Aeldred's Page > Posts tagged with "college"


Subject: Re: Are Grades Important to you?

Forum: Are Grades Important to you?
Hi Policy Maker,

I've often felt that way too much importance is placed on GPA's. After leaving school I quickly discovered that the real world didn't really care much about my GPA, only whether I could think critically, communicate effectively, and consistently perform well in my job.

That being said, it sounds like you plan to spend some time in academia, which is a bit different. Even so, I wouldn't get too bogged down in your GPA. If you focus on understanding the material in your courses, studying, and doing your best, the GPA will follow.

I don't know anything about getting into law school, but if you aren't sure you'll have a high enough GPA I would suggest finding out what other areas of the application are taken strongly into consideration. Again, I could be wrong about this in academia, but in the working world "required" typically means "should have, but we might consider you if you can convince us you're worth it". So focus on those other important areas of the application and be prepared to fill those sections with plenty of experience. If circumstances allow, you could consider an internship at a law office or see if there's non-profit law organization in your area that could use a volunteer. Even if you're filing papers, having experience working in a law office might help your law school application.

You could also use your undergraduate courses to focus on law by writing papers or doing projects on law-related subjects when possible. Load them to an electronic portfolio and include the link on your law school application. As a last resort, take a 5th year of courses in subjects you've always wanted to learn about. If the material is interesting to you it'll probably be easier to ace them.

I left high school with a 3.8 and by the end of my second year I was barely holding onto a 3.1. Then I figured out that it made a difference if I went to every class and participated in discussions. After my 5th year I graduated with a 3.5, which isn't bad given how much I struggled.

Ultimately, remember that the world is never as black and white as it appears, so even if your GPA isn't a 3.7 when you graduate, apply to law school anyway!!! You never know what will happen and the outcome can't be any worse than not applying at all.

Good luck in your courses! Just keep going and don't give up!

Subject: Re: Decision Day

Forum: Decision Day
Hi Leland!

I think it's very normal to be nervous (and hopefully excited!) about choosing a college.

Some things to keep in mind (not an exhaustive list)...

Cost - not just tuition but also living (and playing) expenses. The cost of living in Chicago is going to be drastically different than Small Town, USA. Entertainment, nights out with friends, and the price of sitting at a coffee shop are going to cost more in a big city.

Courses - if you know what you want to study, check out the school's online course catalog. In it you will find descriptions for courses you have to take to fulfill state and school requirements for your major. Colleges have different required courses, focuses, and options even when the degree you will earn is the same. It's worth taking a look!

Size least, for me it did. I started out at a big city school and I hated it. There was too much noise, traffic at all hours, and a sea of strangers in my lecture halls. My second year I transferred to a smaller school and was much happier there. Things moved at a slightly slower pace, I always saw familiar faces around campus, and there were lots of quiet places.

In the end, it may feel like the biggest decision of your life, but there's really no wrong choice. And if you change your mind, you can always transfer.

The thing is, most freshman classes are prerequisites you have to take before diving into your major. Every college is going to require you to take them and most will transfer easily between schools (especially within the same state or region). So you're not going to lose a whole year of courses if you decide it isn't the right fit.

If you have concerns about transferring credits, talk to the admissions counselors at your alternate choices and find out if they accept transfer credits from the school you're leaning towards, just in case. Worst case scenario, maybe you take an extra class or two, but it probably won't have a huge impact down the road.

Good luck with your decision and try to enjoy this time in your life!