Went from top of my class to failure...

<p>I graduated high school top 10% of my class, accepted at a top 10 engineering emchanical engineering program. I'm entering my Sophomore year Spring semester and have a GPA of... 1.48 </p>

<p>First it was just me being blown aback by the difference in difficulty of course material after going to an easy high school, but then the most recent semester, it was more of me being to prideful to take tutoring help when I fell behind (I had personal issues I failed to resole) and here I am.</p>

<p>I don't know how I got here. I'm scared. I'm scared I won't find a job. Heck, I'm scared I will never get an internship.</p>

<p>I'm sitting at home. I can't sleep. I can barely eat. Just wondering if there is any chance for me at all to actually be successful after college. I feel like even if I work my butt off for the next 2.5 years, it won't matter. My GPA will still suck. My GPA won't be anywhere near "ok" when next fall comes when I want to apply for internships for Junior summer. </p>

<p>So...what I'm asking...</p>

<p>I'm screwed aren't I? I can't make anything of myself without spending extra time in school (which i can't afford at this place) or changing my major to something I don't care about.</p>

<p>Please be blunt and honest. I need reality.</p>

<p>Are you in community college or 4-yr university? If you’re at CC then when you transfer to University, some school will use the better “letter” grade if you wish to repeat a course.</p>

<p>There is always hope. Life seems scary right now but you can always turn things around. Things may not be perfect by the end of your sophomore year but you could have a good enough GPA by your Junior year if you really work at things. </p>

<p>Just push for the best grades you can get and try to get involved with research or hands on engineering clubs to gain some good references or skills. These things can help you stand out at career fairs, even if you you don’t have a perfect GPA. One kid I know managed to talk his way into a CS internship without the people ever seeing his GPA, which was between 2.0-2.5, since he never put it on his r</p>

<p>Also, if possible, retake some of the courses you did worst at.</p>

<p>One of my dad’s engineering classmates barely got through college, but went on to start one of the largest structural engineering firms in their state. If you work hard, everything will be OK.</p>

<p>You can only move forward from here on out. Work like you’ve never worked before.</p>

<p>Worst case scenario, reassess your inherent ability and change majors and keep going. What else can you do, right?</p>

<p>I know this may sound like a cliche, but you can try to view your current predicament as an opportunity to prove yourself. You are being challenged, presumably for the first time in your life, and it’s up to you to decide whether to throw in the towel or whether you have the inner strength to persevere.</p>

<p>For me, my academic collapse happened in high school. I was an unhappy teenager who focused more on athletics than academics, and I ended up graduating (barely) with a grades that made me ineligible for any college. I had to swallow my pride and relearn everything at a community college.</p>

<p>First, you need to ask yourself some real, honest questions. Are you really putting in the amount of effort it takes to succeed in a top ranked engineering school? How many all-nighters did you pull as a freshman? Are you attending every lecture or are you skipping them? If so, are you paying attention, or are you playing on your laptop/ipad? Are you taking advantage of office hours and review sessions? Every successful college student learns pretty quickly that office hours are vital, especially for the most difficult courses. Don’t let pride get in the way. I honestly believe that humility is one of the most important virtues for any scientist or engineer.</p>

<p>If you can get through this and succeed, I think you’ll look back at this and realize that it made you a better person. In fact, you may even be able to talk about it in job interviews or even in your personal statement for a graduate school application. DON’T GIVE UP! Be strong, and good luck!</p>

<p>If you find yourself having trouble in engineering, you can always reassess yourself by taking some interest inventory, and see what your aptitudes are. You are not in your senior year of college. You still have time to change your major. Things sometimes doesn’t work out, but don’t worry!</p>

<p>I’m going to disagree with the advice in here because while it might apply in most situations, it really isn’t applicable to this one.
I’ll address your concerns individually.</p>


This one is actually really simple. You got here because you thought that the effort that would put you in the top 10% of your class would be enough to propel you through a difficult major with minimal effort. Not too uncommon a mistake to make, actually. This happens to a lot of students.
I was in the top 1% of my high school class, and I got there with minimal effort. Not even remotely possible in engineering. Aptitude makes things move much, much more quickly, but it’s no substitute for a LOT of work.</p>


