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5 Questions to Ask Before You Drop a Course

Written by Halah Butt

You’re deep into the semester, and assignments are starting to pile up. Professors are getting on your nerves, classmates keep pestering for your notes. That course you enrolled in last minute is proving harder than you thought. You don’t know if you can keep up. You keep asking yourself, should I drop it? It’s a tempting thought, but it’s hard to decide.

To narrow it down, to make the final decision, you ask yourself these five questions to figure it out:

1. Is It A Required Course For My Area Of Study – Can I Replace It?

Think about the consequences of dropping a course. Take a look at the required curriculum for whatever you are studying. Do you need that biology 101 course in order to take the next 202 course? Can you replace Narrative Literature with Science Fiction literature and still fill out the requirements needed for your major? If the course is important and doesn’t have a replacement, then you might want to think of keeping it. Always look at the future to determine your present. Maybe not for all things, but in this case, anyway.

2. Will Dropping It Affect My Credits/Time To Graduate?

Usually, university programs require a certain amount of credits to be completed in specific categories. You might want to look up what that amount is, so you don’t accidentally lag behind by dropping a course you are struggling with. Don’t be like me and drop a course that’s dead-pan boring, realizing too late that you’re a credit short, then having to take an extra course the next semester – the workload isn’t pretty.

3. Is The Course Affecting My Grades?

Sometimes the reason behind dropping a course isn’t just a strong hatred for it – it might be affecting your grades. Maybe your heart’s not into it, maybe you’re struggling with keeping up with the work, maybe the material goes through one ear and out the other. Whatever it is, keep an eye on your grades, and what your average is in the course. Make sure it won’t lower that very important GPA score.

4. Am I Benefiting From It At All?

What are you learning? Is the material relevant to what you’re studying? A good course is one that includes beneficial knowledge, interesting material and a good professor. Are you getting notes out of it – or are you just transcribing? Do you talk to the professor – or is he/she just a droning voice giving you a headache?

5. Do I Enjoy It?

More important than if you’re benefiting from your college or university experience is, of course, your enjoyment. Take that as sarcasm or not. In all seriousness, enjoying what you do with your life is a major factor. Do you like the courses you’re taking? Is it just one particular course, or quite a few, that you want to drop? If it’s the latter, chances are it’s not just a course that’s putting you down, it could be your whole major. Look at your options. Scope what you want to do with your education, what you want to get out of it, and where you want to be afterwards. It’s a lot to think about but a good deal of making decision is sitting down and weighing your options.

When making an important decision, always look at what the consequences will be in the future. Whether or not the outcome will affect you drastically can help you determine if it’s a good choice or not. Think of your program or your major as a whole. Think of the course in question as a significant part of achieving an end goal (ideally, graduation). In the end, take your time and try not to make rash decisions based on raw emotions.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.