Class Schedule Advice: Dropping a Course – College Info Geek

Class Schedule Advice: Dropping a Course – College Info Geek


In our wide world there
exists a variety of objects that generally should
not be dropped, bowling balls, containers
of pure sodium, that kinda thing. However, by contrast, there
are also several things that should be dropped, such as fire ants, in fact that’s probably
the most important thing you should drop. Also, the subject
when your uncle Gary brings up politics at
Thanksgiving dinner, and also, classes. In last week’s video we
looked at some research which showed that
academic overload is the most common cause
for long term student stress and burnout. And that’s why in this
one I wanna argue that it’s OK to drop classes
when you need to. Now, many students
view dropping a class as tantamount to actually
failing that class flat out. And I understand
their reasoning. We have ideals that tell us
to stick with our commitments, to follow through. Those that persevere
through adversity will succeed, while
those who don’t are doomed to a life of regret and a distinctive lack
of sports car purchases. But, let’s dispense with the
inspiring platitudes here. Yes, perseverance is a
virtue worth cultivating, and yes, in general
you should approach each of the things you commit to with the intention of
seeing them through. But there’s an element of
tactical decision making to be injected here, especially with respect
to your class schedule. And the reason for that is
that many ambitious students tend to over commit when
they’re signing up for classes. I’ve been in the
same exact position that you’ve probably
found yourself in. It’s time to sign
up for classes, and you’re thinking
about the new semester. And in addition to that,
you’re thinking about new semesters in general, which brings about
associations of new beginnings and full stocks of will power. As a result, you
tend to over commit when you’re signing up. So, say you’ve fallen victim
to this line of thinking and now you’ve realized
that the work load you’ve signed yourself
up for is too much. What’s the solution? Well, simple, drop a class. If you’re diligent about
gauging your classes early on, it’s likely that
dropping a class will have no negative effect on you. My university, for example, let people drop
unlimited classes with no marks on their transcripts
up to five days after the semester started. Even after that, you could drop
a limited amount of courses up to half way
through the semester. Though, if you’re gonna do this, you should probably
note the exact limit that your university has. I dropped courses several
times as a student for a variety of reasons. A couple of elective
classes I took ended up having way
higher work loads than I anticipated,
so I dropped those. For another class I
eventually realized I was only part of the
program that required it because I wanted to
pad my resume out. I didn’t actually really
care about the program, and it wasn’t gonna help
me achieve my goals, so I eventually just
dropped the class, actually dropped
out of the program, and used the time it
freed up to do things that I actually cared about. There are other valid reasons
for dropping classes as well, such as a professor
who’s teaching style just doesn’t work for you. You could mitigate
some of these risks before the semester starts
by using things like Rate My Professors and
reading the syllabi to get a feel for the workload, but you won’t know for
sure how a class goes until you’re sitting in it. So, here is express permission. Drop classes when you need to. Find out what your
university’s drop policy is and then use it
to your advantage to create a schedule
that you control, rather than one that
takes over your life. This gives you time
to fill your schedule with other useful pursuits
like part time jobs, extracurriculars, events, and
much needed relaxation time. In the case of a bad professor, it also gives you the chance
to look for a different section of the same class that might
have a better professor. Now, one caveat here though. When you drop a class,
make sure you open your graduation plan and
update the change. If you don’t have
a graduation plan that lays out the
courses you plan to take up until graduation, I highly recommend creating one. If you want, you can get
a copy of a spreadsheet that I used for my
own graduation plan. And I’ve included it
as a free download, along with my free book
that you can get by clicking on the card or the
link in the description. Now, I realize that this
might not be a viable strategy for every single
student out there. Maybe you’re in a
program or a college that requires you to take
a strict set of classes every single semester, and you can’t drop any of them. Or maybe you need
to take college at an accelerated pace
in order to be able to afford it. Likewise, it’s a strategy
that might not solve all of your time
management problems, especially if you’re a
student who has to spend a lot of hours at a part
time job in addition to your studies and classes. Still, it’s something that
deserves consideration. And I think the
biggest take away here is that dropping a class should
not be seen as a failure. It should be seen as
a tactical decision. Now, I’m not the only person
who’ll advocate this strategy. My friend, Cal Newport, who’s
a computer science professor and the author of several books, included this advice near
the start of his book, “How to Win at College”, which I actually used
as a high school student in preparation for my
own college experience. As he interviewed top students from all around the
country for his book, he realized that one
of the main strategies they used to stay on
top of their classes was creating a schedule that
they felt in control of. Careful course selection
is one of the best tools for retaining that control. And dropping classes is a
part of that course selection process that you should
be taking advantage of. (bright techno music) Hey guys, thanks so much
for watching my video on why you should drop classes. If you wanna get new
videos every single week on being a more
effective student, you can click that big red
subscribe button right there. You can also get a
free copy of my book on earning better grades by
clicking the book’s picture. And that also comes with
a copy of my graduation planning spreadsheet,
like I mentioned earlier. So if you wanna get
that, click the picture and I will send you both. If you wanna see the companion
blog post for this episode, or read Cal’s thoughts
on this exact same topic then you click the orange logo and head over to my website. If you missed last week’s video, we talked about how
to avoid burnout as a student, or deal with it
if you’re already feeling it. And also, if you’d like
to connect with me, ask questions, or get feedback, you can follow me on
Twitter @TomFrankly, or leave a comment below. Thanks for watching. (bright techno music)