Definitely justified. But your position can change.</p>


Math says that this is pretty much true. If you were going to get straight A’s in difficult courses, you already would have. But even that wouldn’t put you up to the 3.0 threshold for easy internship placement in just a single semester. Even more trouble is that you aren’t CS, so you aren’t in enough demand to get away with it.</p>





<p><a href=“which%20i%20can’t%20afford%20at%20this%20place”>quote</a>



<p>While your predicament is far from uncommon, it’s unfortunately not an easy one to fix. There is no “magic bullet” solution that will solve your problem and wipe your failure clean. There is only the obvious solution which you already know.

  1. Drop out. With a terrible first year and mental scarring from the experience, you will never bring your GPA over 3.0, much less 3.5 or so. Even if you can retake the classes and fix your GPA, do you have either the money or mental state to get through the school?
  2. Take the rest of the semester off to do something useful. Probably get a job because you’ll definitely need money.
  3. Enroll in a community college. Most people in the top 10% of their class can easily find a way to make it free.
  4. Do better.</p>

<p>Were it just the problem of bad grades, I’d suggest you simply talk to your advisor and see if he/she could tell you if there is anything you could do to fix your grade (there probably is). But I don’t think that would be enough for you, would it? </p>

<p>Sometimes, the best solution is the painful yet obvious one. I’m sure you know what you have to do, even if you don’t want to do it.</p>

<p>The thing is, it’s not like I can’t do the work. I sit in lecture, and nothing goes over my head. It’s just hard paying attention because I can’t focus, studying is more difficult than it should be, and I let a lot of tiny things get to me that never have before.</p>

<p>It’s gotten to the point where I’m probably going to see a therapist when I get back on campus because I feel like I’m about to explode with a lot of things I’ve held in for a long time, most unrelated to school.</p>

<p>But, I’m guessing the general consensus is, I’m not getting an internship, not getting a job, and can only succeed if I start my own business?</p>

<p>I love my major though my GPA says otherwise. I’ve always been a person who can only work hard when I’m driven to. Working toward something I don’t care for just doesn’t fly.</p>

<p>And I can’t drop out, even if I wanted to. I’ve been keeping my grades a secret from my parents. If they knew, I would be out of the house in no time, and I have no one to turn to.</p>


Can’t do the work because you’re not capable? Doubt it.
Can’t do the work because of unresolved mental strains? Most certainly.</p>


No, that’s just your conclusion based on a preconceived notion of doom. None of the posts here imply or state that whatsoever.</p>


“If I don’t receive instant gratification for the work I put in, then I won’t do any work.”
I know that’s not quite what you mean or think, but that’s the end result of it. Education is seldom pleasant, and you’ll just have to learn to live with it. It’s only pleasant if it’s easy. Hard isn’t fun.</p>


Whether or not the consequences are as bad as you think (9 times out of 10, they won’t be), you really can’t hide your grades. They’re not going to improve for a long time, and contrary to popular belief, delaying bad news makes it worse rather than better. Not to mention the problem of eventually having to show your parents your grades is not going to go away or stop bothering you while you attend classes and such. You’re adding a burden on yourself for no reason other than a short-sighted fear of reprisal. Unless you’re very good at managing stress (no you’re not), that’s the type of thing that really eats away at you for weeks on end, sapping your strength, and there’s nothing you can do until you resolve the problem.</p>

<p>Believe me, the consequences are what they are. My older sister flunked out of college her freshman year and my Dad pulled a knife on her and threatened to kill her. The only reason she still lives with us is because she is the oldest (golden child) and is now following my Dad’s decisions for her career path so she can work under him. I don’t have such option.</p>

<p>What would you guys say is the minimum GPA at which a company would bother interviewing a student?</p>

<p>And is it possible to get a job in the end when you haven’t gotten an internship?</p>

