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Advice from a Brown Student: When It’s Time to Drop a Course

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brown chapter.

If you are anything like me, your professors have started to mumble the word “final exam/project.” Tension fills the air as you pile on another task to your to-do list. In the sea of hands that shoot up, asking questions about the lurking finals, it is normal to feel that it is all moving too quickly. With a full set of classes and extracurriculars, it might feel overwhelming to even begin thinking about finals. The occasional though or two about dropping a course could start popping into your head. If so, I feel you, I see you, and let’s talk about it. 

Brown’s environment is slowly breaking the stigma that there is a shame associated with dropping a class. Though our academic journeys differ, we all can agree that classes are rigorous. We find ourselves going to office hours, staying up late to finish problem sets, and the occasional tear or two when an exam is nearby. All of this to say, burnout is real. By the end of the semester, we are crawling to the finish line and rushing to go back home to friends and family. In those moments when we feel like we are drowning in work, dropping a course can alleviate some of the stress. 

At the start of the semester, we may have registered for more courses than recommended or enrolled in classes with similar intensity levels (To all those enrolled in organic chemistry, introduction to neurobiology, and physics, I wish you all the best of luck). Now that we are close to the end, your academic goals may have shifted. Maybe you did not get the most out of your classes, content-wise, as you would have hoped. Maybe you did not perform as well as you would have liked to on your exams/ projects and want the chance at a re-do. Maybe you need to pause a class to ensure your overall success with the remainder of your course load. In these situations, it might be best to drop a class.

The flexibility at Brown and your own wishes as a student will allow you to pick up a class in a later semester. 

If you find yourself at a crossroads, I recommend taking a step back. Reflect on where you are at in the semester:

  • Do you find yourself needing to catch up?
  • How are finals looking like?
  • Are you satisfied with your progress in your classes?

If you still are unsure, turn to advisors, peer advisors, or upperclassmen friends for more guidance. At the end of the day, you know what is best for you!

Samantha is a junior from New York City studying Neurobiology. Apart from her work in lab, she enjoys reading, petting the neighborhood dogs, and drinking matcha lattes.