Three real (and three bad) reasons to drop a class

    Classes are only just underway, and already courses are being dropped left and right. Every person’s motivation for switching classes around is different, but several dominant reasons emerge for most students.

    There are plenty of relevant, important reasons to switch out of a class, which should be carefully considered in choosing one’s schedule. At the same time, people often drop classes for petty, fleeting reasons, which in hindsight can be critical disappointments in one’s college experience. Below, here are three legitimate and three not-so-legitimate reasons students shake up their schedule.

    Legitimate reasons:

    Classes too far apart

    This problem is definitely more acute for kids at massive state schools, where campuses can be spread across entire towns, but it still applies at Northwestern. It may not seem like the end of the world to jump from University to Tech in ten minutes, but without a bike or a well-timed shuttle it can quickly become a hindrance. Plus, not having any time to linger after class makes it more difficult to consult with your professor, something you’ll likely be doing at some point during the quarter.

    Too many commitments

    Other quarter system schools like Dartmouth have their students take only three classes per quarter. That’s not the case at Northwestern, where four is necessary almost every quarter to graduate on time. While you can’t necessarily drop a class all the time, taking into mind stress levels and commitments to other activities is important in deciding to keep a class. This is especially true for incoming freshman, whose transition process might as well be an extra class on its own.

    Too early

    Coming into college, 9:30 may seem reasonable. After all, didn’t you force yourself out of bed at 5:45 every morning to make it to high school? Of course, college freshman quickly realize that things are very different from their pre-college days, and that the early-morning struggle is real. This is especially true if you’ve got an early class in the wake of late-night extracurricular activities. If you’re ultimately going to skip the class most days anyways, dropping it altogether could be the right move, both for your grade and for your parents paying for your skipped classes.

    Illegitimate reasons:

    Too early

    Think you really can’t get yourself up for that 9:30 lecture? That’s just defeatist talk. Realistically, if you’re enrolling yourself in a class that early, you should know full well what you’re getting yourself into. If the class is especially rewarding, having it early simply shouldn’t be the reason for throwing in the towel. Suck it up, get some coffee before class, and make the most of your education.

    Someone you don’t like has the same class

    Ex-girlfriend in your poli sci lecture? Don’t let something that childish ruin a class experience. Part of college is maturing to the point where confronting awkward situations like these becomes essential, and letting a bad breakup ruin a potentially fulfilling course is especially juvenile. You’re better off sucking it up and handling the problem as the budding adult you are, instead of slinking away into an inferior class.

    Final on the last day of the quarter

    As Northwestern hits the home stretch heading into finals, it's completely natural to want to finish with school as quickly as possible. However, the vagaries of the exam schedule oftentimes place your final exam on the last day of the quarter, keeping that all too tempting vacation from you while your friends head home. While it's a bummer to be stuck on campus waiting to take a test, having to stick around for a few extra days shouldn't deter you from taking a class. Plus, Northwestern's winter break already starts earlier than most other schools, so why rush home when you can hang around and celebrate your impending freedom from classwork?


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