What should I do?

@ubumble : any advice, opinion?

My impression is that throughout your high school career you shied away from hard work and coasted along — you were bored, you were athletic, you were popular. When you had mediocre grades at your first school you went to a private school and didn’t do the work even though you transferred in order to make a new start. You were asked to leave. You say you learned your lesson. However, when you go to take your SAT — something that could help to counter the poor grades — you don’t study.

Now, you would like advice on how to get out of your academic hole and get into a college that is elite enough for you to save face. You aren’t interested in doing the work at a community college. Instead you are hoping your time at an expensive boarding school and your lacrosse skills — or maybe a stint at your father’s real estate company could be your ticket in.

I’m sorry I am being harsh, and I know you are a young person. But my impression is that you come across as entitled and aren’t exhibiting what it takes to get into the colleges you think you should get into.

Frankly, given all this I don’t understand why your parents haven’t hired a college consultant for you. They may have good advice on how to best package an application.

If you were my child I would suggest taking a gap year devoted to community service in your community. Maybe with a nonprofit that deals with the homeless or low cost housing because of your interest in real estate. And most definitely not some foreign travel community service junket.

Study hard and good luck.


Actually, starting community service with the homeless or families living on housing estates or in low cost housing areas RIGHT NOW would be a good idea, regardless of whether you take a gap year after graduation to work in real estate or apply to a PG year.


It won’t be 2.4-2.6. my cumulative unweighted GPA right now is a 2.7 I believe. But optimistically, I could graduate with just over a 3. But I know that depends on me getting straight A’s this year. My parents are currently setting me up with executive function coaching and hopefully that will help. I also want to clarify that I am aware that elite schools are a long shot.

Are you on pace to graduate? If you went from a 3.1 to 2.7, are there classes you need to make up in Summer or a 5th year to hit the necessary required classes to graduate ?

The good thing about life. It’s a marathon. Not a sprint. So you have lots of time to catch up…not just in school…but in life.


Getting straight As senior year is very difficult when you’ve not built the skills. Make your goal something more precise (I will turn in all my assignements on time, I will start “x” 3 days before I think I need to, I will ask for help whenever I get less than a B…)
What classes are you taking this year?
Did you make up any class you got an F or D in?
Ask your GC what your unweighted GPA is at the moment. Calculate your cumulative GPA if you have a 3.1 (similar performance as in 9-10th), a 3.5 (much better performance.) That will be your range – if you have higher than a 3.5 it’ll be a bonus and will open a few more schools.
With a 2.7-2.8 and 1450 (an optimistic score but likely if you prepare with a tutor) here are colleges you can get into: UNC Wilmington, Kennesaw State, URI, Pace, Marist, UMaine, Wentworth.


I am currently on pace to graduate. I wasn’t allowed back because I failed AP Physics.

If you feel that you now have matured to the point that you will apply yourself, work on SAT-prepping in earnest, then retaking the SAT is one way how you can prove to any doubter that you are now on an upward trajectory.

Attending a public college or community college will allow you to “reboot” your GPA history, demonstrating your continuing success so that you can decide if you do want to transfer to another college.

Be humble - don’t just write off any option outright, hopefully you have learned to accept that you are not in a position to be dismissive!

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So it has nothing to do with trying harder or maturing. Adhd is tough on kids. He is probably choosing the wrong words here… He’s not living up to his potential and doesn’t most likely have the strategies or help to do so.

To the OP… First get this and you will probably see yourself in the pages in the book. It has stateriges for life and learning and a classic book.

Secondly, let’s get you some time management and procrastination techniques. Get this book.

Its a great book on strategies tips /tricks that work and studying more efficiently not harder. Like breaking down homework into small segments. It’s a great book for adhd kids and really anyone. Both are quick reads but apply what you learn is the trick.

Biofeedback and Developmental optometry are also great for adhd. Seen it work in person,especially with executive functioning and adhd issues.

I would concentrate on this and not on playing lacrosse honestly. Yes, physical exertion is great for adhd but it’s probably more important to get your study habits and strategies successful and playing sports behind that. This should be a life mission for you.

If your parents have the money to send you anywhere then have them spend the money on you now with tutors, I see executive functioning your going to do and make sure you go to a school with very strong LD support. Don’t worry about the name of the school. Worry about if your going to be able to learn once you get there.

Good Luck.


Thank you for the response. I’m gonna order the books ASAP. I definitely misworded it when I was talking about working harder. I’ve been working hard but it goes further than working hard. It’s a struggle for me even to do my work. But once I get started it’s no problem. But I seemingly pathologically avoid my work. Anyways, this year I’m starting pretty strong so I’m optimistic.


This. You need to know how to manage adhd and coursework….and independently. You can’t just think this will all go away because you set your mind to concentrating. If that were the case, you likely would not be in the boat you are in now. So please…get some help dealing with your attention issues…and understand…it’s harder, not easier when you get to the college level and are living independently.


