Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

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Bhaal
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Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby Bhaal » Sat May 25, 2013 11:22 pm

Hello everyone. I am pretty new here and so it is a pleasure to virtually meet all of you. I am a soon-to-be sophomore at a SUNY school where I initially started down the pre-med route for the age-old poor reason of appeasing my mother. After a year of nearly all pre-med courses (huge mistake, especially for freshman year), I have a paltry 2.63 university GPA brought up to a 2.95 LSAC GPA due to some community college credits I retain from high school. I feel like a failure right now. I won't make excuses, but several things this past year did not go in my favor. I realized, a bit too late in my opinion, that I hated all these science courses and had no real drive to become a physician as my mother (ironically, neither did she :P), I did not adjust well to having roommates (a bit introverted, need my private space to unwind and meditate), and most importantly, I was arrogant and foolish. I should have studied more, I should have taken my studies more seriously, and should have done what it took to get the grades I wanted, but I grew complacent from my senior year of high school and onward (was one of those AP class-taking, good SAT score A students who didn't put forth much effort and just "got" things).

My first semester of college was okay, but when I thought things wouldn't get worse, the second was a disaster (got a D+ in Cell Biology, had to resign Calculus II). It was a humbling experience and I find it difficult to forgive myself for my stupidity. I was far too lazy and my only consolations are the best friends and motivators I could ask for (whom I dearly miss right now, now that it's summer and we've all gone back to our respective corners of the globe), a wake-up call, in a way, a new-found love of (and major in) psychology, and a serious revisiting of my old childhood dream of being a lawyer. I have done my research on law school admissions, recent troubles law graduates face (so T14 schools are a must, for me), will be shadowing a family friend (and lawyer) later this summer a bit, and genuinely believe I want to practice law (always had a penchant for related subjects such as history, philosophy, political science and, especially, reading/writing).

I have calculated the best GPA I can possibly graduate with at this point (about a 3.7), have changed my major to psychology (after taking, loving, and excelling in psychology 101 last semester), am considering taking a minor in English, and in general am looking forward to a much better year, or so I hope, after this summer, but I still very worried and down at the same time. My goal is either NYU or Columbia (as they are both in my home state and in a large city, which I prefer), and I am not sure if my GPA will be high enough when I apply as the best I can get with straight A semesters (a goal much easier said then done, I am sure... especially after my performance freshman year) and some summer credits at this point is a 3.7 and I cannot truly estimate my performance on the LSAT. I would greatly appreciate any advice from anyone, whether ever in my position or not, in regards to bringing up my GPA, when and how to prepare for the LSAT, and regarding if I still have a realistic chance at any of the top 6 and if not, any of the T-14 in the northeastern U.S./large cities. I could also use some advice regarding soft factors and actually getting a professor or two to know me well enough that they might eventually write recommendation letters for me as, right now, I do not really have any university extracurricular activities and I am a bit shy. I need help with a plan of action. Thank you... and sorry for the long story. :mrgreen:

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Clearly
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby Clearly » Sat May 25, 2013 11:31 pm

Stonybrook?

062914123
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby 062914123 » Sat May 25, 2013 11:36 pm

.
Last edited by 062914123 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Chriz
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby Chriz » Sat May 25, 2013 11:47 pm

I was in a very similar situation. I came into my UG with the expectation of transferring after two years into a pharmacy school. I did alright my first semester but my second semester I failed Calculus, I got C in chemistry and I felt very bad about my situation. I realized I was pretty screwed in terms of being a pharmacist with all of the science and math struggles. I switch my major to political science and the worst grade I ever got after that was one C+ and I never studied and ended up with a 3.49. I realize that is not impressive and I am slightly embarrassed by it but the point is if you work hard in an easier major you could easily get a good GPA.

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dw3
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby dw3 » Sun May 26, 2013 12:07 am

Cop A's ED to CLS fall senior year

Bhaal
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby Bhaal » Sun May 26, 2013 12:14 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:Stonybrook?


