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Does dropping a class hurt you?

  1. Sep 16, 2011 #1
    So, this semester I am taking Calc2 (6 credits here), Physics1 (4 credits), Linear Algebra (3 credits), and OrganicChem1 (4 credits). My Organic Chemistry course is at a strange time on Sundays and it's really inconvenient to attend. On top of that, it's only one day a week, which is awkward to me considering all of the work required for the course. If I keep my current course-load, I think I will most likely end up getting at most a B in chemistry. Not only that, but I don't feel that I have the proper time to fully understand all the material.

    Calculus II is no problem at all, I know all of the topics already before taking the course, but there is so much homework it takes a solid 15 hours a week outside of class to stay up to speed. I have a wretched physics professor that does not cover the proof of anything. She teaches to a class of engineers (no offense) who simply want to learn some equations and finish the course. So I have to spend much free time re-learning the material in the proper manner. I think I am the only physics student in any of my courses except for this one astronomy major. Linear algebra is no problem at all, I actually enjoy that class the most I think.

    That being said, will it hurt me if I drop Organic Chemistry? I have never dropped a class before and my university does not have a WP/WF type dropping system (Withdrawn-passing/failing), it simply puts a W on the transcript as far as I know. I don't want a B, and even more so, I don't want to have gaps in my knowledge because I want to take Organic 2 and so on. My chemistry courses are not required for my degree though, not taking them would not prohibit me from taking higher physics courses or delay my graduation. I would simply take it at a later time to finish a chemistry minor.

    For what it's worth, I currently have a 4.0 and am working on a Physics degree with a specialization in Optics/Photonics and a Chem minor. I will attend grad school.

    What should I do?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2011 #2


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    If it's going to hurt you in other classes, drop it. At the end of the day no one will care.
  4. Sep 16, 2011 #3
    I would stick with the class and put my best effort in it. And honestly though 4 classes doesn't sound too bad. I had quite a similar schedule my first semester at college, with Calc 2, Linear Algebra, Physics I and Philosophy and it wasn't bad at all. With a lot of these courses I feel there's a learning curve, but once you've put enough time into a subject it's only gonna get easier.
  5. Sep 16, 2011 #4
    Well, I have an internship this semester as well, which is why I took the average amount of courses. That is something I definitely do not want to slack off on. I'm not worried about the learning curve thing, I don't even think that any of the courses are particularly difficult. I just do not have the time to perfectly score on 4 courses, 2 labs, and an internship without getting a B or worse somewhere. The CalcII homework is extensive, I have a professor notorious for prescribing problems in the latter ends of the book, but I think it's really fun, just time consuming. Physics has that dreaded Masteringphysics.com garbage that eats up hours and hours as well. That plus two 5 hour labs a week, their associated reports, and the internship adds up.
  6. Sep 16, 2011 #5
    Drop it if you think there's an easier time in the future to take it.
  7. Sep 16, 2011 #6
    I see, well that makes the situation vastly different. However, dropping it depends on whether the matter is just you working your butt off, or you not having time at all. If you still have some time to spare, and all you have to do is work harder, I'd continue with it. However if you don't have enough time to devote, then maybe dropping it would be better. Of course, there's always a third option of increasing the time you have by about 10 hours a week if you choose to sleep say 6.5 instead of 8 hours, but that probably depends on how you function. I could do it (and am) but a lot of people I know can't live off of anything less than 8 or 9.
  8. Sep 16, 2011 #7
    That's a good point. I am already past the "get your money back and make it look like you never took the class" deadline so really I have a month or more to decide. (Which is really silly since the add/drop deadline was before I even took my second class because it's a one day a week course on Sundays and the semester started on a Monday). I guess I should make a weekly schedule and plan all of my time to see if it's even possible.
  9. Sep 17, 2011 #8


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    I don't think I would drop the course, it is a good course to take. It has a lot of synthetic knowledge compared to math and physics for example. You will always need to take on new knowledge and handle new things, so this could be good preparation. Because you say you are not struggling with calculus, I would stick with it.

    Perhaps you could devote 30 minutes each day to chemistry (plus a weekly homework session when you need it). Seeing it more often may help it take.
  10. Sep 17, 2011 #9
    Well, I thought a great deal on this and made a schedule providing ample time for each class. Since the Chem course was only once a week I would most certainly have to spend more time on it than if I took one that was more frequent. This is the first course that I have signed up for that has had this type of schedule. Considering all the time required, my schedule was just not working out unless I planned my whole week perfectly, nothing unexpected came up, and I slept 5 hours each night. I don't think that I can manage that. As a result, I dropped the class this morning :(

    That schedule was not including any time for exercise or other non-academic related things either. I think I will write the professor an email now explaining that I dropped her course because of unexpected time constraints and that I plan to take it with her again in the next semester. She is a great professor, I just don't have the time that I thought I did.

    Would that be a good idea?
  11. Sep 17, 2011 #10
    If it doesn't have a W
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