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Courses Should I drop a course?

  1. Oct 12, 2008 #1
    Right now I have the following on my plate:

    3 credits of Senior Lab (condensed matter)
    3 credits of Solid State lecture
    5 credits of EE Circuits Lab (diodes and transistors are the main topic)
    3 credits of Independent Research for a professor
    Study for GREs Nov. 8th

    Each of it (except GRE) turned out to be slightly more difficult than I had expected and I am getting overwhelmed. This is the 3rd week of class, and I have not had time to do anything besides homework and study in that time. Literally. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I come home at around 6pm, eat dinner, try to do some more homework, and then take a shower at around 9-ish and go to bed so that I can get up at 6am the next day.

    Thursdays and Fridays aren't as packed, but lab reports don't write themselves and I have a LOT. And somewhere in there I have to find time to study for the GREs and do that independent research. I haven't picked up my guitar, gone outside, or played a video game since the quarter started... Any time I try to take a break all these voices in my head (not literally) are saying "HEY WARPHALANGE YOU NEED TO DO YOUR LAB REPORT! DONT' FORGET TO STUDY FOR GRE! SOLID STATE HOMEWORK! DID YOU GET THAT PROGRAM RUNNING FOR YOUR PROFESSOR???" so I can't even relax.

    Yesterday I spent about 6 hours on homework and today it's been 4 so far, with a lot more to come. This wouldn't be as big a problem if I had actually gotten anything significant done. I am stuck on my lap report so that means I will need to spend another 1-3 hours doing it, essentially I wasted my time trying to figure out what to do next instead of asking.

    So I'm kind of freaking out because I have this feeling it will all collapse on me in another 2 or 3 weeks and I'll either start to slip in all my classes or suffer some sort of mental breakdown.

    Only problem is I need 12 credits to count as "full time", so dropping a single class wouldn't cut it. What I'm thinking is dropping the Senior Lab and tacking on 1 more credit to Independent Research to get the magic number.

    I honestly think I should talk to someone about whether to do this, but don't know who. The professor for the Senior Lab? The professor for Independent Research? I don't have an adviser per se... I've never had to drop a class before, though, so I don't know how I feel about it...
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2008 #2
    I would drop something if i were in your shoes.
  4. Oct 12, 2008 #3
    How close are you to the end of your undergrad?

    I mean, this is a good time to see if you have what it takes to just hack it out. In grad school it gets a lot harder to drop classes and a lot easier to get overwhelmed... You should never have literally no time for your other hobbies and interests - it's just not healthy! However, there might be a semester here or there where the guitar gets a little dusty, and you've got to be able to find a long term balance and prioritize your goals.
  5. Oct 12, 2008 #4
    Ha. the usual ranting... well I shouldn't mock you because I'm just at the same situation. All my weekends since the school starts has been pure work. Each day after I finished my classes I go to the library to study until around 6 or 7 p.m.. Come home, chill+ eat dinner, do some more work, sleep then wait till next day. The bad thing is even then I'll still not completely finished with my work... like today, I still have half of my homework unfinished and they are due Thursday (I spent the whole yesterday and today working on them). I have a lab report coming up and a book I need to finish by Dec to write a paper (paper = whole grade). I am also VP of my club and organize a GRE study group (I prepare some materials every week).... I also have a research project going on, which I have pretty much abandoned due to my time constrain... I still do some work occasionally though....well it seems that 24 hours just don't seem enough anymore.

    Alright, sure it feels good to rant doesn't it? Life goes on, I keep moving on and I know that by the end of the semester, when I succeed, it'll be the happiest day since a long while. Hey, drop the class if you need to, too much stress can be bad for you. I don't know about you but for me, stress feeds my ego and my study... until then... I'll continue to work on my homework for now.

    Edit: I read your post in more detail and I realized my situation is just like yours, I only have 12 credit too so no room to drop there... Well, I guess it's a chance I took, so bring it on!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2008
  6. Oct 12, 2008 #5
    I know. And this is what kind of scares me about grad school, that it will only get harder. However, the reason I'm overwhelmed is because of how long things take more so than how hard they are.

    Last week I spent 9 hours doing a single experiment (Pulsed NMR) because my group for some reason just couldn't figure it out. This is without any report, too. And next week is when my 2nd lab class starts having experiments (it's only been lecture + homework so far), taking away even more time.

    I study on the bus to and from school every day (an hour) and in between classes I do homework (and get some lunch). During my EE class I do the homework for that class...

    I knew this quarter would be hard, but I didn't expect to have absolutely 0 time for fun and still be worrying about getting things done on time. I'm willing to set aside my hobbies for 10 weeks, but the kicker is that I still can't guarantee that I'll be able to get everything done.

    But none of it is particularly difficult except for the Solid State. That class is hell... but it's fun. :)

    Otherwise everything is mostly straight forward and just requires a lot of hours of input.
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