Topic ID #30471 - posted 12/24/2013 8:46 AM

Suicidally depressed over a low GPA


I am so depressed about my undergrad GPA that I feel like ending my life. I am graduating from college with my Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology next semester. My cumulative GPA is only 2.5 because I had below a 2.0 during my freshman and sophomore years. However, I had a 3.8 during my senior year. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do now to change the past. I wish that I could go back in time and study harder my first two years of college. I am passionate about human and primate evolution, osteology, population genetics, forensic anthropology, Mesoamerican archaeology, Viking archaeology, and the archaeology of ancient China. I would be interested in working for a museum, an archaeological research center, a historical society, a primate conservation center, or a national park. I think that I ruined my future and I will never be able to get an entry-level job or get into a Masters program. Most employers ask for college transcripts and nobody will hire someone who graduated with a 2.5 GPA. Do you think that my life is over because of terrible grades in the past? I am so tired of being stressed out and worried about my future that sometimes I feel like jumping off a bridge. I live in NYC.

Post ID#20371 - replied 12/24/2013 1:51 PM


I've been there before and know how you feel, as my GPA was in the toilet (no excuses here, just blew off too many classes I didn't care for). Best thing is to put your mind out of the moment and take a step back and look at the big picture. Honestly I did not put my GPA on my resume when applying for any job. Nobody seemed to care, only that I had a degree (I did, however, list the archaeology-related classes I took). Your options might be limited applying for grad school so you will have to adjust if that's the path you end up taking. You may have to take some classes at a desired school on a probationary basis to show you can handle the work. Keep your chin up.. All is not lost. Make the best of your situation and focus now on what you can do to beef up your skill-set. Good luck!!!

Post ID#20372 - replied 12/25/2013 7:22 PM


Hang in there. The days are getting longer now and these dark depressing winter days will pass soon. 

You write well and pulled off a 3.8 GPA so you've got the brains to get what you want. As to grad school, you can slip in the back door. The key is identify professor whose research inspires you. Enroll as a non degree seeking student and take his/her class in that subject and talk to him after class the first day about taking their class as a grad student, taking on the extra research paper that usually entails.  Ace the class, and engage other faculty members at department functions and you stand a very good chance of getting that professor and other faculty pulling for you to succeed and will write you letters of recommendation. You can usually take a couple of semesters as a non degree seeking student and they will count towards your degree once your admitted. 

Post ID#20373 - replied 12/26/2013 2:20 PM


My first thought is you could retake the classes to improve GPA but I would graduate with the Anthropology degree.  Then go to a different college and take a second bachelor’s degree (usually a second bachelor is one year degree program or 30 semester hours, since you have done all the electives on your first one).  Do a second degree in a subject like in GIS, Geology, History, Museum Studies or Forensics if a degree is offered in just that field not Anthropology again unless you currently have a double BA major, then just undeclared anthropology when you go for a second bachelor degree.  Like when I went to school I did a double bachelor degree Anthropology and Sociology so I could undeclared one and have other options if my GPA was way to low.  Otherwise look for a third tier school that might accept you low GPA with a high GRE score and work hard to get a Master’s degree. 

Even I had a low GPA in college there’s work out there if you’re willing to move to the jobs but you will have to work much harder then you did in you first few years in college if you want to stay employed in the lifestyle called archaeology.

Post ID#20374 - replied 12/27/2013 3:24 PM


Dear Mpanda,
Your career in Archaeology does not need to be over because of a couple of low scores in your first and second years of university. As a professor of Anthropology/Archaeology in the NYC area, I advise many students in your position and I can tell you that most employers do not look at your transcripts. You have options and I'd be more than happy to discuss those with you. You can reach me at
As you know, a career in archaeology is not easy but then again, what professional career is? Send me an email and let's talk a little about the direction you want to take.

Post ID#20375 - replied 12/30/2013 9:28 AM


Where are you applying to jobs at?  The only places I have really noticed who want to know GPA and class information are federal jobs.  I have never been questioned about grades or classes when working within CRM.  Don't focus to hard on that when finding a technician level job.  There are a lot of people right now who are having a difficult time finding work, but I feel it has more to do with the economy (still).

Search for some CRM firms in your area and call them or talk to them in person.  Also, go to your local archaeological society meetings.  Most of the more prominent consulting firms attend as well as academic faculty.  This may give you a better setting in which to meet them and you can informally discuss your interests over a poster display.  As for graduate programs, I would really encourage you to get work experience before thinking of jumping into an MA program, you may just change your mind about what you are interested in.  The job market doesn't open up just because you have an "advanced" degree.

Post ID#20379 - replied 12/31/2013 3:05 PM


Trust me, don't worry. I have a low GPA (lower than yours!), and I can tell you your gpa doesn't matter much. I just graduated in may, and I got a job as an archaeology intern, and now I'm doing a GIS internship. If you have a low gpa, the thing that is going to help you the most is getting experience, volunteer and cobble together experience. Help on projects for a non-profit or a historic site, or ask to assist with research. Also, MANY graduate schools will only consider the last year or two of your gpa, or look for an upward trend. The fact that your last years GPA is 3.8 is awesome. I honestly think you have a fine chance of getting into some schools with experience. Experience is much more valuable than your GPA.


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