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I’m Afraid No College Will Accept Me After a Poor Academic Year

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From a teen in the U.S.: I’m 16 and this year was the worst for me. My parents got divorced, but I knew there was no bad blood between each other and me and them. Yet, it still sucked knowing they”re divorced now. I understand why it happened and I know it’s a necessary evil. However, it affected my school work so bad.

I’ve never been bad in school. But my work performance was terrible. I aim to be a anesthesiologists and biology was the one class I couldn’t fail, yet I failed both semesters and ended with an F, the rest of my classes ended in C’s or D’s. I had no motivation whatsoever.

On top of that, my friends stopped hanging out with me for no reason, they think it’s because I stopped partying as much. I know it’s probably  better for me but still,  losing friends you’ve known for so long sucks. I’ve moved past the situation with my parents and friends, but now I have to do an online summer school for my bio class. And my parents don’t think they can pay for it, because of the divorce.

I’m so set on becoming an anesthesiologist, but my pride and confidence have been completely shattered by my grades. I’m always reminded of them and I end up crying everyday, because I don’t want to disappoint my parents or my brother, or myself. A lot of them are in the medical field and I want to be in it too. I’m absolutely terrified at the fact that the college I’m planning on going to (Silliman University in the Philippines) will not accept me because of my grades. I 1000% plan on working to the bone next year, but right now I’m lost. I wake up and don’t do anything. I play video games, but lately don’t even have the motivation to do that. This has never happened to me before and it’s the first time I’m feeling this. I recognize my situation, but I realized that I need outside help besides my parents.

I’m Afraid No College Will Accept Me After a Poor Academic Year

Answered by on -


I’m so glad you wrote. You say you are past the feelings about the divorce and losing friends. But your actions (getting lost in video games or doing nothing) tells me that’s not quite the truth. You’ve suffered a number of important losses this year. You are still grieving the family that you thought you had and the friendships that have collapsed. Although you seem to understand both in your head, your heart hasn’t caught up.

First, about the grades: College admission people know that the teen years are often characterized by changes and upheavals. You can’t undo what happened with your grades, it’s true. But you absolutely can do something about what happens next. When admissions people see high grades, then a slump, then high grades, they know that something was up that made the slump happen. In addition, your high school counselor can write a recommendation that includes an explanation for the slump. The most important thing you can do to make yourself competitive again for getting in the school you want is to buckle down and do the very best you can to recoup your grade average. If you folks can’t afford a summer class, that may mean taking a weekend course at a local college or taking extra credits next year. Talk to your guidance counselor about the best approach.

One more thing: Please don’t put all your dreams on a particular school. Most schools have a limited number of slots for incoming freshmen. There are many excellent programs for anesthesiology in other schools besides the one  you’ve identified. It’s only wise to research and apply to a number of schools.

As for the friendships: Sometimes what people need from relationships as they mature is different from what they needed when younger. Often, younger people make friendships based primarily on proximity. It’s not at all unusual for people to make friends with kids in the neighborhood or kids who sit next to them in class. But that isn’t really a good way to decide who should be an intimate friend.

The best way to find like minded people is to join some activity or sport or club or political effort that genuinely interests you and get involved. If you focus on the activity, not the people, relationships will naturally evolve. Doing something important together is one of the best ways to find others who share your passions and values.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

I’m Afraid No College Will Accept Me After a Poor Academic Year

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). I’m Afraid No College Will Accept Me After a Poor Academic Year. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 24 Aug 2019 (Originally: 25 Aug 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 24 Aug 2019
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