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Should I just give up?


NeilM

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Due to overwhelming myself and severe depression, I will get not one but TWO failing grades this semester. I'm graduating in six days and have absolutely no chance of dropping the classes or getting an incomplete or anything like that. I am a biochemistry major and neither of the classes are in my major, but I only have a 3.3/4.0 GPA and I've been in undergrad for 5.5 years.

Also, when applying for PhD programs I really, really overestimated my intelligence and chances and basically applied to top schools like Chicago and Penn. I applied because that's where I want to go, and that was a huge mistake. 

So now even if I get accepted into any PhD program, they are likely to revoke acceptance because of my two failing grades. The grades can't be changed and will be on my transcript forever. Should I just give up on trying to be a scientist?

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Hi there,

 

I may not help much but I probably had the similar problem you did but back in 2012. I graduated Chemistry with a GPA of 2.88 (overall transferred from Community college 3.12/ 4.0). It was not good, IMO. I didn't fail any, but I came close to it. My first question to you is, what will your GPA be after the 2 classes? (Let's say you got a C in both) 

I applied to grad school (I graduated in Dec 2012) but of course I was rejected. It took me a while to find a job (due to my International student status, not many companies want to invest in a Entry Level Chem Graduate International Student. I was lucky enough I found a job, associate scientist, and they helped me tremendously to grow as a person. Nothing bad bad will come if you don't get into  grad school per se, I'd say, take a few years off school, get a job and see how you like it?  You're still a scientist even though you're not a "PhD" IMO. If you really want to pursue grad school, go ahead, when you have gathered enough experience. My experience in my job helped me get to my current school. My current school gave me opportunities I may not get in industry and gave me strength and confidence to apply to top schools. I'd say, go big or go home (that's just me lol) 

I have applied to PhD Program for 4 years (2013, 2016, 2017 and now 2019) I really want to get a PhD that's why I"m so determined to get one. At some point, I felt like giving up as well. But I have people around me, encouraging me. My friends, my family, my then boyfriend, now husband. :) IF that is what you want to be, age does not matter. Take your time to get to know yourself first I'd say. 

I hope this help. Anyway, if you need more help, you can always msg me. :)

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4 minutes ago, NeilM said:

Thank you very much for sharing your story. I will be trying to apply to lab assistant positions around me along with other jobs. I'm sure that your dedication will get you into a PhD program this year!

I'm definitely getting 2 F grades, I know it. I think my GPA will be 3.2 afterward if I did my math well, which isn't a really big drop overall.

Have you spoken with the professors of these courses about your situation? They may be willing to at least let you pass or allow a makeup assignment. A stretch I know, but at this point it's worth it! 

Aside from that, I second what @StHoly said. There is a lot to be gained from working for a few years before applying to grad school (as a lab assistant or in another data/research related field). It's a good buffer against the burnout that can happen for attending school for 10+ years straight; it allows you to make some money and payoff your existing loans and save up for grad school;  and it gives you great experience and makes you more competitive for higher ranked programs. It may also illuminate a different career path for you - several of my friends who worked after undergrad ended up enjoying their new jobs (and salaries!) and didn't end up applying the following year. Finally, I think a break would be a great chance to recharge, especially if you're feeling overwhelmed and dealing with depression.

Good luck! Remember that you'll be working for another 30+ years at least, so taking an extra year or two is a drop in the bucket.  

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I also wanna add, I understand how incredibly nerve-wrecking this is. And after all the rejections from the graduate school,  I began to question my self-worth, and if I'm a real scientist. But don't give up. Even though it is easier said than done. Find  the right people (friends/ family/ SO), they will support you through hard time. :)

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9 minutes ago, StHoly said:

I may not help much but I probably had the similar problem you did but back in 2012. I graduated Chemistry with a GPA of 2.88 (overall transferred from Community college 3.12/ 4.0). It was not good, IMO. I didn't fail any, but I came close to it. My first question to you is, what will your GPA be after the 2 classes? (Let's say you got a C in both) 

Thank you very much for sharing your story. I will be trying to apply to lab assistant positions around me along with other jobs. I'm sure that your dedication will get you into a PhD program this year!

I'm definitely getting 2 F grades, I know it. I think my GPA will be 3.2 afterward if I did my math well, which isn't a really big drop overall.

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5 minutes ago, NeilM said:

Thank you very much for sharing your story. I will be trying to apply to lab assistant positions around me along with other jobs. I'm sure that your dedication will get you into a PhD program this year!

I'm definitely getting 2 F grades, I know it. I think my GPA will be 3.2 afterward if I did my math well, which isn't a really big drop overall.

Also next time when you apply again (assuming you didn't get in this time, touchwood), you can mention in your SOP saying why you didnt pass the two classes. I'm sure they will see why. But you got back up and ready for more research!! 

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20 minutes ago, dougie said:

Have you spoken with the professors of these courses about your situation? They may be willing to at least let you pass or allow a makeup assignment. A stretch I know, but at this point it's worth it! 

I did, both classes are under the same professor. She basically said it's out of her hands, which I understand. Thank you for your advice!

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On 12/14/2018 at 7:26 PM, NeilM said:

Due to overwhelming myself and severe depression, I will get not one but TWO failing grades this semester. I'm graduating in six days and have absolutely no chance of dropping the classes or getting an incomplete or anything like that. I am a biochemistry major and neither of the classes are in my major, but I only have a 3.3/4.0 GPA and I've been in undergrad for 5.5 years.

Also, when applying for PhD programs I really, really overestimated my intelligence and chances and basically applied to top schools like Chicago and Penn. I applied because that's where I want to go, and that was a huge mistake. 

So now even if I get accepted into any PhD program, they are likely to revoke acceptance because of my two failing grades. The grades can't be changed and will be on my transcript forever. Should I just give up on trying to be a scientist?

It took me almost 9 years to graduate with my bachelors. I took time off, transferred from a junior college to a really good research university where I didn't do very well due to extenuating circumstances  (2.99/4.0 GPA,  overall GPA of 3.4/4.0). I had a few years of undergrad research under my belt and was hired as a tech after I graduated, and applied to a 2-year postbac program to become more competitive for grad school. I applied this cycle and have 3 interviews at good institutions. You might think it looks messy right now, but there are many paths to what you want! You can PM me if you have any questions :) 

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21 hours ago, SpinningGold said:

It took me almost 9 years to graduate with my bachelors. I took time off, transferred from a junior college to a really good research university where I didn't do very well due to extenuating circumstances  (2.99/4.0 GPA,  overall GPA of 3.4/4.0). I had a few years of undergrad research under my belt and was hired as a tech after I graduated, and applied to a 2-year postbac program to become more competitive for grad school. I applied this cycle and have 3 interviews at good institutions. You might think it looks messy right now, but there are many paths to what you want! You can PM me if you have any questions :) 

Thank you very much for the advice!

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