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Low GPA... Is there hope for me?

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Hi everyone,

I am a recent graduate with my degree in speech, language hearing sciences. Reality hit me recently that I have a 2.8 GPA as a result of some tough life events and also prioritizing fun over studying throughout my college career.

I am extremely passionate about the field and have been since I declared my major as a freshman in college, and there is nothing in the world I want more than to get into graduate school and pursue this passion. I know for a fact that there is not 'plan B' for me because this field is for me. 

I am taking a year off to recuperate and get my act together, however, I'm feeling really discouraged, regretful, and lost because of the GPA situation that I am in right now. I know I am capable of a lot more but didn't stay as proactive as I should've throughout my undergrad years.

I volunteered with a school SLP for a year, taught English in Thailand for a summer, and I've been accepted into a volunteer program in a hospital SLP setting, and I am studying for the GRE.

Like I said, I feel very lost and I would appreciate if anyone has some insight on things I could do to get myself into a grad program for Fall '19, or if anyone has been in a similar situation as me and what they did to prove themselves on their applications. 

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You seem to be heading in a positive direction! Here are some things to consider. Graduate schools are interested in hearing people's stories. If you have over come diversity, that is not a slight against anyone, and usually seen as a strength. What is important to keep in mind is that there are a limited number of programs and an abundance of  applicants at these schools. In my experience, what is important is the ability to convey yourself as someone that a program is willing to take a risk on. If they take someone who  doesn't possess the qualities needed to be successful, then they have wasted everyone's time and lost money. Colleges are money making businesses, and they don't like being on the losing end. 2.8 will not be high enough for any programs. You will need to come in above a 3.0 to be competitive, many schools above 3.5. The GRE is also heavily weighted. Are you a good standardized test taker? If you are then this is a great way to make yourself competitive. I have heard of people with low 3's for a GPA be accepted to a program because they had a high GRE score. By high, I mean more than 300 total. Keep building experiences, but there is no way of getting around taking more courses. Perhaps retaking some CSD courses online could help, as would a second bachelors degree or a minor. Regret has no place in life, leave it in the rear view mirror and focus on what can be done. Nothing is impossible! If this is your calling, make it happen! Good luck ?

Edited by fromteachingtospeeching

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I don't want to discourage you, and if this is what you are truly passionate about you should definitely pursue it. However, I would consider retaking some of the classes you didn't do well in. I think getting A's in classes the second time around shows your dedication to the field and that you are serious about SLP as a profession. Then, I would continue to pad your resume and application in other areas. Good GREs, a lot of relevant work and volunteer experience, good letters of recommendation that can attest to you as a person and your work ethic, as well as why you fit into the field. Then honestly, do research on EdFind and look for programs who may have lower GPA requirements. Some of the larger more competitive schools only accept students with high GPAs. My undergraduate school would tell people to not bother applying to their program unless you had a 3.5 at least. That being said, it was a Top 10 school/program so they were able to require that of people. Smaller programs can have just as much reputation and can provide just as good of an education without having such high expectations of their applicants. 

When I was starting senior year in the fall, my undergraduate program director told us that applications work like this: A board combs through all the applicants and selects the ones they think best fit the cohort. Then they take it to whoever is in charge of the graduate school in general. They person has to approve these applicants and has the authority to refuse them. If an applicant is worth making an argument for, and worth putting up a fight for, the board will make a case for that student. (Now, I don't know how true this is. It might have been a scare tactic but I lived by it in my application process because it made me really think "What will make me stand out? What makes me worth fighting for?")

When writing your letter of intent/personal statement, I would explain the your struggles in undergrad and then how you have changed what you learned from it. Then connect it to why that would make you a great SLP. 

It comes down to more than GPA. I honestly believe that this bump in the road should not deter you from this field if that is genuinely what you want to do. Do some research and maybe contact some of the programs you may be interested and see if they recommend anything to make your resume look better for next year's applications. Programs are usually very helpful if you are honest and express interest in them. 

