Nedlam’s Corner

Dear Nedlam,

With college coming closer I've become really nervous, especially since my grades this quarter aren't the best and I applied to some top tier schools. Some of those schools are my dream schools and it's crushing to think that just because I've had some trouble this quarter that it will prevent me from getting in. Is there anything I can do to either ease my worries or help my application?


Distressed and a Mess.


Dear Distressed and a Mess,

The first thing I recommend is taking a deep breath. I know it's difficult to be stuck with a past that you can't change but you have to first deal with that in order to move on, feel better, and hopefully help yourself improve. The best thing to start with is owning up to both what you could've done better and also identifying the factors that occurred that deterred you even if they couldn't be helped. It's easy to see why throwing in the towel would be tempting at this point but one setback doesn't define your whole application. Colleges will be able to see your final grades from the past three years as well as your other accomplishments, your test scores, clubs, and writing pieces that you’ve submitted. However, even with that in mind I know it’s hard to be at ease, especially when applying to schools where most of the applicants seem “perfect”, but you have to remember the unique qualities that make you who you are. Some top tier schools require interviews which provide you with another opportunity to showcase what you’ll be able to bring to the college. Even though grades do matter, colleges want to create diverse communities and if you bring something to their campus that they don’t already have it helps your case.

Another thing I think is really important is to create a plan to do better next quarter. It might not reach colleges in time but the colleges you do get accepted to will be able to see that you’ve worked hard to improve and didn’t just slack off once you got accepted.

The last thing I can really say about this topic is, don’t sweat it too much. I don’t want to be annoying, but in all honesty, grades aren’t everything. Plenty of wealthy and famous people have gone to community colleges (Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Walt Disney, Ross Perot Sr.- Texas billionaire, George Lucas, etc.) and in the end, college is about preparing you for whatever your future job ends up being. As long as you enjoy your life and so with it things that make you happy, who cares where you end up? Hope this helps! Good luck! 🙂

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