The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Think before you drop a class

This Friday marks the last day that you will be able to drop a class this semester. I can already imagine this Thursday evening at 11:59 the Access servers will likely be inundated with requests of people who vacillated until the last minute before finally deciding to “take the W” for the semester. After all, there’s nothing more tempting than taking advantage of this small power while one still can.

There’s certainly no shame in dropping a class. By this point in the semester you know pretty well what your chances of succeeding in a class are, and if your GPA needs salvaging sometimes a W is the best thing you can do for it.

However, I would encourage you to exercise caution and think the decision through before going through with a drop decision. One or two W’s on a transcript don’t look that strange to most employers or graduate programs, but if you start dropping classes left and right people start to get suspicious.

You don’t want to develop a reputation that makes it look like you’re not very good at following through on things. As much as we might hate having to deal with the specter of transcripts hanging over our heads, they do still matter, especially if you’re hoping to find a job straight out of college.

Moreover, it’s important to take into consideration why you want to drop a class. If dropping may put you behind in completing your major, then it’s probably not the wisest of choices.

It’s perfectly acceptable to drop a class if you believe there’s no possible way that you’ll be able to pass it, but you should also consider talking to your professor before you make the choice too. If you’ve been an active participator in class, while they likely won’t just hand you an A as your grade, they will at least be more amenable to your situation and will likely work with you to at least manage a C in the course.

Remember that professors aren’t out to get you and they especially enjoy working with students who have obviously taken an interest in the subject and applied themselves throughout the year. They recognize the students who have actually been putting in effort and they want you to succeed just as much as you do.

While W’s don’t really affect your GPA one way or the other, remember that your GPA isn’t the be-all-end-all of college. Many of my overachieving friends are afraid more than anything else of getting an A- in a class and tarnishing their perfect GPA. While a 4.0 is certainly nice to have, a point score doesn’t determine how much you got out of a certain class.

I’ve gotten As in classes where I did almost nothing to apply myself, and classes like those certainly don’t help with your education. Conversely, I found myself working the hardest in some of my classes where I didn’t end up receiving an A, and I’d consider some of those classes to be the most important ones I’ve taken in my undergraduate tenure. The letter on your transcript is not the final determinant of how much you gained from an academic experience.

With that said, I encourage everyone who’s planning on dropping one of their classes this week to talk the decision over with their professors, advisors, friends and most importantly, with themselves.

While not of earth-shattering importance, it’s still a final and absolute decision and one that ought to be considered seriously.

Brandon Bub is a sophomore majoring in English and edits The Daily Campus opinion column. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].  

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