Best of luck to you! Do not give up! 

Edited by Jordyn_M463
Additional info (:

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If you want it that bad, GO FOR IT! Maybe try retaking some of your classes. I’m in similar situation and I’m doing all of the jobs/volunteering I can! Look on ASHA and also look into programs that look at your last 60 hours GPA, if you did better in those hours. If you’re passionate about it, show them that in your personal statement and also show the people you will be getting letters of reccomendation from how passionate you are, so they can also relay the message. Best of luck to you!! 

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I agree with what everyone else has said! However, I just want to make sure you know that most of the time graduate schools require a minimum GPA of a 3.0 just to apply. So in your time off make sure to retake some classes you know you could definitely do better in, and hopefully you'll be able to meet the 3.0 to apply. I admire your determination! When you do apply, tell your story but don't let it become an excuse and also make sure you write about how you learned and grew from that experience!

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Thank you everyone for your encouragement and helpful information! I appreciate it so much.

I’m not quite familiar with how post-bacc classes work— how to get started on them, requirements, finding the right classes online and what not so if someone could be so kind as to shed some light on that I would greatly appreciate it!

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I felt the same way you did. My undergrad GPA is a 2.9, my CSD GPA is 3.2, and my last 60 units aren't far from that range. My GRE scores were barely average. I'd like to think that I have very good experience: I worked as an ABA therapist in a special ed classroom, I volunteered at a speech clinic for almost 2 years, and I volunteered doing speech therapy abroad as well. My LORs were from a professor (this was a prof I volunteered with, I did not take their class), my work supervisor, and a SLP I volunteered with. 

I took a year off after I graduated to work and then applied to 10 programs. Surprisingly, I was invited to interview with 5 of them! I was waitlisted to 2 schools and accepted to 1! :) 

Everyone who posted has really good advice! My advice to you would be to research schools on ASHA that have admitted students with low GPAs and receive fewer applications than the average. Apply to new programs, they will have less applicants. Be willing to relocate, I'm from CA and applied to schools all over the country. Message me and I'll give you the list of schools I applied to! 

Good luck!!!

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Yes yes and yes! There is hope! My undergrad gpa was a 2.5 and I just completed my first year of grad school! I was a post-bacc (3.7 post bacc gpa). I raised my overall gpa to a 2.8 and my last 60 credits were above a 3.0. And you would think schools would see I didn’t have a degree in speech so they’d look at the post-bacc but nope. ?  it took me 2 application cycles to get accepted but I made it. It IS possible!!

If you can afford it, take some extra classes. I took a couple extra psych classes and sign language (and anatomy to raise my gpa and to use as my bio class for ASHA requirements instead of the C I got in genetics) during my year off at community college. I also took an aural rehab class online thru Utah state over the summer because some schools wanted that. Now I don’t have to take it this fall in school! 

Keep gaining experience. Work at a hospital or skilled nursing as a rehab tech. Work as a paraprofessional. Volunteer in a hospital. Anything! 

Check out Saint Ambrose in Iowa. Their minimum is a 2.8 overall gpa but they want B or higher in those ASHA requirements. Also, reach out to schools and find out what they will look at. 

Overall, don’t feel discouraged. It will happen when it’s meant to be. I was accepted the week before the semester started. Anything is possible ?

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YES! There is absolutely, 100% hope. I had the same GPA as you did and got into one of the four schools I applied to in my first application cycle! Here's the things I focused on:

-Doing as well as I could in my prerequisite classes. Since you were a CSD major, if you're going to retake any classes, I'd take those ones.

-Doing as well as I could on my GRE. If you are planning on submitting your apps this December, I would take the GRE ASAP to get a feel for your score now so you can work to improve it. You'll need to take it again at the end of the summer, early fall, so you can get the scores sent over to the schools without having to worry about it being late. I am naturally a good test taker so I didn't have to do anything too crazy, but I did buy a GRE book after taking it the first time, and went over the stuff I had more trouble with. If you have a low GPA I think it's a really, really good idea to get great GRE scores if possible.

