Anonymous asked: Hello. I feel ridiculous asking you this, especially because I'm a sophomore in high school. I've been in love with Emory University since the 9th grade. I kept telling myself that the only way to get accepted was to get good grades- And I did. But after a math test (my worst subject), I saw a failing grade and it changed my life. It is after this test that I began having constant anxiety attacks. My math grades are suffering because of my anxiety! Emory won't consider me. Can you offer advice?
i relate to this SO much, because i went through something very similar my sophomore year of high school, too—just replace “math” with “ap euro” and you’ve basically got the entire story. that being said, here’s my (probably very ramble-y, hopefully somewhat helpful) take on it:
first, remember that grades aren’t everything. there are so many other factors involved in your admissions decision (and most of them don’t even require math)! even if grades were everything, sophomore math is just one class. you take a ton of courses in your high school career, so you have lots of opportunities to bounce back. like i said, i went through the same thing in ap euro, and even though my final grade wasn’t that great, i survived it and went on to take other classes and get better grades in them. you’re not even halfway done with high school! you have so much time! emory sees your whole transcript, so they’ll see how much you’ll go on to improve after this. if you’re still feeling nervous about it, you can even use the “additional information” section of your application to talk about what you learned during this difficult time.
second, don’t neglect your self-care. you’ve recognized that your anxiety is becoming a problem, so make sure that you’re giving that issue the attention it needs—don’t sacrifice yourself in your quest to get into your dream school. it’s not worth it. if you can, be talking to someone about how you’re feeling… for me, that person is always my mom, but i know not everyone has that kind of relationship with their parents, so maybe for you it’s a trusted mentor or counselor. tell them how stressed you are, and what you’re afraid of, and believe them when they tell you that it’s okay, and that they’ll help you get through it. and even though it can be a hard impulse to resist, don’t try to drive yourself into the ground studying. don’t be afraid to take a break. that being said, don’t let your life turn into one giant break, either. when i was in your situation, i hardly studied at all because i was so stressed out and anxious that i couldn’t accomplish anything. it can be a vicious cycle, you know?
third, i don’t think it’s helpful to have “emory won’t like me” or “i’ll never get into emory because ___” thoughts. emory accepts all kinds of people for all sorts of reasons, so leave the deciding to them. you just try your best.
what i’m trying to say is: working hard to improve your academic life is useful, and taking care of yourself is useful, but stress and anxiety about are not useful.2 weeks ago