45 Replies to “Class Schedule Advice: Dropping a Course – College Info Geek”

  1. I had to withdraw from a class today, calculus 2, as I found out that by changing my major I no longer needed it. with the massive amounts of coursework and an incompetent teacher I decided that it was best to drop it to focus on my other classes (3 lectures and 2 labs) to ensure getting good grades in those rather than mediocre grades across the board. However, with it being my first dropped class I feel a little guilty and my parents are pissed and say I just took the easy way out.

  2. Yesterday I walked out of my midterm review for Business Taxation. As I was sitting there, everyone has making questions and I had no idea what they were talking about. I have a good standing in the class but it all comes from textbooks quizzes and hw that I am able to do thanks to Chegg, reading and other tools but I wasn't prepared for the class at all. My schedule is tight between work and school. Drop deadline has passed, but I have course forgiveness (basically failing this class and deleting the grade if I re-take next semester). I rather take it next semester, where I will stop working, and understand the topic and do good than cram myself through it, get a C hopefully and being stressed this whole semester without ANY free time. Feels like a failure now, especially tomorrow when I don't go to the midterm, but deep down, I feel I made the right decision.

  3. I am trying to raise my GPA to above 3, with my current grades, I can easily reach a 3.2 if and only if I drop a course I'm currently getting a C in. What do you recommend? Shall I just get the C and get done with the class, or drop it, raise the GPA a little however with no guarantee of what I'll get once I retake the class? (hopefully at least a B grade though)

  4. I signed up for 2 classes and a lab this summer. (trig and chem) I thought it wouldnt be as bad as counselors told me but man I was wrong. I just had to drop Chem because I wasn't learning anything in trig because I was focusing on chem it was a painful decision

  5. I'm 16 and I'm taking a summer 6-week general Psychology course. In that six-week period, I have five exams, not including the final, a 7-page single-spaced book report and 20 mini-essays in response to articles, which I have to organize perfectly in a manilla folder. I'm fucking stressed out of my mind, but I don't want to waste my parents' money and disappoint them. it doesn't help that my professor's a jackass who's always late and has bad lectures. his rate my professor score is absolutely terrible too. I don't know what to do, but I'm almost certain I won't be able to make the B I need to earn credit.

  6. When you are looking for a course to take and worried that the section you choose is being taught by a "bad professor", take it upon yourself to contact the professor in question. Drop the professor an email or visit with them in person to ask about their teaching philosophy, class management style, and expectations regarding amount of reading, required activities, and assessments like exams and the final.

    Don't rely on websites like Rate My Professor to tell you if the professor is "good" or "bad". As a professor myself, I have students that love my teaching methods and feel that the courses I teach are well balanced and prepare them for their future classes. On the other hand, in the same semester, I have students that think that I can't teach worth anything. Their faculty evaluations sometimes indicate that I should be taken out and shot for the amount of work I assign and how I run my classes.

    Teaching styles are different. Student learning styles are different. They won't always agree. A student needs to do their homework before registering for a class. Taking a few minutes to send an email or have a quick conversation can save a lot of problems and hopefully prevent the student from even having to consider dropping.

  7. Question: this is my second semester as a college student and I am currently receiving financial aid. However, I am planning on dropping a course of mine because I find it hard to understand the material due to both the speed of the class and my professors awful accent lol. But my question is, would dropping a course affect my financial aid? Sorry I'm just new to college and still getting used to how things work around here hahaha. Thanks to anyone who can help, appreciate it! 😃

  8. I was doubting whether I should drop a class (Differential Ecuations) or not. I saw this video and made me realize that maybe down the road, I wouldn't be able to hold on with the work load. I talked to my parents and they supported me, so I dropped it. Now I feel relieved. There are no words to thank you for making this video.