I ended up going to Buffalo, actually. I had the same problem with Stonybrook as I did Binghamton... too small of a town for me. :P

bee wrote:I understand your anxiety, but calm down. You're still a freshman. It's smart of you to think so far ahead, but... you're still a freshman. You still have 3 years of college, and you might change your mind about the law at any given time. Concentrate on getting the best possible GPA you can, not just because you want to go to law school, but because it's important. Go out and have a good time. Enjoy being a kid. Travel, work, explore your options. If you still want to be a lawyer by your junior year, think about studying for the LSAT. Study hard for at least 3 or 4 months, and try your damnedest to hit 180. Even better, take a few years off and be a teacher in France or a paralegal or a librarian or whatever else floats your boat. Law school will always be there.

Re: Columbia and NYU. If you can maintain a GPA in the 3.6-3.7 range and get a good LSAT score (172+), both are definitely still possibilities. But by the time you're ready to apply, you might want to escape New York for a bit. You never know.

So really, relax :D


Heh, you remind me of my adviser. I probably convinced the guy I'm insane with my fixation on getting things done within a certain time-frame. However, I do feel I need a plan otherwise then I face the anxiety of uncertainty and thoughts of a dead-end future. Of course, I do agree I should pursue good grades for their own sake.

Chriz wrote:I was in a very similar situation. I came into my UG with the expectation of transferring after two years into a pharmacy school. I did alright my first semester but my second semester I failed Calculus, I got C in chemistry and I felt very bad about my situation. I realized I was pretty screwed in terms of being a pharmacist with all of the science and math struggles. I switch my major to political science and the worst grade I ever got after that was one C+ and I never studied and ended up with a 3.49. I realize that is not impressive and I am slightly embarrassed by it but the point is if you work hard in an easier major you could easily get a good GPA.


From my position, a 3.49 sounds godly right now. :P I wonder if psychology is as easy as some people say, or if it eventually becomes as hard as others rebuke. Regardless, I do know I enjoy it, I just don't see it as a viable future career path and since law school seems to be mostly a numbers game, I just see it as a go-ahead to study whatever I want and will do well in with undergrad.

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Tekrul
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby Tekrul » Sun May 26, 2013 1:10 am

Think of your poor start to undergraduate as the perfect opportunity to show law schools a strong upward grade trajectory, corresponding to the development of your intellectual maturity and offer this whole thing up as a solidly spun addendum.

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sinfiery
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby sinfiery » Sun May 26, 2013 1:23 am

Should probably switch majors to finance or accounting. Easier (or so I'm told) than STEM and can get you a job if law school doesn't pan out.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Sun May 26, 2013 2:19 am

I had a 1.91 my first semester - with a medical addendum to explain why. Graduated with a 3.83. Got HSCCN.

My advice
(a) pick a major where you can get literally ALL As (and maybe a practical one, since philosophy isn't going to help you if you don't end up at LS)
(b) stop being shy... like really, people are nice. "find" a club that helps people that somehow tie into your background, and kick ass at it.
(c) get to know two profs well/kick ASS in their classes so they can really bat for you in their LORs
(d) Look into some summer courses at a community college that gives A+s, and get A+s. Do this at least twice... ideally each summer, especially if you can do them online. IF you can do them online, do them year round to accompany your straight-A major
(e) nail the LSAT
(f) attend a T6

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PDaddy
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby PDaddy » Sun May 26, 2013 4:33 am

Chillax my friend!

In some ways an upward grade trend can be more impressive than a steady trend of high grades. All things being equal you want the latter, but if you recover well and continue to get better as you get older you can use it to your advantage. It gives you a reason to write additional essays to the adcom and even tell a hardship story if you have one.

You see, law school adcoms are looking primarily for leadership, discipline and toughness, and the consistent overachiever typically has not been tested. As someone who knows "struggle", you are less likely to buckle under the pressures of law school, because you have been tested. So write your addendum with that in mind...three to four years from now!

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: Terrible UG Freshman Year, T6/T14 Goal Advice?

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Sun May 26, 2013 9:59 am

Lol, you sound very similar to me (even the SUNY part), except I made the mistake of staying as an apathetic pre-med for all 4 years. Just be glad that you figured it out after only one year.

Switch to an easy major (and/or one you really have a passion for), take as many credits as possible (add in 3-credit auto-As whenever you can), study hard for the LSAT --> Good chance at HCCN.




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