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My life is collapsing, I feel like killing myself. PF, please help me

  1. Jul 11, 2010 #1
    When I was in high school my grades were poor, no more than a B. In recent years during my senior year I suddenly had a huge interest in physics and math. I began to study day after day and eventually I made it to Multivariable Calculus during my final years in high school (I applied for concurrent studies).

    Now here is where my life went down. My instructor told us that the last day to drop the course was the two days after midterm and he said he would rush mark the exam. A few weeks later, I just got my midterm and I scored an average mark. I noticed most of my mistakes were silly mistakes that I overlooked and brought my marks down to an average score. I feel really down because the average was C+ and it was not going to be curved because one person got 98.6% on it. I literally cried (yes I am very emotional because getting poor grades when I desire good grades is big blow to me since I have just still started really caring for my grades) for 3 days. After some emotional grief, I got back on my feet and strive to do better on the second midterm.

    Now today in the morning, my uncle phoned my mother and told us that my grandmother died. This is like a second blow to me, my grandmother was the closest person to me since she raised me. I really don't know what to do, I am feeling so depressed that I can't even cry. I can't focus on my Maths because I keep thinking about my grandmother. I even skipped class for two days straight (one of them I am supposed to hand in our assignments, but I just didn't care anymore). The thing is, I feel like I should have dropped the course. Now if I do drop it, I think I am going to get a W and my college life will be over.

    I am going to be a freshman this year in college, but I don't think I can even make it anymore. I want to fly back home for my grandmother's funeral, but my mother is telling me to just try to focus on my studies.

    I know I sound like a child right now just seeking condolence or words of sympathy, but I really need some academic advice here. I am not asking you guys to give me words of sympathy over my grandmother, I just need some academic advice for my situation right now because I feel like my life is over.

    Thank you reading.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2010 #2
    A death in the family can qualify for academic concession on compassionate grounds at some universities.
  4. Jul 11, 2010 #3
    Why is getting a W the end of your college career? Also, I think a lot of colleges will grant you leave or drop a class or something if you have important personal matters to attend to. You must talk to some of the counselors at your school to see what you can do about it.

    It's hard to lose someone, but you still have to make sure you're not screwing yourself over. Don't do dumb things like not turn in your assignment, at the very least let the professor know what's happened and maybe he/she will understand and give you an extension until you figure out some stuff.
  5. Jul 11, 2010 #4

    My current college is a community college, I am not a freshman until this winter. Having a W means that I dropped out because it was too hard and I will never get into grad school. I don't even know how I am suppose to handle this situation since my grandmother died in another country.
  6. Jul 12, 2010 #5

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    I don't know of any school that defines a W that way. People withdraw from courses for all kinds of reasons. If you really think it will be a dealbreaker, you will have an admissions essay to explain the situation.
  7. Jul 12, 2010 #6
    I can't even focus on my work, I don't think I will be able to write an essay to convince some counselor to have pity on me. I am trying not to even drop the course, I really want to continue.
  8. Jul 12, 2010 #7


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    I'm sorry for your loss!

    That is not how universities see W's however. They KNOW things like this happen and no university is under the impression that everyone should be able to just continue on like nothing happened. I'm fairly sure the reason you dropped the course isn't even noted anywhere. It's basically as if the course never happened.
  9. Jul 12, 2010 #8
    I'll be frank, I typed this up really quickly because I feel like I just don't care anymore. I admit I have no experience in this and I don't really know the true meaning of a W. I am not even sure I will get a W since I have passed the date for dropping the course. I honestly don't know what to do. My mother can't help me because she doesn't speak English. I really feel like dying
  10. Jul 12, 2010 #9


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    Drop the course, take a semester off if need be. Universities do not care. The ONLY thing you can do that will hurt you in the future would be to continue a course you are going to do poorly in because you felt you had to continue even though you knew you couldn't. That's it. You will not be able to find any informed individual who will tell you different.

    At the very very worst, if you take a semester off, you might have some annoying paperwork to do when you try to continue but it's not a big deal at all and will have no effect on your college career.

    There's usually multiple drop deadlines. One is dropping it without any question, one requires a serious and compelling reason, and then one near the very very end of the semester where they won't drop people (although this is really not strict rule!). In the end, even if you get an F in the course. It's 1 out of 40 courses and you're at the very start, it doesn't matter at all.

