Stressed high school junior seeking help

My GPA is only going to be good enough for semi-target schools for IB. What semi-target colleges are the best for someone that prefers the east coast but is open to going some other places. I am thinking of applying to NYU Stern and U Michigan as reach schools and looking for some safe and target options. 

Comments (6)

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Feb 21, 2021 - 9:29am

Calm down. Please don't spend the next ~5 yrs singularly focused on IB, you are a junior in HS, it is so hard to know what you want at that point in your life. Figure out what you enjoy doing, studying, what type of culture you are looking for in a school, etc. 

Similar to a full time job, finding a place where you feel comfortable and fit in and finding something you are passionate about studying is going to make you much happier AND will most likely lead to a higher GPA and better opportunities. 

You need to figure out things for yourself a bit, I'm not saying you shouldn't seek advice, but you need to figure out what makes you happy. Yes, there will be mistakes and failures along the way, but that's ok. You may even end up hating IB and not recruiting for it, that's much better to learn about before starting a full time job. 

I'm not saying you can't have focus and be motivated to land in IB, but spend some time learning about the world, the industries that exist, etc. College can be a great time to learn and grow, don't waste that opportunity. 

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Feb 21, 2021 - 4:23pm

I don't know you, so please take my advice with a grain of salt. Ultimately you know yourself best and need to understand what you think you need (and where you think you want to end up). If you are dead set on IB and truly believe you know what that means and what it takes, then go for that.

But in general I would normally advise people to look for the best school for them (again the campus culture, academics, strength of different programs all factor into this). Since many people aren't exactly sure what they want, finding a school that has a good reputation and strong balanced programs is a reasonable path. Don't discount the other factors though (try to visit the school, think about whether the location or climate matters, etc). 

Also try to think through your options from both the optimistic and pessimistic side. What I mean is, what happens if you don't do well in the finance classes? What if you end up not liking the path? Did you go "all or nothing" or do you have other options? Of course, nothing is black or white like that, but it is a helpful lens. Also, think about life at the school, will you enjoy it? Have you met people from the school? Is greek life important? But the further you go down in school rankings, the harder it is to have a "general" background (not targeted at IB) and land there.

Finally, another thing to keep in mind is that if you are smart, hard working, and do well at school you can land just about anywhere (with the caveats I already gave). A school is normally a filtering mechanism for firms and gives you a margin of error (I.e. oh you went to Harvard, ok you must be somewhat smart vs you went to a school I never heard of, if I even decide to interview you I'm going to give you less room for error). And when looking at placement stats, remember it is the combination of "does this school have a good reputation in IB" AND "how many people are aiming for IB/what is the interest in that field". Even at the top schools you see better placement at schools where there is high interest in finance. Now, sure that'll help with networking and there is a reason for that, but you aren't really struggling at the other places, you just generally have a population of people with different interests. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 21, 2021 - 9:49am

Don't stress out too much. Focus on schools, improve your GPA, and I'm sure you'll have a shot at some of the target schools, including Stern, Ross, and others as well. Other than that, good semi-target schools would be Boston College, Vanderbilt, the University of Texas, and Notre Dame. I don't know how bad your GPA is, but they're worth looking into

Feb 21, 2021 - 10:02am

I am in your position and obviously you should listen to the people have because they have more experience however I believe this your best option.


1)Crush it on the SAT with a good mix of Ecs then apply to about 10 reaches(these should be easy enough to find then use prep scholar to calculate chances of getting in however prep scholar does not take into account essays and Ecs) and 5 safeties such as penn state, rutgers, Indiana ,UIUC and UWisconsin maybe do some research for some more .If you get into a reach do not bother about the rest. I do not know your GPA so it would be difficult to determine what a reach and safety for you is.


2.Assuming you get into a safety you are not in a terrible position each of these different colleges have a decent amount of alumni across the street whether it is due to the sheer size ,location or workshop of the college take advantage .While keeping your GPA up I cannot stress this enough it is your GPA ,you and I both that is fucking us over right now .You may not even have to look at the other option if you make it into the workshops .


Your second option is transfer to a semi target or target while keeping your GPA high and make sure you gain experience either sophomore or freshman year before transferring because a change in environment may make it more difficult to acquire work experience and keeping your GPA up .


You will be alright bro do not stress about it too much I have learnt it really does not help. You can definitely make it but even if you do not it is not the end of the world so just remember that.


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