How would a top 10 astrophysics graduate school like Caltech see this? I'm an Asian male and I already feel quite behind. I thought I can just not attend class this quarter and still ace my classes like Albert Einstein did when he was in college, but it turns out that I didn't do as well as I had hoped (no clue why). I mean, I studied the material to the classes (especially 32A which is multivariable calculus part 1) the summer before they even began and I barely passed for whatever stupid reason. This quarter is my very first quarter at UCLA. I'm looking through all of the result threads and I'm seeing non-Asians with 4.0 GPAs getting accepted to Caltech and I won't even get a 4.0 and I'm an Asian male...
My current college GPA is a 2.35 out a 4.0 in the worst case scenario... and I can probably bump that up to a 3.94 if I get all A's and A+'s by the end of my undergraduate years.
I will pretty much take a 1-1.5 year break from school, and study everything that I need to know on my own during that time.
I was a "superb" (not to me) student in high school with a 4.0+ weighted GPA, but I feel that high school didn't really prepare me well for college.