Hello, I'm a 5 year physics, math double major from a small liberal arts university where the physics department consisted of but 2 professors (no graduate program, only 3yrs of physics courses). I started as pre-med, having never undergone an interesting physics class in high school, having had better grades and understanding of biology in high school, and having gone through cancer midway between my hs junior year (I had never before given physics or math a second glance) which lasted into my senior year and led to me being unable to complete my hs's honors requirements due to a time in the class-room requirement. After my freshman year's 2nd semester wherein i was exposed for the 1st time to elementary quantum mechanics (briefly), to some non-mathematical apects of GR, and to elementary calculus (a course that I would have taken in hs if not for the cancer incident) I decided to try out 1 of the physics 1st year courses over the summer. After that course I decided to change majors to physics, then after I was rejected from entering a topology class because I didn't have a pre-requisite course that only math majors took, I decided to tack on, as it were, a math major. [I originally changed majors because I found that I had a lot of wierd mathematically related ideas which, if I could prove, could have interesting results in physics and mathematics such that I might actually able to contribute something to science which (I thought) would help a he** of a lot more people than I as a physician ever could.] Now, the whole cancer's incident with my "life plan A" had altered my perspective on what was important and, where-as before I was straight-A student originally obsessed with grades then falling off the path due to the "attractions" of puberty but still obsessed with grades (though to a somewhat lesser extent), grades were no longer on my list of priorities which promptly led to grades lower than a B on both of my 1st upper-level physics courses (semester-wise, afterwards I tended to get As). That is not to say that I was not interested, nor that I didn't understand the material (except deflections due to the Coriolos effect (however that's spelled, as this is not a formal essay)), just that I tended to be pre-occupied. Now, as a result of my late interest in physics and my somewhat anti-social tendencies, I didn't find out about physic REUs until my senior year and although I still had 1 more year of mathematics-related courses to take, I had finished with the requirements for a BS from the physics department. This brings me to my problem:I applied for about 2 summer REUs (the only ones I was interested in, had the time for considering that the minimum # of hours I ever took was 16, and which were still open) and was rejected for both. I'm not sure why I was rejected (I was never told the exact reasons), though in my application letters I tended to essentially say exactly, or almost exactly, what I wanted to work on (which usually didn't follow what the professors at the institutions had researched before though it was in their general field (kind of), but then I had a specific idea for what I wanted to work on and gain research experience for/in and it didn't overtly matter to me that it be the same or even similar to what the professors wanted to research in (they could do their own research)), occasionally was maybe a hairs-breadth away from stating blatantly that if I couldn't do the research I wanted to do then the only possible benefit I would get out of doing someone else's research for them (which even if the professor provided the idea would still essentially be what I was doing at the REU if the research was not to be independent with possible input and/or output in group setups) would be that of having a nice decoration on my future grad school applications. So my question: what, basically, should I do about grad school?