I was a straight A student in high school. I was essentially the valedictorian, although they did not publish ranks or GPAs so they just called the award something else. I was the captain of the debate team and there were periods where I was ranked as high as 19th in the country on the national debate circuit (I did Lincoln-Douglas) and 5th in California. Although I had friends, I was a prude and a recluse. When I came to college, I broke loose. I got mono my first semester, I was involved in all sorts of drama, I took drugs and drank, I gained a huge amount of weight, and my GPA through the floor. Over the last two years, I have lost 60 lbs, stopped taking drugs, almost entirely stopped drinking (although I'll have a glass of wine with dinner now and again now that I'm 21), my GPA has skyrocketed, and I've boosted my confidence and energy level.
Finally, for the first time since I entered college, I feel I have a decent chance getting papers into classics conferences. I sent in my first abstract on the 21st of January. I sent it into The Atlantic University Undergraduate History and Classics Conference (although I'm out of region). They sent me a very nice and person note back letting me know that if I were accepted I would be allowed to present (and would be the first American to present) so long as I could find transport. It was incredibly flattering. I'm working on sending abstracts into UBC, Cornell, and Willamette (and possibly Bristol) in the next week or so. Wish me good luck!