“Drop it like it’s hot, drop it like it’s hot...”
Wait, are those Snoop Dogg lyrics or your conscience telling you it might be time to drop that class you’ve hated this semester? Perhaps the add/drop period during the first few weeks of class has come and gone at your college, but the withdrawal window has yet to close and decision time has come. Deciding to drop a class can be agonizing. However, most students will drop at least one class during their college career. People drop classes for all kinds of reasons, from it being too far of a walk from their previous class to ever make it on time to having a tragedy happen and needing a lighter course load as a result. So there really shouldn’t be any shame around dropping it like it’s hot after all.
Before you even think about dropping a class, be sure to talk to your advisor or the registrar. They’ll guide you through the process and let you know whether it's a good idea or not—you may need this class to graduate, or it may be too late to get your money back for the credits. After gathering evidence from others about whether or not you should drop the course, you might still find yourself unsure. Below are five pretty solid signs that you should turn back before it’s too late!
1. You already know you’re going to fail it
Say there are two exams that make up your entire grade for the class. Sometimes wild situations happen where you slept through the first exam and got a zero as a result, and the professor doesn’t offer any retakes. Although these situations are rare, sometimes flukes happen and you find yourself with no possible way of passing the class you had such high hopes for just a few short months ago. Inevitable failure is a great reason to drop a class, especially if you don’t need it to fulfill any sort of curriculum requirement.
2. You never go to it anyway
Story time: My freshman year of college, I decided to take a one-credit physical education course called Running. I went to the first few classes and ended up realizing that I scheduled my next class way too close to Running, so the poor students who sat next to me in Economics 101 probably thought I smelled terrible. Additionally, I found a really consistent gym buddy during orientation, so I would skip Running to go for a run on the treadmill with her later that night. The lesson is, if you find yourself in a situation where you’ve reasoned yourself out of going to a class, it might be time to call it quits before you have a suspiciously low grade in a PE course.
Related: 3 Good Reasons You Should Never Skip Class
3. You’ve realized it’s going to bring down your GPA big time
Sometimes a class you decided to take for fun ends up not being fun at all. And the only thing worse than a class you don’t enjoy is a class you have a hard time getting good grades in. A fun class or elective should never hurt your GPA. Your school may offer classes outside your major as pass/fail; if they do, consider that option next time so you can still try things outside your comfort zone.
4. You thought it was a requirement but it's not
If you’re stuck in a really high-level Chemistry class that's no longer a requirement for your Environmental Science major and you’ve hated the class all semester anyway, cut yourself some slack. Sometimes programs change and the requirements change as well. It happens to everyone, so don’t feel too awful about dropping a class you signed up for by accident. However, take this experience as a lesson: Always remember to go over your schedule with your advisor during the first week of the semester or during course selection.
5. It’s affecting your mental health
If you’ve been crying over this class multiple days in a row, staying up late to barely stay afloat, or letting it consume your every waking (and non-waking) moment, it might be time to drop it. School shouldn’t affect your mental or physical health negatively like that. It’s just not worth it, and it's more important than ever to do what's best for you with the state of the world we currently live in. Put yourself first and don't feel bad about kissing that class goodbye!
Related: Why It's Crucial to Care for Your Mental Health in College
Before you drop any classes, be sure to get a lot of opinions from everyone involved: the head of the department, the professor, friends of yours who have already taken the class, etc. Maybe the first test was really tough but they tend to get easier after a while, or perhaps the professor offers extra credit. You want to make the most educated decision possible so you don’t drop the course without good reason. But if one of the scenarios above sound familiar, it may be time to move on to bigger and better things.
If you want to avoid dropping a class in the future, start on the right foot every semester with these 5 Smart Tips for Choosing Your College Classes.