprising to some, are actually very understanding of personal problems. </p>

<p>You have a chance! Relax!</p>

<p>Another thing to consider -- is your Guidance Counsellor aware of what you were going through. This is the kind of thing that can be put in his/her recommendation letter (and might have more weight than coming from you).</p>