Last week, as I found myself staring at the textbook that I haven’t bothered to open in weeks, and looking at the rubric for an essay I really didn’t want to write, a little bird whispered something in my ear. What did that little bird say you ask? “Drop the course”.
I tried to ignore it, but the thought of dropping kept pushing itself to the front of my mind. Sure, I could push myself to catch up on weeks of lectures and readings, and take time away from the projects I was truly passionate about to smash out an essay that I wouldn’t be proud of. But after talking it through with a few friends, as well as an academic advisor, I made the decision to drop the class, as in the long run it would be better for my GPA and far better for my mental health.
In the hopes of easing the stress that comes with dropping a class, I’ve written up what I learned from my experience dropping a class with less than a month left in the semester.
First things first: Check the Sessional Dates
When dropping a course, your options vary widely depending on the date. If you’re hoping to replace your dropped course with a different course, you’ll have to do so roughly before the end of the first month of the semester. If you want to drop a class without it being recorded on your academic record, you’ll have to do so (once again roughly) by the middle of the second month of the semester. After these dates, you’ll no longer be able to drop the course from ROSI or ACORN, and will have to take a trip to your registrar to do so.
Important 2016 Sessional Dates:
January 24th, 2016: Last day to add or change meeting sections in S courses.
February 15th, 2016: Last day to drop Y section code courses from academic record and GPA.
March 13th, 2016: Last day to drop S section code courses from academic record and GPA.
It doesn’t have to mess up your GPA
Though it might sound scary, Late Withdrawal (LW) is your friend. LW allows for you to drop a class late without it messing up your GPA. Instead of your mark being recorded on your transcript, LW is recorded instead, leaving no affect on your grades. Arts & Science students can request a LW for up to 3.0 FCE through their registrar, but it’s best to try not to use it more than once or twice. If you like the idea of hiding your marks from your transcript, but don’t want to forfeit the credit, check out Credit/No Credit.
Create a pros and cons list
It may be old school, but writing down a pros and cons list is a great way to visualize your options, and eliminate irrational arguments. Once you have a physical representation of both the positive and negatives of your decision, you’ll be able to think through the situation with more clarity and less anxiety.
“We’re not a good match”
There is no shame in dropping a class. Whether you feel like the class isn’t a good fit for you, there are extenuating circumstances that are affecting your performance, or you just regret your decision, dropping is okay. In order to earn a bachelor’s degree at U of T, you need to earn 20 FCEs. That means that during your time here, you’ll be taking between 20 and 40 classes! Odds are, not every class it going to be right for you, and not every class is going to be what you expected it to be.
When in doubt, talk to your registrar
Advice from friends and blog posts is great, but it will never be able to replace the level of expertise your registrar has when it comes to academic affairs (unless your friends with your registrar, in that case good job!). Your registrar is there to advise you and help you feel less confused, so don’t be afraid of asking for their opinion!
Your wellbeing is more important than a credit
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, whether because of your classes or otherwise, please keep in mind that your wellbeing is more important than anything else. If you feel like dropping a course would improve your wellbeing, do it. There’s always be time to catch up.
If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, I wish you all the best! Don’t worry: you’re not alone, and it’s not too late.