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Success stories of getting into mid-tier UC's with bad junior year grades?

, [edited]

So the first semester of junior has wrapped up, with any ups and downs. Actually...just mostly downs. Many downs. I was going through a horrible depression-like phase for about 6 months, and my gpa this semester is a 3.3. I got 3 A's, 1 B+, 1 B-, and 1 C (I hate AP Bio). Considering I got a 3.66 and a 4.0 in sophomore year, this is a huge drop.This was definitely my worst semester of high school ever, and I have no idea if I will even have a chance at my dream school, UC Santa Barbara. Does anyone know success stories of getting into a mid-tier UC while having horrible grades in junior year (which affects not only the normal gpa but the UC gpa)? I really need motivation to keep going:(


1 answer

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hey! first, i hope you're taking care of yourself. it sounds like you've had a really rough fall, and things like college should only be secondary thoughts when it comes to stuff like mental health.

i hope it also makes you feel better to hear that, while those grades aren't the best they could be, they're definitely not going to disqualify you from getting into UCSB. first off, that's only one semester out of four that the UCs look at, and it sounds like your sophomore year grades were pretty fantastic, which will help compensate. it sounds like you have a 3.7 right now (the average of those three) and your junior spring could end up pulling that up as well.

also—even in a "bad" semester—you still pulled through with 3 As and a B+. it might feel like you struggled a lot, but by those actual grades, the majority of your work was still really good. it might feel really bad in the moment, but one C really isn't going to make or break anyone's application to almost any school. the important things now are to try and bounce back as much as you can in the spring, which might be more about focusing on out-of-school stuff as it is about in-school stuff. like i said at the start, make sure you take care of yourself first, because if things are affecting you outside of school, it's always going to affect your work too—there's nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it.

also, if it helps as well, i knew someone who got into UCSB with a 3.5 a couple of years ago (out-of-state too), which is a few points below what yours would be right now. so definitely don't give up on that just yet!

Hello! First let me just say, thank you so much! I'm really grateful you read my story. I can't exactly tell my friends in school because they wouldn't understand so thank you for listening! What mainly happened is that my school, which is extremely competitive, led to me reaching a burn-out after a few years of built-up stress. I just lost motivation to try my hardest, and tried not to care about anything that evoked negative feelings. Thankfully I feel better now! But my parents are really pushing me, so I know they won't encourage my mental health (which is pretty much seen as not wanting to work hard rip) over grades. I know I'm going to get yelled at over my grades for this semester, and my parents don't understand that I'm suppressing any horrible feelings regarding my grades so that I can move on to a fresh start this semester. My aim is mid-tier UC's, so I know with my gpa reaching my targets will be harder. But I'm ready to bounce back now, and do my best! Also, there was a typo, I accidentally wrote 4.0 and 3.8 for sophomore grades, but it was actually 4.0 and 3.66 (2 B+'s) unfortunately. My average unweighted gpa for these 3 semesters is a 3.68, which is honestly pretty bad, and definitely not what I was aiming for. What really sucks is that I took 4 weighted classes, and I got B's in 3 of them. I'm hoping to bounce back second semester, I can get my unweighted gpa to a 3.74ish and my weighted gpa (and my school doesn't allow AP's until junior year) to a 4.04 if I work hard. It's really nice to know about the out of state person who had a 3.5 gpa! Do you know if was weighted or unweighted?
hey—honestly, that kind of burnout happens to a lot of people. it sounds like you're getting through it pretty well though which is awesome, and that seems like a totally reasonable plan for your next semester the 3.5 was unweighted, iirc. i'm not sure what their weighted was but i don't think it was higher than yours is. schools usually treat gpa's like cutoffs, and as long as you're over theirs (which i definitely think you are, even with a ~3.7), you should definitely still have a shot. good luck with everything!