-Crafting a really excellent LOI. I worked SO hard on my LOI, keeping it short and sweet but still touching on all the things I wanted to focus on. I talked about finding the field, what it meant to me, and how I wish I'd known about it sooner (because then I would've focused more on school, rather than my full-time job as a restaurant manager). Your LOI will obviously be different because you were in a CSD program, but I'm sure you can write something great. I looooove to edit so if you want a second set of eyes on it, message me and I'll send you my email! (This offer is open to anyone reading this, BTW!)

-Getting great LORs. Everyone told me I should really get 3 professors... but I wasn't close with very many professors in undergrad (went to a commuter school, worked 24/7). I got just one letter from the one professor I knew very well, one letter from the owner of the private practice I shadowed at, and one letter from my former boss. All these people absolutely loved me, believed in me, and wanted to see me succeed. That was MUCH more important than just proving to admissions that I could get 3 professors to write a letter. When you're asking for LORs, make sure you tell the recommenders what you need them to write. If you're doing it by email, explain the field to them (if necessary) and explain the type of characteristics grad schools look for. They'll use that email to write your letter, which is perfect!

-Getting experience. Seems like you are already doing great on this front, so don't stress. I would try and really shine in that hospital internship so you can get an LOR from your supervisor there! Since I had zero experience in the field, I did an internship at a private practice.

-Trusting the process. Seriously, worrying about it will NOT HELP. Do everything you can now, there's absolutely no use wasting energy thinking about the past, regretting past decisions or thinking about what might have been. I am a strong believer in the law of attraction, so I would literally picture myself reading an admissions letter all the time! Weird maybe but anything helps!

The school I am going to (Emerson) is one of the top 20 programs in the country, Don't feel like you have to settle or apply to the weirdest programs super far from you just to have a chance. Look on their websites and see their minimum requirements. Emerson didn't have any GPA requirement which was awesome! Look for schools that DO care about the GRE--if they don't care about the GRE, it means they probably REALLY care about GPA. Get hella organized. Make an excel spreadsheet of all the schools you want to apply to, with the requirements and deadlines laid out in front of you. Decide right away if you're retaking classes, and do that ASAP. Figure out your timeline and absolutely crush it!

I seriously believe in you so much. If you have passion for this field, you will make it work!!! Good luck and keep us updated!!

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18 hours ago, pinkypink said:

Hi everyone,

I am a recent graduate with my degree in speech, language hearing sciences. Reality hit me recently that I have a 2.8 GPA as a result of some tough life events and also prioritizing fun over studying throughout my college career.

I am extremely passionate about the field and have been since I declared my major as a freshman in college, and there is nothing in the world I want more than to get into graduate school and pursue this passion. I know for a fact that there is not 'plan B' for me because this field is for me. 

I am taking a year off to recuperate and get my act together, however, I'm feeling really discouraged, regretful, and lost because of the GPA situation that I am in right now. I know I am capable of a lot more but didn't stay as proactive as I should've throughout my undergrad years.

I volunteered with a school SLP for a year, taught English in Thailand for a summer, and I've been accepted into a volunteer program in a hospital SLP setting, and I am studying for the GRE.

Like I said, I feel very lost and I would appreciate if anyone has some insight on things I could do to get myself into a grad program for Fall '19, or if anyone has been in a similar situation as me and what they did to prove themselves on their applications. 

I think there's hope but I would definitely recommend jumping in this summer and start retaking some of your classes.  I had less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA and did a post bacc program and got close to a 4.0.  I think as long as these programs see that you're making an effort to improve yourself (and your application) they will give you a shot. 

