Last night, I did something I’ve never done at UMBC before. It was unexpected, and to be honest, a little scary.
I dropped a class. WHOA. Now, I’ve dropped classes before. But I’ve never dropped after the official add/drop date, which is about 2 weeks into the semester. Here at UMBC, you can still drop a class after the add/drop day, but the class stays listed on your transcript with a “W” grade (for withdraw). I’ve always been worried about dropping classes, since I’ve heard a “W” can be bad for you. However, this class, Statistical Computing, was too much for me. I needed a much stronger foundation in statistics than I currently have, and I simply did not have the time to teach myself the background knowledge I need to succeed.
So, I talked to my friends and professors that I know, particularly Dr. Kelber-Kaye in the Honors College. They said I shouldn’t be scared of a “W” (it actually doesn’t affect much at all), but more importantly, they said struggling in a class because you don’t have the knowledge for it isn’t worth it.
They said there is a different between struggling to learn and struggling because you don’t know what the professor is writing on the board. If you are in a hard class now, I am not saying you should just drop it and get out. Learning is challenging, and sometimes you have to struggle. But if you are struggling to comprehend topics that are taken for granted as common knowledge, that may be too much.
I’m glad have a support network I was able to ask for advice, and I’m glad I did eventually drop. It was a little scary, but now I know I’ll be able to succeed in all my other classes, without constantly worrying about one class in particular. :)