This is a common concern, and something I remember vividly thinking when I first came into TJ. In fact, I had the option to go to the Loudoun Academy of Science (commonly thought as ‘Loudoun’s TJ’), where grades would not have as big of a problem. After three years, however, I can confidently look back and say I made the right decision by choosing TJ. The fact of the matter is that even if you don’t perform as well as you may hope in the beginning, the curriculum and experiences that TJ offers are those that you simply can’t get anywhere else. The quality of education is unparalleled, and TJ has access to resources that many colleges envy. Moreover, grades aren’t as bad as some people make it out to be; freshman year is a time where you can get yourself situated at the school, and grades are relatively light. You don’t really need to start worrying about grades and GPA during freshman year; the teachers are understanding and are trying to get you interested in the subject they teach, not overwhelm you with impossibly hard tests. If you really feel that the workload and curriculum is too much, it’s definitely possible to drop back to your base school and continue high school there. I recommend that everyone apply to TJ (even if you think you don’t have a chance), and if given admission, try freshman year to see how it goes. I have seen countless people undergo a complete mindset change over the course of the first semester, and I’m confident that it will be the same for future classes. The bottom line is, grades aren’t necessarily the most important thing. If you go into TJ with a positive mindset without worrying about how hard it may be, you’ll soon forget about the worries about grades and workload, and have an unforgettable time at one of the best schools in the Country.
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