    Also, if you seriously are feeling that way, get counseling (Universities provide this!) if you can.
  11. Jul 12, 2010 #10

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    I dropped a cc class once because my cat died. I never even bothered to explain it on my admissions essay. I still got into the school of my choice. It's not that big of a deal. Like the penguin said, just go talk to your counselors (both academic and psychological if need be). You should know exactly what the transcript result/impact will be before you make yourself crazy over this.
  12. Jul 12, 2010 #11
    Family comes first. Deal with the death first, and then work out the grades later. Most colleges tend to be understanding about this sort of thing, and you are much, much better off withdrawing then getting bad grades and learning nothing because you have external life events.

    Also, the rules in college (and in life) are very different than in high school. People that do well in high school tend to have a shock when the enter college and life and find that grades aren't everything.
  13. Jul 12, 2010 #12
    Whatever it means, it's less important than life and family. You clearly are not in a situation where you are able to focus on your studies, and trying to continue classes when you are in a bad shape is likely to make things worse.

    If you are actively suicidal, then get yourself checked into a hospital NOW!!!!

    Grades are not that important. School is not that important. The basic problem is that in high school, your life revolved around grades and school. One of the more important things that you need to learn in college is grades and school is just not that important in the grand scheme of things.
  14. Jul 12, 2010 #13
    I think first you should talk to your advisor or the school's academic counselor. You also should see your doctor about a prescription for anti-depressants which will getting you feeling normal again. Don't delay on seeing your doctor because some anti-depressants take about two weeks to take affect.
  15. Jul 12, 2010 #14


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    I second this. It is especially a hard reality for (typically good) students that used attach their worth and happiness to their GPAs. Learn to let go. It is nice to have high grades, but not that important!.
  16. Jul 12, 2010 #15
    If you need to get an F, get an F in the course. Who cares? It's community college. Just retake the course later. When you transfer to a real college, the GPA doesn't transfer, only the credit. As long as you do well in your upper level classes, I doubt grad schools will care that you had to take an intro level class at a community college twice early in your career.
  17. Jul 12, 2010 #16
    If you can't concentrate on your studies, then drop the class. You're taking calculus III, which is something I've never heard of a high school kid doing. Unless you're trying to make it into something like MIT, you're not going to have issues.

    I think you have the wrong mentality about death. Seriously, you're neglecting your studies, you're suicidal, and you're worried about a W on your transcript. Imagine how other people might feel if you killed yourself. How many other people's lives will as you say 'collapse' over your death? Don't kill yourself. Just.. don't. Take it from me (a veteran of family death): In a few months, things will be better, you'll be able to concentrate, and everything will work out. It is not worth offing yourself over. But seriously, drop the class. I'm a homeschool student who's having to take two years of community college just to think about getting into a university. Your life is absolutely grand compared to mine.
  18. Jul 12, 2010 #17
    As has been already noted, this is false. I had a W on my transcript. I got into grad school and even finished.

    Again, as others have said, life and family come first. School can wait. One class will not matter much in the grand scheme of approximately 30-40 classes you take as an undergrad.

    Take time to grieve. It is important. It gets better eventually.
  19. Jul 12, 2010 #18


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    You would be explaining this when you apply for graduate schools, not to get out of the class.

    It seems (and you admit) that you are not very informed about how the process of dropping out of classes impacts your academic career. I don't know how it works at community colleges, but I assume there's some sort of academic advisor you can talk to. Do that, explain the situation, and they'll be able to tell you what your options actually are, as opposed to this preconceived notion you have of what your options are.

    You're stressing out over what is really a minor situation academically, and it seems like it's snowballing to impact other parts of your life that it shouldn't be. If you really feel suicidal and are not just posting hyperbole, you need to get medical attention for that ASAP.
  20. Jul 12, 2010 #19
    Wow, you are so depressed and can't think of anything else but your grandma, and, yet, you found the time to create an account on PF and write all of this. Do I smell a troll?
  21. Jul 12, 2010 #20
    If it's a troll, then I would be very happy because that probably means (a) we don't have this depressed person on PF and (b) this grandma didn't die!

    Otherwise, I would agree with everybody else said on here. Getting a W in your Calc III class that you took when you were a high school student will not be a huge deal; just take the class again and do better in there. What's important is that you actually learned the material--and with the condition you're in now, you're not learning Calc III, which is one of the important concepts that you have to know to learn physics. So take it again, and learn it this time!
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