<p>My school doesn’t drop grades when you retake the class. Both stay on your transcript, and both factor in to your GPA. Courses you take elsewhere to transfer in also don’t count toward your GPA.</p>

<p>What’s done is done. Now start working to improve! You have complete 3 semesters, and have 5 to go. Assuming you can hold things together at home, you can do this. Not everyone graduates with a 3.5 - what GPA do you need to graduate? Once you have your degree, it can’t be taken away. Yes, it will be more difficult to find a job, but not impossible. Yes, it will be difficult to get a foot in the door, but if you turn things around, and do well the latter half of your college career, you will position yourself to get a good job - it will just take time. Just as colleges look at the whole HS picture, when you’re fresh out of college, employers will look at your whole college transcript. Maybe you will have a moderate GPA around 2.5, but what will your GPA be within your major? Most of the classes you took as a freshman don’t count toward that, so you have the opportunity to do well there. What about trend? You started out with poor grades, but have the opportunity to show improvement - an employer would rather take a chance on someone with that profile than one who had a 4.0 as a freshman, who then has a 2.0 within their major.</p>


That’s pretty bad, but nevertheless you’re going to have to deal with this problem sooner or later in some way or other. There’s no way that they’ll never find out.</p>


Big companies: policy says 3.0 or higher.
Picky companies: 3.5 or higher to be taken seriously
Small companies: just prove competence and they’ll be willing to “risk” hiring you. You’ll have to look a bit harder if this is the only way you can go.</p>


In recession times, you’re fighting an uphill battle if you have no internships. But there’s always a way to fix things if you really care to try.</p>


Sucks but such is life. But even in your situation, it’s a manageable problem.
What is your major GPA? That’s also pretty important.</p>

<p>Can let your situation dictate you or you can dictate your situations. If you want better grades, study more and get help. If you want to resolve stress and mental health, talk to someone and don’t let them hold you down. Since you go to a top 10 engineering school, I am sure the resources needed for both of these things are abundant. Sitting by and hoping things change themselves won’t help. Being proactive goes a long way. </p>

<p>Far as internship goes that is a uphill battle. Could look into doing research or anything remotely related to engineering. You don’t want somebody to look at your resume and not be able to tell if you are actually interested in major or not.</p>

<p>Bookmarked because of similar concerns. </p>

<p>I’m curious; what classes have you taken so far, and what are your highest and lowest grades?</p>

<p>I’ve only taken 3 courses that are specifically for my major. I have gotten a C, D, and F. I plan on retaking the F over the summer at another college (assuming spring goes well and I continue going to college) as well as the next course after that that I should be have been taking this spring but I can’t since I failed the per-requisite.</p>

<p>They don’t take into account grades transferred in on my transcript GPA, but can I still count it myself when I compute an in-major GPA to put on my measly resume? I have plenty of courses left in my major, which gives me hope, but not much hope…</p>

<p>You guys say join clubs/programs in my group related to my major? Like what? A “society” type thing, or one that does projects like a robotics club or something? I don’t feel like I qualify for the latter.</p>

<p>Putting your major GPA instead of your total GPA is definitely an option. The 3.0 requirement is pretty much just company policy, and is basically a way to pre-prune through a large stack of resumes. Get past that, and your other qualifications now matter and not your GPA.
Basically, if you can put some relevant GPA that matters as above 3.0 without lying, you can have a very strong chance of finding an internship/job.</p>

<p>The robotics club example is a good one for the type of hands on club u should join. In college, you don’t have to know how to do anything specific to the club to be able to join it (in general). You use them to learn how to do things. </p>

<p>For example, at my school with a robotics club I am a part of, some kids learn to use CAD and design the chassis of the robot. Others learn to work with hardware and even learn to program so they can make the robot do certain things. There are lots of valuable things you can take out of a club like that if you get really involved, including getting some leadership roles.</p>

<p>“I’ve only taken 3 courses that are specifically for my major. I have gotten a C, D, and F”</p>

<p>How far have you gotten in your math and physics sequence? Have you taken chemistry or statics yet?</p>