Deciding When You Need to Drop a Class

Whether you’re being an ambitious student, hoping to finish up your classes this semester or just took one too many hard classes and are now in over your head, there comes a time in your college career when you just might need to drop a class in order to hang onto your GPA and your sanity. Yet it can be hard to admit defeat and drop a class, especially for students who are used to carrying heavy course loads or performing well in school. Sometimes, however, the best option can be to drop a course, so how can you know when it’s time to do so? These signs can tell you.

You are overworked. There comes a time when you just have to admit that you have too much on your plate and something has to give. Sometimes you just need one less course to worry about and if you’re already carrying a full load of courses, dropping a class may be just what you need to get you through the semester without losing too much sleep.

You don’t need the course. If you’re taking the course as an elective or as one option of many to fulfill a requirement, it may not end up mattering much whether or not you drop the class. You’ll be able to make it up at a later time when you’re not overloaded or with a class that is a better fit.

You’re failing. Bad grades aren’t always a good reason for dropping a course, but for busy students who simply don’t have the time to study or prepare for a class, the best option can sometimes be just to drop the course. Always talk with your professor or advisor first, of course.

The course isn’t a good match for you. Some courses sound great on paper but don’t really pan out to be quite what you expected once you’re in class. Whether you’re having issues with the material or the professor, if a course isn’t a match for your interests and personality, don’t take it.

You’ve spoken with the professor. Sometimes all it takes is talking with a professor and expressing your concerns to know whether or not you should drop a course. You may find out that your failing test isn’t really failing at all– the grades will be curved– or that the course will take a different direction in the coming months. It pays to know all you can before you decide to drop a course .

When or whether to drop a course is really up to you, but don’t sacrifice your grades, personal life and college experience to fit in a course you can easily take next semester. Instead, pace yourself and give yourself room to learn and enjoy the rest of the courses you’re taking. You’ll get a lot more out of college and will probably have more fun to boot.

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