November 3rd is the last day to drop half year courses without academic penalty. If you are like me, you are sitting around trying to figure out if you need to drop whatever many courses. It is a difficult decision. If you’ve reached this point in your course, you have invested a large amount of effort, time, and money. But not all investments pan out, and there are some very good reasons why you might want to drop the course.
If you think you are likely to fail, go see your registrar. I have a spreadsheet set up so I can input the marks I have obtained and also their weighting so I can see what my current mark in the course is. This is functionality that is woefully missing from Blackboard. Your registrar can give you advice on whether or not you should stay in the course based on your performance to date.
If you think it is going to tank your GPA, and you care about your GPA, go see your registrar. I have another spreadsheet set up so I can keep track of my GPA, see what kind of marks I need to get to make my goal GPA, and to see what effect marks in my courses will make on my GPA. GPA isn’t something that everybody cares about, but if you do, you should keep an eye on what kind of GPA you will end up with if you do poorly in whatever course. Your registrar can give you advice on your GPA and what kind of GPA you need to maintain to achieve whatever post-undergraduate goals you may have.
If the course is stressing you out to the point where it drastically affects your functioning in life or in your other courses, go see your registrar. Your registrar can give you advice on different services that are available, as well as advice on how to possibly defer exams and assignments. No single course should disproportionately affect you to the point where everything else tanks. School and life is about maintaining a balance, and first and foremost comes well-being.
The final step: if you do drop your course, analyze what went wrong. The key is to not allow such a thing to happen again. If you are failing your course because you have too much to do and can’t manage your time effectively, you may want to take fewer courses. If you are failing your courses because you aren’t studying enough, or you are missing too many classes, then those are habits that can be worked on. I highly recommend checking out the Academic Success Centre, whose Learning Strategists can help identify these issues and help you develop the necessary skills.
Finally, here is a list of services that the U of T offers that might be helpful for succeeding in the future.