Medical Checkered transcript and unbalanced ECs - What should my plan be?

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Jun 11, 2010
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I just finished by junior year and I'm currently a neuroscience major at a liberal arts college. My college experience has been rough, to say the least. I'm a URM (black woman).

A timeline:

Freshman year: My older brother was kidnapped, murdered, and robbed in my parents' home country. Photos were subsequently leaked online and circulated on Facebook. (I got a D in Bio I, took it again the next semester got a B-)

Sophomore year: Dx with Depression (did fine academically).

Junior year: Semester 1: New antidepressant, developed chronic insomnia (D in orgo I and Mol. Bio)/Semester 2: P in Mol. Bio, B-/C+ (currently waiting for final grade), A in neurophysiology

Current GPA: cGPA: 2.71/ sGPA: 2.27

ECs: I'm very thankful to be involved in all my ECs but I feel like they make my app look imbalanced and make my grades look even worse in comparison.

Research Assistant in Dept. Chair's lab (neuropharmacology), one poster and probably one more before I graduate (1000+ hrs)

Coordinator of my college's HIV testing program: (expanded scope of testing and lead the organization's restructuring under new state regulations), led a campaign to expand PrEP availability along with local health department

Sexual Health Educator: (taught a sexual health course for students/teaching practicum for new staff members, revived the organization's social media presence and supervised the running of a 24hr Q&A hotline)

Harm Reduction Volunteer: Provide safer injection supplies to IV drug users, trained individuals to narcan and fentanyl test strips, implemented harm reduction program with HIV testing organization (especially test strips and Hep C testing.

100+ hr pt volunteer in ICU

Post-grad plan:
  • At least a year of hardcore DIY post-bac
  • MCAT (aiming for at least 515+)
  • More clinical volunteering
  • Shadowing (hopefully OB/GYN)
Question: I know I have a lot of work do before I can even consider applying, but I'm wondering how I should address my grades without sounding like a URM sob-story or without seeming like I'm shifting responsibility. Also any more general repair/reinvention is welcome. Thank you! :)

You don't address your grades unless specifically asked about them/ If you are, just tell the truth.

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