Don’t be afraid to drop a class, acknowledge your limits

August 29, 2016

Eleanor Sturt

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     Last year I started my journey at UCCS with bright eyes and an optimism to take on the world.

     Naturally, my bright eyes faded to black bags and my optimism turned to realism after two weeks. The lack of sleep bogged me down as I tried to balance school, work and life.

     At this point, I should have considered dropping a class, but my pride could never take such a blow.

     As a 4.0 GPA student in high school, I never imagined dropping a class in college. I would have rather died.

     There is a stigma attached to withdrawing from a class, especially for students used to getting good grades.

     Highly academic students think dropping out of a class is like losing a fight; they are used to winning.

     But let me speak from experience. It’s not worth it.

     In my first semester at UCCS, I enrolled in VAPA 1000. Academically, the class was a breeze.

     But the professor and I were not compatible. Her teaching style left me puzzled after lectures and I found the homework assignments to be vague. I had never clashed heads with an instructor like this before.

     I figured I could just push through the rest of the semester. I was a big girl and could handle anything. That’s what I was always taught.

     In high school, you don’t get to choose your classes. You took them and generally passed. High school students take the same basic classes to graduate, with a couple of electives to make us feel like we had a choice.

     It’s not the same here.

     You have a choice and a say. You choose the degree and the classes. You also have the opportunity to drop a class before it’s too late. There is a drop date each semester, a date that I ignored, thinking I would never drop a class.

     Last fall, the census date passed, and I realized the class was too much to handle. With the convincing of an adviser, I withdrew, leaving a W on my transcript instead of the F I’m sure I would have received.

     Had I dropped the class three days prior, I could have avoided paying for the class and the W on my transcript altogether.

     Here’s the deal: there are classes you might not pass, simply because you and the professor do not get along. Maybe you do not like the other students or it’s an elective you now realize is out of your comfort zone.

     Maybe you’re just too busy, and that’s OK too.

     There is no shame in dropping a class. If anything, I applaud you.

     Admitting that you’re unprepared for a class is just as honorable and mature as buckling down and passing a class you never thought you would.

     So as this semester begins and you eagerly sit in class, keep Sept. 8 in mind. That date is more important than you think.