I am rounding out my first year of my undergraduate studies and am unhappy with my grades. Last semester I finished with 3.3 overall GPA, and 3.3 physics GPA. This semester I expect a 3.0 overall with 3.0 physics GPA. I am majoring in physics with minors in astronomy and math. I care deeply about these subjects and I have known that I wanted to chase a PhD in astrophysics for most of my life. College has been my first not so great experience with school, and honestly I hold that all to poor decisions and lack of attention to my studies.
I recently developed what I think are proper study habits and have an optimistic outlook on the rest of my undergraduate career. I am also very excited because I have research this summer in the math department. Generally undergrads at my school get plenty of research opportunities. Because of this I am not that worried about building a strong resume with plenty of research experience and recommendations. My relationships with my future and current math and physics professors are pretty strong.
My only real concern is that this year will set me back when applying to graduate school. I definitely let my set backs last semester hurt me again this one. I don't want to carry my burdens of this year into the rest of my undergrad and graduate education.
I read in a few forums that good schools almost prefer an upward trend of grades/care a lot about your first year. Are these true? If not, is it possible to recover from these poor marks? I could retake a few courses but that gets pricey.
Thanks, sorry for the ramble.