The first thing you need to know about college is that the classes and the work load is much more than what you’re used to in high school. You have to attend class, participate and take notes, and then continue to study and do work even outside of class. If you are used to just skating by and passing your classes you are in for a rude awakening. It’s time to step it up and work hard! After all, you are paying a lot of money for your education so it is important to keep your grades up and pass your classes.
Sometimes that doesn’t always work out as planned. Maybe you were a little too ambitious and took a difficult class or signed up for too many courses, maybe you are really struggling with the subject, or maybe you just got lazy (shame on you.) Whatever way you slice it the fact of the matter is that you are failing a class. So now what? You are faced with the question of whether or not you should drop the class.
This is not a decision to take lightly. College classes are expensive and you may not be able to get your money back if you decide to drop the class.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Is this class required for my major?
Some classes are required for your major and some aren’t. If this is a class that you have to pass in order to graduate you really need to think twice about dropping it. If you looked into bringing your grade up and can’t make it happen, you should drop the class. Failing a class in your major does not look good, you will have to take it again to pass, and it could block some good opportunities for your future. If this is an elective that you enrolled in for fun, failing is not as big of a deal although it will bring down your overall GPA. If you bring your GPA down too much due to bad grades it could land you on academic probation.
What are my options?
After figuring out whether or not this is a required course, you should check in with your adviser and let them know what’s going on. They can give you all the information you need on dropping a class and how to go about doing it. They could also provide you with another option that you didn’t know about. Chatting with a professional can help you with your decision on whether to drop the class or take the bad grade.
Is there anything I can do to get my grade up?
As soon as you realize that you are failing a class you should set up an appointment with your professor. Doing this will show your professor that you do care about the class and your grade. Ask about extra credit or anything you can do to improve your grade. If you are lucky, your professor will work with you and you can avoid having to drop the class. You can also look back over your syllabus and try to calculate the rest of your assignments and exams to see what you need to do to end up with a passing grade. Hopefully it’s not too late and you’re grade is not too low to work it back up.
You should also keep in mind that dropping one class, maybe two, throughout your college career is okay. If you turn dropping classes into a habit you have a high chance of failing out or dropping out of college all together, not to mention it will waste a ton of money. If you find yourself constantly failing and having to drop classes, especially at the intro level, you may want to reevaluate your decision to attend college. College is not for everyone and that’s okay! The best plan is avoid this situation all together. Start your classes off right by being prepared, showing up, and working hard.