  9. What are you guys talking about just drink beer. duuuu I'm only playing, I dropped linear algebra today. I've never had a worse start in a math class as bombing the first few exams so, opps, there's a 'W'. Class sucked bad anyway and MIT has open course on the subject all day long. Prove (A + B)C = AC + BC… I honestly got frustrated that the book kept saying everything is 'obvious', and yet asks us to meticulously prove the ideas that are 'actually obvious'. Learn on your own and be creative with what you learn, and enjoy life, why bother regurgitating homework problems for test scores. College has become too much of a priority for the job market I think. One really smart person I know is in debt with an Anthro degree working as a prep cook. But good luck! I say, we the people demand a chance at decent jobs without all the debt and B.A. B.S

  10. Thank you. I bombed my corporate finance midterm but it's mostly my fault since I neglected studying for that class since my entire focus was on my econometrics class. Knowing I bombed 20% of my grade and it's getting more intense I made a mistake trying to take my main 3 requirements for my major all at once. I guess I'll be taking it over in summer and have that as my only focus since it's 1 class and I want to learn my major as much as possible. I can try to pull through but with my 2 other major classes, i have enough anxiety haha but this made me feel alot better about my decision to drop 🙂

  11. lmao I feel like an idiot for thinking about dropping online music history 104, but online classes blow, especially summer classes where the work load is intense because it’s an accelerated schedule. I have English in class which I get fucking 2 essays a week+ homework assignments up the ass+3 quiz’s a week lol for the next two months, and just when I think I’m done I start to log in to do my “easy” music history and brah the work load is too much 🙃

  12. I got overzealous and made the HUGE mistake of taking a sixteen-week math class in a four-week summer period. I've always been in love with math, but not when I have to learn a bunch of hastily-taught units in a day.

  13. Direct entry student straight from college. I got into Accounting 4 by mistake in my first semester, I should have gotten into Accounting 3 instead. I tried for a month. I Read all the chapters and did all the homework given so far but it has been an impossible task. Coming here because I don't feel good about dropping a course.

  14. I'm a new immigrant student and yes after I found out that the tuition I paid was actually for out-of-state students (since my family and I just moved here for couple of months) I immediately drop the class. Going there tomorrow to ask for my tuition refund.

  15. I have a question to ask I filled a class of Chicano and what happens if I take the same class with the same professor but would he kik my out of his class ??????

  16. I’ve had to drop classes for two reasons, because I failed a hurdle assignment, or because I simply couldn’t keep up with the work volume. One of which times I dropped the class after the census date and copped a fail mark on my transcript. Because of that I’m determined his time round to show my lecturers that I can be good, that the woafle assignment quality of my last time does not reflect my abilities.

  17. Dropping a class is like folding hands in Texas Hold'em poker. You fold hands early and often. Same thing with classes. Max out your schedule and drop once you've seen all your classes during the first week. When in doubt, drop. If you have a bad feeling, drop. Drop. Drop. Drop.

  18. Im taking intro to humanities. I failed my first exam, I passed my second exam with a C, and I just took my final exam which I know I failed. So far I have a D in the class. So I know I will have to retake the class because I know I will fail the final exam. I didn’t remember ANY of the material I studied for. But it’s not that I don’t understand the material, I just don’t care because I’m not interested. I had to memorize different artists and their paintings for the final. And it was not multiple choice and there was no word bank. You have to memorize everything.
    Sometimes it’s not the class, it’s the professor you have too. And my humanities professor is tough.

    I should have dropped out

  19. Thank you for this video…I’m thinking of dropping a class not because it’s too much but because my mental health has gotten the best of me this semester and I have already dropped another class so it makes me feel terrible to drop since my Professor is a great guy and has helped me when addressing my mental health problems…

  20. What about W’s and financial aid? I was taking 21 units and one was just so unorganized that I could not keep up with how the prof worked. Dropped it. Got a W after he promised no W of dropped before a certain day. But now I’m worried about jeopardizing my Financial aid. Any advice?

  21. Now uh the deadline to drop classes is this Thursday and tomorrow I have a paper due that I have not done at all and I could do it right now but I only have 2 hours left to sleep because I procrastinated, I’m thinking about skipping the class and maybe drop it

  22. I had to drop one of my classes bc in that class most of my grade had to do with talking in front of ppl which I get really anxious now I’m thinking in dropping a second class … I already did some math to see what my grade would be… and it’s not good I rather drop the class than getting a low grade …

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