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On 5/11/2018 at 4:59 AM, Jbslp95 said:

YES! There is absolutely, 100% hope. I had the same GPA as you did and got into one of the four schools I applied to in my first application cycle! Here's the things I focused on:

-Doing as well as I could in my prerequisite classes. Since you were a CSD major, if you're going to retake any classes, I'd take those ones.

-Doing as well as I could on my GRE. If you are planning on submitting your apps this December, I would take the GRE ASAP to get a feel for your score now so you can work to improve it. You'll need to take it again at the end of the summer, early fall, so you can get the scores sent over to the schools without having to worry about it being late. I am naturally a good test taker so I didn't have to do anything too crazy, but I did buy a GRE book after taking it the first time, and went over the stuff I had more trouble with. If you have a low GPA I think it's a really, really good idea to get great GRE scores if possible.

-Crafting a really excellent LOI. I worked SO hard on my LOI, keeping it short and sweet but still touching on all the things I wanted to focus on. I talked about finding the field, what it meant to me, and how I wish I'd known about it sooner (because then I would've focused more on school, rather than my full-time job as a restaurant manager). Your LOI will obviously be different because you were in a CSD program, but I'm sure you can write something great. I looooove to edit so if you want a second set of eyes on it, message me and I'll send you my email! (This offer is open to anyone reading this, BTW!)

-Getting great LORs. Everyone told me I should really get 3 professors... but I wasn't close with very many professors in undergrad (went to a commuter school, worked 24/7). I got just one letter from the one professor I knew very well, one letter from the owner of the private practice I shadowed at, and one letter from my former boss. All these people absolutely loved me, believed in me, and wanted to see me succeed. That was MUCH more important than just proving to admissions that I could get 3 professors to write a letter. When you're asking for LORs, make sure you tell the recommenders what you need them to write. If you're doing it by email, explain the field to them (if necessary) and explain the type of characteristics grad schools look for. They'll use that email to write your letter, which is perfect!

-Getting experience. Seems like you are already doing great on this front, so don't stress. I would try and really shine in that hospital internship so you can get an LOR from your supervisor there! Since I had zero experience in the field, I did an internship at a private practice.

-Trusting the process. Seriously, worrying about it will NOT HELP. Do everything you can now, there's absolutely no use wasting energy thinking about the past, regretting past decisions or thinking about what might have been. I am a strong believer in the law of attraction, so I would literally picture myself reading an admissions letter all the time! Weird maybe but anything helps!

The school I am going to (Emerson) is one of the top 20 programs in the country, Don't feel like you have to settle or apply to the weirdest programs super far from you just to have a chance. Look on their websites and see their minimum requirements. Emerson didn't have any GPA requirement which was awesome! Look for schools that DO care about the GRE--if they don't care about the GRE, it means they probably REALLY care about GPA. Get hella organized. Make an excel spreadsheet of all the schools you want to apply to, with the requirements and deadlines laid out in front of you. Decide right away if you're retaking classes, and do that ASAP. Figure out your timeline and absolutely crush it!

I seriously believe in you so much. If you have passion for this field, you will make it work!!! Good luck and keep us updated!!

Thank you so much for this! I definitely needed some sort of direction and to know that I'm not hopeless. I will DEFINITELY keep you updated on how this goes for me (fingers crossed!) and would love for you to look over my LOI... I'm a lot less anxious and a lot more excited for the future.

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Just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone for all the insight and encouragement. Seriously, I felt a little lost and now I feel more comfortable in my abilities and I feel like there was no need to doubt myself in the first place. I may have had some bumps in the road and made some mistakes but that doesn't change the experience I have, and will gain in the field and the passion that I have. I'm excited for the future and I'm excited to keep y'all posted as things fall into place.

I have NO idea how post-bacc programs work, or how to even get started in one, or what programs are good, especially for a graduate CSD major who is looking into CSD classes, and class equivalents, and how to add that to your cumulative GPA... I'll be reaching out to some old professors soon but in the meantime, any words of wisdom?! Anything is appreciated, as I am clueless and newly graduated and just trying to get a start on fixing up myself for my grad applications!! 

