Close

09/04/2019

Depressed high school student looking to get a top GPA in college, any tips?

QUESTION
Depressed high school student looking to get a top GPA in college, any tips?
So my first two years of high school I went to a deep depression and due to the limitations in my environment, I was not able to get the top GPA that I really wanted. My last two years of high school I managed to make top notch grades.

I am what you would call a “late bloomer”. My environment was not extremely supportive and lets say that crime, gangs, and drive by shootings were common things, the town I currently live in as a high school senior is a poor town and I was not around the best crowd.

The high school I did get into was a high school which challenged its students, it was a magnet level school and I really did not take advantage of the opportunities given to me. I will be going to a tier 4 ranked university on a pretty good scholarship, my GPA is a 3.2 right now in high school.

My goal is to get a 3.8 or above and after my sophomore year transfer to a better university. I have two questions.

1. How can I get a 3.8 or above GPA in college? What can I do?

2. Is it possible for me to transfer from a tier 4 university to Georgetown, Tufts, or Cornell?

ANSWER
You have a excellent attitude and motivation–don’t give up if friends/family tell you to ‘settle.’

G-town may cost a bit more than your tier 4 school, but a G-town degree may bring you further in work and grad school. It sounds like you care more about doing well than simply having a mediocre college degree to obtain a banal job.

1) How to do well: Recognize that college is more intense than high school, and plan accordingly. Study, and chat with your professors in their offices to show them that you are interested in the material, and are a nice person. Ask your profs if they recommend any supplemental reading, and then read it! Make friends who have the same goals that you do, as opposed to friends who purposefully sought to go to a party school. Friends help each other, personally, and professionally. Also, it might be best to take classes that show your intellectual prowess, yet are doable for you. Note: if you are awful at, say, math, take the basic required math courses, but no more. Highlight your strengths.

2) Don’t ask if it is possible–just do it. Call their admissions offices and ask if their transfer students have ever come from tier 4 schools; even if they say “generally no,” it means that there is a chance. Do well, obtain stellar written recommendations from your professors, and write a compelling personal essay. Since you come from unique circumstances, it might be worth it for you to include your background in this essay, to show schools that you contribute to socioeconomic (and possibly cultural) diversity. Visit prospective schools to show why you want to be there, *and* to show that you are the kind of sophisticated, collared-shirt-ish student that they like.

Forget about your high school depression (unless it really is an issue, in which case, please see a medical professional) unless G-town asks for high school transcript, in which case you should include a little explanatory statement for the grades. You’ve left your old neighborhood and are free to focus on your *real* life.

Good luck. It may be difficult, but do not give up 🙂