If obstacles are presented to you in high school, you need to overcome them.
Admissions officers are human. We are empathetic and compassionate. And more importantly, we were once teenagers ourselves. Between the ages of 14 and 17, life is going to present you with challenges, challenges that are beyond your control at times—your parents get divorced, your mother loses her job, you have to change high schools, you’re having a problem with a teacher, you’re having a problem with a peer group, you didn’t make the varsity swimming team, you broke up with a girlfriend…. It is imperative that you overcome these obstacles and bounce back. As mentioned earlier, we review all four years of your high school transcript. We understand that at times you might have a lower grade as a result of something beyond your control, but make sure you continue to work hard in order to improve that grade to the best of your ability. You have plenty of opportunities throughout the admissions process to explain this low grade—for instance, you could discuss it during an admissions interview, write about it in your admissions essay or an additional statement you submit with your application, or sometimes, a teacher or counselor will explain the low grade for you. (Never blame a teacher for a bad grade, by the way.) We want to see you work hard in your classes and overcome those things that are difficult for you outside of the classroom.