Anna Schultz-Girl On Computer Stress

I've Never Dropped a Class Until Now, and Here's Why

 

This past week was the first time I had ever dropped a class. To a lot of people, that doesn’t sound like a big deal, people do it all the time. To others, it might be huge. For me, it was probably one of my better decisions for my own mental health, and learning that it’s okay to give yourself a break sometimes. 

Last spring, I was taking four online courses in addition to one in-person class. This was before COVID-19, so I voluntarily picked to take these classes virtually. When everything moved online in March, I wasn’t feeling the stress of zoom calls or the switch to online learning because my classes were already adapted for the most part, and I wasn’t having any issues. When I registered for classes, it was about 50/50 what was supposed to be online and in person. However, in July all classes went virtual. Still, I wasn’t really stressing about it, as I mentioned I liked online classes and had no problem balancing it with my other responsibilities. Mind you, the max amount of hours you can take at UTSA is 19 and I was registered for 18. 

At the end of July, I started to feel extremely overwhelmed. I was moving into a new apartment all by myself, I had two jobs (one online and one in person), I just accepted a chairman position in my sorority, Her Campus was gearing up for the fall semester and I was starting to reconnect with my position within it, and school was right around the corner. There were days when I would call a friend or my boyfriend and just sob over how stressed I felt and how buried with responsibilities I was. At the end of the day, I just told myself that if I was more organized I could manage all of it and I could “do it all.” Wouldn’t that be a dream? 

I did all of these things, barely, for about two months, with tears and mental breakdowns riddled throughout. It got to the point where my positions in my organizations were lacking, my school work was half-assed or just plain late, and I was running around to and from work all the time. Finally, I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t manage all of it at once. One class in specific was causing me a lot of stress, Social Media Marketing, which I ironically took as a “fun” elective. The syllabus didn’t match up with when assignments were due, there were three different platforms for work and announcements, and every day my classmates and I would complain about how difficult this class was to take online. About a week ago, I decided to drop the class, the first class I had ever dropped since being in school since adolescence. 

I think I was afraid of feeling like I gave up, or didn’t try hard enough, but at the end of the day, my mental health was more important. As dramatic and long-winded as that was, it taught me to give myself grace. We are living in a time that is inherently stressful, filled with things we never knew we’d have to adapt to. While it’s not my professor’s fault how difficult I found the class to be organized, it was not my obligation to stay in it either. I think this can apply to a number of things in life, but what I hoped you’d get from my experience was that you are not a failure because you can’t do it all. You aren’t a disappointment if you need more time, if you don’t know, or if you have to take a step back for a while. As I mentioned at the beginning of this story, I know a lot of people will read this and think how stupidly dramatic I acted about dropping an elective class, but at the end of the day, it’s what helped me give myself a break -- something I think we could all use right now.