1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Should I drop out of my MSEE program?

  1. Dec 12, 2011 #1
    Hi. I'm currently a first-year Master's student in EE. I just wrapped up my first quarter and, in all likelihood, my GPA is going to be below a 3.0. In my school, that means that I'll be put on academic probation for the next quarter. If I don't get a 3.0 or above in the next quarter, I'll be subject to dismissal in the following quarter, and if I can't get a 3.0 or above in that quarter...well, I think we all know what happens then.

    There's a number of reasons why this happened, I think. For one, it took me a while to finally get all my classes selected. The quarter is 10 weeks long, but I didn't really have my schedule finalized until about 3 or 4 weeks into the quarter. I ended up dropping one class and adding a replacement for it in the second week. There was another class I wanted to drop, but I came to that conclusion literally on the day of the drop deadline, which was too late because the add deadline had already passed, so I couldn't add a class to take its place. So all that confusion made it kind of difficult for me.

    Another thing is that I think I underestimated how hard grad school would be. I took 13 units this quarter, which, in undergrad (which was also on the quarter system), was a piece of cake. The minimum you have to take is 12. I'll admit, I did procrastinate a little, but I don't think my work ethic or time management was that much worse than everyone else's. But I do remember that I felt overwhelmed a lot during the quarter. Not being able to drop that class I wanted to drop definitely contributed significantly to this.

    Also, it's been a while since I've been in school. I graduated from my undergrad school in December 2009 and I started grad school in September 2011. I had been working contract jobs in between and I think that, in that time, I forgot what it's like to be in school and have assignments, exams, projects, etc.

    Finally, and I think this is a very shaky reason, but I was not exactly in the best place emotionally and mentally. I've always struggled with social anxiety, depression, and general emotional issues, although this isn't really the place to discuss the details of my mental health. Believe me, it would take a while. I didn't really have any friends, any social life, or anything to do. Of course, it doesn't really help that the town my grad school is in is pretty boring. Seriously, it's just suburbs and farmland. I didn't really know where to meet people or how to enjoy myself, but to be honest, there was a part of me that felt that I shouldn't be looking to do those things anyway. My brain says that I'm here to study, not to mingle and have fun, but my heart says otherwise. I guess you could say I had mild depression throughout the quarter, although I'm not a mental health professional, so I can't make that diagnosis.

    Do these seem like good reasons, or do they seem like excuses? In any event, I'm wondering if, in the likely event that I get put on academic probation next quarter, I should drop out. I had similar problems in undergrad school, which is why my undergrad GPA was 2.9 (It was 2.5 at one point, but I slowly raised it). The same things have plagued me my whole life: emotional issues, mental health issues, social issues, all of which lead to work ethic and production issues. I was once subject to dismissal from my undergrad school and actually got fired from a job because of these problems. Every time I suffered a set back like that, I promised myself I would get my life in order, fix my habits, and never let this happen again...only to eventually let it happen again.

    If I do get below a 3.0, I could try to give myself that pep talk again. I could try to change my habits and work harder. But it seems like a futile exercise. I'm terrified that I'm going to end up screwing up the next quarter and the following quarter again, and part of me believes that these attempts at changing my habits and work ethic are nothing but a meaningless charade.

    So I'm wondering. Should I try again? Did I have valid reasons to not get a 3.0 or above this past quarter? Can I actually change my habits and do well next quarter? Or should I just give up and admit that, no matter how many times I try to improve my habits and work ethic, I'm eventually going to end up flunking out of grad school? I'm seriously leaning towards the latter, but the thing is that I worked pretty hard to get into this grad school. I never thought I would get in, considering my undergrad GPA and essays. But a part of me feels like, if I can't do well in my first quarter on campus, then I don't really deserve to be here.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2011 #2
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook