• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Dropping a course I have no time for but oh! The shame of failure! Must I?

  • Courses
  • Thread starter Hellken
  • Start date
  • #1
13
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

I am currently taking up a calculus course along with several other courses this semester. I am currently flunking the course and I really want to drop. Now, I'm not terrible at math. I'm actually pretty good. I have had a lot of lec and lab work from my engineering courses pile up in front of my face and I have found little time to spare for calculus. Hence I never pass my homeworks (despite my best time management strategies) and my grades have been in the red for too long. I want out.

Strictly speaking I am not overloaded by my university standards (which rates under and overloaded by number of credits). Although from an hourly basis, I spend a really monstrous amount of time in class per week ( > 30 hours a week) not including time spent commuting and doing errands. I feel overwhelmed and I need to drop the course.

Yet, my university requires that my prof indicates whether I am passing or failing a course on my dropping forms. I feel ashamed since I will be recorded as failing a course.

I'm thinking of acing the next exam then drop so I don't have to deal with the terrible shame of having a red "FAIL" on my record. But considering the work I have on my other courses not to mention lab work, projects, prob sets, exams and upcoming oral reports, I feel that giving it my all on that one math exam might compromise everything else.

I am in dire need of advice.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
13
0
Oh sorry. This should have been in the ACADEMIC GUIDANCE section not GENERAL but it's been moved very fast anyway.
 
  • #3
gb7nash
Homework Helper
805
1
Assuming you aced this test (100%), what overall grade would you have? If it's something decent, I would just tough it out and finish the class. If there's not a snowball's chance in hell to get a decent grade, I would just take the hit and learn from experience. The worst thing to happen to you is to get nowhere with calculus and suffer with your other classes as well.

Another question I have is, how many hours per week are spent on anything school related? Commutes, class, labs, homework, etc.. Are you also working parttime? How much free time do you usually have? If you're able to budget your time in a different way, you may be able to salvage the situation.

Also, take initiative and talk to your professor/instructor. Tell him what you're going through and ask what you need to do to improve your grades. Some are sympathetic and will help you, some aren't. It doesn't hurt though.
 
  • #4
231
0
I'd first talk with your professor. In some of my classes, the lowest test grade is replaced with the final. If yours is that way, then it's definitely not too late to start working harder.

It sounds like you need to focus on time management. Do you do homework inefficiently? Do you work with groups? Try to minimize the amount of time spent on a certain thing while maximizing your understanding of it. Talk to other students who are in the same classes as you are and see how they manage it.

It sounds like you've already made up your mind to drop the class though. Dropping it now with a "Failure" is undoubtedly going to look better than failing the class.
 
  • #5
gb7nash
Homework Helper
805
1
Do you work with groups? Try to minimize the amount of time spent on a certain thing while maximizing your understanding of it. Talk to other students who are in the same classes as you are and see how they manage it.
That's good advice. Working with others adds the communication element to this, and it helps a lot to shoot ideas back and forth. When I was in grad school, I always found a couple of people to work with, and it really helped me to understand the topics much better.
 
  • #6
76
0
Assuming you aced this test (100%), what overall grade would you have? If it's something decent, I would just tough it out and finish the class. If there's not a snowball's chance in hell to get a decent grade, I would just take the hit and learn from experience. The worst thing to happen to you is to get nowhere with calculus and suffer with your other classes as well.
...
Also, take initiative and talk to your professor/instructor. Tell him what you're going through and ask what you need to do to improve your grades. Some are sympathetic and will help you, some aren't. It doesn't hurt though.
Excellent advice here! As one who did not so well my first time around due to whatever circumstances I can't emphasise enough how important it is to talk to lecturers - if you have a genuine problem they are usually more than willing to help you find a way out.

Having a fail on your record is not the end of the world by any stretch, just learn from the experience and move on. Now having said that, if you think 30 hours / week is a monstrous amount of workload, you will laugh at it in several years when you have worked 60+ hour weeks in industry.
 
  • #7
1,086
2
Now having said that, if you think 30 hours / week is a monstrous amount of workload, you will laugh at it in several years when you have worked 60+ hour weeks in industry.
From what I gathered, those 30 hours weekly are just the lectures and labs, so I assume he does much more work in total.
 
  • #8
13
0
From what I gathered, those 30 hours weekly are just the lectures and labs, so I assume he does much more work in total.
Correct. That's just the time I spend in class basically. Not including studying or my community welfare commitments and training for the soccer team.
 
  • #9
13
0
It sounds like you need to focus on time management. Do you do homework inefficiently? Do you work with groups? Try to minimize the amount of time spent on a certain thing while maximizing your understanding of it. Talk to other students who are in the same classes as you are and see how they manage it.