It’s part of adhd. Your starting strong which is awesome. Depending on how you work breaking down large projects/homework. into smaller parts or doing smaller amount. Take a break then do more works well. But many once they hyperfocus can just get work done. But hyperfocusing can be mentally tiring also. Keep moving forward. But yes, getting started can be the biggest problem. Working in groups can help since others are going to get to work and help you get in to it.


Per your own report, you have ADHD. Your SAT is 90th percentile, which means that of the two million or so people who took the SAT for this year, you did worse than 200,000. That’s not the test score of a prodigy. It’s the test score of a reasonably bright person. And please don’t make excuses for it, that you didn’t study. Most kids don’t actually study for the SAT. There is a reason that it’s called the scholastic APTITUDE test. It is more of an IQ test than the ACT is, which is more achievement based. And don’t make plans based on your future good intentions to study - you won’t do it. And this is all okay! You will do fine in life! You just need to go with what you’re good at.

The reality is that many people with ADHD have INCREDIBLE drive, when it’s something they like and that they’re really interested in, really motivated about. It’s called ADHD hyperfocus, and it’s real. Clearly, you want to make money. You are well-positioned, what with your father being in real estate, to go into the family business, and you make tons and tons of money in real estate, by both commissions and more importantly investment. So go into real estate and get rich and found a family dynasty that will give you a very comfortable life and secure a living for your children, too!

You’re not going to get into the schools that feed into Wall Street firms, and even if you do, you’re not going to survive the intense competition to get to the top of these firms. The only way that you would get into investment banking is if your father owned his own investment banking firm, and hired and groomed you - and maybe not even then.

If going to a non-selective or community college is too much of a blow to your self-esteem, then think of how much of a blow to your self-esteem it’s going to be when you flunk out of there, which is exactly what your past achievement predicts. You don’t have to go to college now! You might decide not to go ever.

Do yourself a HUGE favor, and go into your father’s real estate business. Get your license now, go learn the business. Start cruising around on real estate websites (one is called bigger pockets). Go to the meetings for your local real estate investors, listen. Do this for a year, and then decide if you want to go to college.


SAT does NOT stand for scholastic aptitude test anymore. That acronym (now SAT is not an acronym) was dropped in 1997. The SAT was redesigned in 2016 to be an achievement test…so students can and should prepare/study for it.

OP can absolutely get in to banking, although IB could be unlikely (it is unlikely for most who want to get into it).

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Wow. Remember @skieurope 's constant admonition that CC is to be a welcoming place??!! And to a 17 year old, when we on the internet have at best an incomplete and imperfect understanding of the OP’s situation.

The OP absolutely can get into investment banking (that’s a broad umbrella!) from many schools. Some schools will make it easier than others, but it can be done.


I think I have read that Hofstra has a pretty good finance program. Ditto for Alabama. Still say look at UNC-Charlotte, too. Charlotte is a banking hub.

You might look at going somewhere that is not your dream school first and then trying to transfer into your dream school.


Seconding UNC-Charlotte, great idea!

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Hi there, my son is in a similar grade situation and we have also considered a PG year for him. This year he has taken on a very visible leadership position in his EC and this has caused him to become a leader in the classroom as well. He is proving he is mature enough for college and has really turned it around the last five weeks. I don’t want to do the $65k boarding school tuition if he’s on the right track now. I know he does not have the grades to go to an elite, and even if he could get into a competitive college due to his ECs, I don’t think he is ready because he coasted for three years and learned very little. So he will need a supportive environment with kids from diverse educational backgrounds, one that is patient with the fact that he might be behind in some areas. I just thought I’d bring this up because I recommend the same for you. If you need a list of supportive colleges, start a new thread and people will be glad to help.

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I also wanted to suggest that you apply to BOTH prep schools and colleges, that way you can keep your options open.


Update: at the interim I have 4 As and 3 Bs taking 3 AP courses, 1 GT(like an AP except without the test), 1 Dual enrollment class, 2 honors classes, and an on-grade class for my arts requirement. I know these grades aren’t exactly amazing but it is a drastic improvement from last year. I’m also studying hard for my SAT(50+ practice questions a day on khan academy). I’m averaging a 1530 on practice tests(which don’t account for the extra time I get). While I still have the issues with focusing that I had last year, things are very different than now than they were previously. It also has helped me seeing my brother who struggled in high school(not to the same extent as me though) excel in college. I guess seeing his dedication demonstrated to me what I need to do if I want to be successful. Unfortunately due to my focus on my education it isn’t likely that I will be playing lacrosse this year. Fortunately, I am an active member of MUN and JSU at my school and I am active in a religious youth group. How will postgrad schools look at this drastic improvement? Assuming my grades are similar in a PG year, how much will this improve my college options?

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