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On 5/11/2018 at 7:26 AM, WesttoEast18 said:

I think there's hope but I would definitely recommend jumping in this summer and start retaking some of your classes.  I had less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA and did a post bacc program and got close to a 4.0.  I think as long as these programs see that you're making an effort to improve yourself (and your application) they will give you a shot. 

How can I begin looking into post-bacc and how exactly does it work!?

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7 hours ago, pinkypink said:

How can I begin looking into post-bacc and how exactly does it work!?

If you just want to retake a few classes it might be easier to take them as individual courses. A number of schools have in person and online programs. The catch is that if you don't do an official post-bacc program then you won't qualify for financial aid and will have to pay out of pocket- to get financial aid look for "certificate" programs and do the entire post-bacc. There are a bunch of reasonably priced options out there, and if you're okay with online classes this greatly widens your options. I did my post-bacc online through Pacific University. Other programs that cone to mind are UVM, Northwestern, ENMU, and Idaho State. Search past threads for other options. There's an application process for a post-bacc but it's not like a real college application, they typically just want your information and educational background, and maybe a brief personal statement. I found the process to be pretty smooth and have enjoyed my program.

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Just wanted to let all of u know.  My son who had a low gpa barely 3.0 last sixty 

he scored 148 149 and 4 writing on gre got into grad school a couple of days ago. We believe he got in due to the fact he visited the campus and spoke with the department head before he applied.  He also gave them a resume.   He was denied at first and then a couple of days ago they accepted him.  The depart head said she was pulling for him. 

 

It it is possible don’t give up. 

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Just came here to say THERE'S HOPE! I was in your shoes too! Had a 3.1 undergrad and 3.2 post bacc and just got into ECU. All it takes is one! Good luck!

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YES! There is definitely hope. But, DO NOT give up. I graduated with a 2.54 GPA (So yes, lower than you). I had an undiagnosed learning disability until the age of 24 (graduated from undergrad at 22). I was told by 3 professors at my undergrad that I would never be accepted into a graduate program and to "highly consider" switching career paths. Ironically, this made me more determined to get in. I worked as an SLP-A for 5 years and retook some classes to bring my GPA up to a 2.9. I applied to 9 schools and was accepted to two schools and waitlisted at another. While it was a long process, in the end, it was all worth it! I would look at applying to schools that look at the application holistically, rather than those that base their decision on GPA and GRE scores alone.

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On 5/13/2018 at 5:19 PM, Gogirl said:

Just wanted to let all of u know.  My son who had a low gpa barely 3.0 last sixty 

he scored 148 149 and 4 writing on gre got into grad school a couple of days ago. We believe he got in due to the fact he visited the campus and spoke with the department head before he applied.  He also gave them a resume.   He was denied at first and then a couple of days ago they accepted him.  The depart head said she was pulling for him. 

 

It it is possible don’t give up. 

please do tell what schools these were! my stats are similar as well.

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13 hours ago, mimithebellydancer said:

please do tell what schools these were! my stats are similar as well.

My GPA is 2.99 and my GRE scores are V=146, Q=143, AW=4.0. I was accepted to Portland State and Pacific U. Don't give up!

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Thank you for this discussion.  It gives me hope that one day I will be able to get into a school.  My problem is that I have to take an online program but at least I was waitlisted for one.  Gives me a little hope.  I really hate how my grades from 20 years ago are holding me back.  

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On 5/11/2018 at 4:59 AM, Jbslp95 said:

YES! There is absolutely, 100% hope. I had the same GPA as you did and got into one of the four schools I applied to in my first application cycle! Here's the things I focused on:

-Doing as well as I could in my prerequisite classes. Since you were a CSD major, if you're going to retake any classes, I'd take those ones.

