Life @ U of T

Introduction

The Myths of Course Dropping

The Myths of Course Dropping

November 5th is the official deadline to drop a Fall class for this semester. Speaking from personal experience, I know what it’s like to be confused by, and bit scared of, the concept of dropping a class, so I wanted to take this chance to bust some of the myths and misconceptions around dropping courses.

Image of the drop course icon from ACORN. Caption: To drop or not to drop, that is the question
To drop or not to drop, that is the question

MYTH: You should drop a class if it means keeping a high GPA.

WHY THIS IS FALSE: While it’s definitely nice to have a great GPA, it shouldn’t be the only factor in deciding whether you should drop a course or not. Keep in mind that you get 30% of your final mark before the drop deadline. This means you have another 70% to go, which might give you enough time to reevaluate your learning strategies and ask for help. There are plenty of resources at U of T that you can use, including Academic Success and U of T’s many Writing Centres.

If you don’t think you can turn your mark around, then taking it as a credit/no credit course (CR/NCR for short) is also an option, especially if you want to stay in the class and you don’t need the grade for your POSt. This way, you can still get the credit if you pass the course.

MYTH: You should drop a class to free up your time.

WHY THIS IS FALSE: While this can be an incredibly tempting idea, it’s important to think about why you want to free up your time. Do you want more time so you can focus on your other classes, or do you want to drop classes because you’d rather be at home watching Netflix? If you’re struggling with time management and motivation, there are tons of blog posts (here, here, and here) which can help you get on track.

The logo for Netflix. Caption: My personal weakness
My personal weakness

MYTH: You should drop a class because you don’t need it.

WHY THIS IS FALSE: U of T is an amazing place to indulge in your curiosities and interests. Even if a class doesn’t seem completely relevant to your degree or career aspirations, it still might open doors for you! Plus, it could be worth it if you really enjoy the topic.

I took Celtic Folklore last year (SMC346, in case you’re interested), and not only was it super fun but my prof also said she’d be able to put me in contact with faculty at Harvard’s Folklore & Mythology Department if I ever wanted to pursue the topic in grad school. How cool is that?

MYTH: You should just follow your gut when deciding to drop a class.

WHY THIS IS FALSE: It’s important that you list out your own pros and cons for dropping a course: in other words, take everything I say here with a grain of salt! Maybe you do need to drop a class to have more free time, maybe you’re in a rut and need more time for self-care. Maybe you realized that it’d be better to replace one class with another. At the end of the day, remember to listen to yourself in making your own decisions.

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