It sounds like you've already made up your mind to drop the class though. Dropping it now with a "Failure" is undoubtedly going to look better than failing the class.

Having a fail on your record is not the end of the world by any stretch, just learn from the experience and move on. Now having said that, if you think 30 hours / week is a monstrous amount of workload, you will laugh at it in several years when you have worked 60+ hour weeks in industry.
I'm using Cal Newport's time management tips (Find his excellent blog, Study Hacks) and without them I would have been licking dirt this whole semester so I don't mean to brag but I have better time management skills (Though I can and I will always find ways to improve) than most of the undergrads who walk to exams bleary eyed and with fear. It still happens to me but it is becoming less and less of an occurrence thanks to his tips.

===============================================================
Just to clarify, it's just that I made the mistake this sem of entering classes with too many hours attached all of them being "5 - star", "7 - star" biggies together with that small calculus class I took and a community welfare requirement. That was my mistake. I didn't realize it because my university recommended me to take them all and I simply followed the recommendation.

Cal Newport strongly recommends dropping a class every semester. His philosophy consists of trimming down your commitments and he strongly condemns trying to do more than you humanly can. Put only good eggs you can carry in one basket. I put in a lot of heavy eggs in different baskets. So despite my much improved time management skills its just impractical to move on.

===================================================================

Assuming you aced this test (100%), what overall grade would you have? If it's something decent, I would just tough it out and finish the class. If there's not a snowball's chance in hell to get a decent grade, I would just take the hit and learn from experience. The worst thing to happen to you is to get nowhere with calculus and suffer with your other classes as well.

Another question I have is, how many hours per week are spent on anything school related? Commutes, class, labs, homework, etc.. Are you also working parttime? How much free time do you usually have? If you're able to budget your time in a different way, you may be able to salvage the situation.

Also, take initiative and talk to your professor/instructor. Tell him what you're going through and ask what you need to do to improve your grades. Some are sympathetic and will help you, some aren't. It doesn't hurt though.

I've made my mind about dropping. Though my question here basically is if: (1) I should save face first or (2) drop immediately ?

On any day of the week, I would have jumped for number 2 as its probably the more logical reason given my situation. I've talked to my prof before. And you can tell that he tries to measure people's self worth based on their actions. By some unfortunate circumstances he sees me as "lazy" which is in contrast to how people in the engineering building see me. If I tell him I would go for option (1) I would end with a good impression if i go for option (2) I would look like a lazy quitter. I'll talk to him again this week about dropping.

I could potentially get at least a decent score to get me out of the red zone (at least an 80%) if I marshal my resources... But at the expense of my other more important big 5 star classes!

It's hard to leave people with the impression that you are a quitter. Then again I could let go of my pride and just let him think of me as a lazy quitter and ace calculus next semester. But at the same time, I'm not sure how my family would react to a red "DROPPED - Status when dropped: FAIL" next to calculus when they get it in the mail.
 
Last edited:
  • #10
6,814
12
Yet, my university requires that my prof indicates whether I am passing or failing a course on my dropping forms. I feel ashamed since I will be recorded as failing a course.
Check if the university actually records the information. If it goes on the form, but doesn't make it into the transcript, then it doesn't matter.
 
  • #11
13
0
Check if the university actually records the information. If it goes on the form, but doesn't make it into the transcript, then it doesn't matter.

I was about to state this but since you posted it ahead of me, thanks anyway. I am seriously thinking of just swallowing it and just get a drop anyways and leave my prof with a bad impression. I know it sucks to leave people, profs especially, with a bad impression but I'l just swallow it and take the hit. My parents would be unhappy if I dropped now while I'm in the red zone even if I have a good chance of getting an okay score.

In any case I honestly think that there isn't any point in trying to save calculus even if I have a good chance of getting a good grade in the next exam since I blew the first. Im thinking of dropping now, starting anew next sem than just barely passing with a so-so grade unless anyone can think of a better strategy.
 
  • #12
6,814
12
I was about to state this but since you posted it ahead of me, thanks anyway. I am seriously thinking of just swallowing it and just get a drop anyways and leave my prof with a bad impression.
You are probably one of several dozen students, and you may find that the professor doesn't even know your name. In any case, it's really hard to figure out what the professor's (or parent's) reaction will be since even professors (and parents) have had to drop courses in order to keep from getting stressed out.

Most professors I know think it's a good thing for students to drop courses to keep from getting overloaded.

Starting anew next sem than just barely passing with a so-so grade unless anyone can think of a better strategy.
If it's a big class where no one notices an extra face, you might consider showing up at the lectures and keeping up with the homework so that you are in a better situation when you have to retake the class next semester.
 

Related Threads on Dropping a course I have no time for but oh! The shame of failure! Must I?

Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
673
Replies
28
Views
4K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
10
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
495
Top