-Doing as well as I could on my GRE. If you are planning on submitting your apps this December, I would take the GRE ASAP to get a feel for your score now so you can work to improve it. You'll need to take it again at the end of the summer, early fall, so you can get the scores sent over to the schools without having to worry about it being late. I am naturally a good test taker so I didn't have to do anything too crazy, but I did buy a GRE book after taking it the first time, and went over the stuff I had more trouble with. If you have a low GPA I think it's a really, really good idea to get great GRE scores if possible.

-Crafting a really excellent LOI. I worked SO hard on my LOI, keeping it short and sweet but still touching on all the things I wanted to focus on. I talked about finding the field, what it meant to me, and how I wish I'd known about it sooner (because then I would've focused more on school, rather than my full-time job as a restaurant manager). Your LOI will obviously be different because you were in a CSD program, but I'm sure you can write something great. I looooove to edit so if you want a second set of eyes on it, message me and I'll send you my email! (This offer is open to anyone reading this, BTW!)

-Getting great LORs. Everyone told me I should really get 3 professors... but I wasn't close with very many professors in undergrad (went to a commuter school, worked 24/7). I got just one letter from the one professor I knew very well, one letter from the owner of the private practice I shadowed at, and one letter from my former boss. All these people absolutely loved me, believed in me, and wanted to see me succeed. That was MUCH more important than just proving to admissions that I could get 3 professors to write a letter. When you're asking for LORs, make sure you tell the recommenders what you need them to write. If you're doing it by email, explain the field to them (if necessary) and explain the type of characteristics grad schools look for. They'll use that email to write your letter, which is perfect!

-Getting experience. Seems like you are already doing great on this front, so don't stress. I would try and really shine in that hospital internship so you can get an LOR from your supervisor there! Since I had zero experience in the field, I did an internship at a private practice.

-Trusting the process. Seriously, worrying about it will NOT HELP. Do everything you can now, there's absolutely no use wasting energy thinking about the past, regretting past decisions or thinking about what might have been. I am a strong believer in the law of attraction, so I would literally picture myself reading an admissions letter all the time! Weird maybe but anything helps!

The school I am going to (Emerson) is one of the top 20 programs in the country, Don't feel like you have to settle or apply to the weirdest programs super far from you just to have a chance. Look on their websites and see their minimum requirements. Emerson didn't have any GPA requirement which was awesome! Look for schools that DO care about the GRE--if they don't care about the GRE, it means they probably REALLY care about GPA. Get hella organized. Make an excel spreadsheet of all the schools you want to apply to, with the requirements and deadlines laid out in front of you. Decide right away if you're retaking classes, and do that ASAP. Figure out your timeline and absolutely crush it!

I seriously believe in you so much. If you have passion for this field, you will make it work!!! Good luck and keep us updated!!

Hey!

I'm going through programs and looking at admission requirements and I noticed that most programs make it a requirement to have a GPA over 3.0 to even submit your application. Since you had a GPA similar to mine, I'm wondering how (and possible which programs) you found that didn't have a GPA requirement.  

Also, did you stick to your GPA and run with it while applying or did you take additional coursework after graduating?

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Hey! So I was not in a position where I could move for grad school, so my choices were pretty limited. I live in MA so I had 6 schools I could apply to in-state, and only 4 that were close enough that I could realistically commute. So I applied to those four schools (Emerson, northeastern, BU, and MGH). 

IIRC, northeastern was the only school to list a GPA requirement. I applied to that one anyway because I was still taking the prerequisites (I don’t have a CSD background so there were 5 courses I had to take). Deep down I totally knew that whatever I got in those courses would not be enough to bring me up to the requirement (pretty sure it was 3.3). I applied but obviously got rejected.

not sure if this was helpful at all but let me know if you have any more questions! 

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14 hours ago, Gogirl said:

He got into unk kearney.  We really believe it was because he visited the campus prior to applying. 

Thank you for sharing! 

Definitely helps me realize that a low GPA doesn't mean it is the end for me as long as I'm persistent. :)

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