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The 5 Stages of Withdrawing from a Class

Recently, I decided to withdraw from one of my classes. The next 12 hours I experienced five stages that led me through my withdrawal journey that I think everyone who has withdrawn from a class can relate to:

1. Denial

Before the actual withdrawal of the class and you start to see your grades drop, you deny the need to withdraw saying that you have time to bring it back up. This is the stage where you blame everyone but yourself. You try to reason that everyone from your professor to the guy who sits in the back row and chews gum obnoxiously loud is the reason for your problem.

2. Talking to your advisor

This is definitely one of the not-so-fun parts of withdrawing from a class. You get to go sit in a small office across from the person who holds the key to you being able to withdrawal as you explain to them the situation and they try to reason with you that you should try to get some help. At this stage you have not only gone in for help, but you have pretty much exhausted your resources. Finally, they agree that the best course of action is to repeat the course during the next semester.

3. Money

At this point, you are to the stage where you are happy you are not going to have to deal with that class anymore until you start thinking about how it could cost you more money. You call the financial aid office frantic thinking you could lose your precious scholarship. Then the kind lady from the financial aid office assures you that it will not affect your scholarship and you breathe out a sigh of relief.

4. Telling your parents

This stage is the hardest. You call your parents to try and explain what is going on, while holding back tears because you don’t want them to be disappointed in your decision. You make them see that you have made an informed decision by talking to your advisor and even thinking about the money it could potentially cost you. When they say they agree with your logic and it seems like you have made an informed decision, a rush goes through you because you have finally “adulted.”

5. I’m free!

This is probably the best stage that there is. As you fill out the withdrawal paperwork and hand it over the desk to the woman sitting behind the computer, a realization comes over you. You are finally free! Unitl you remember you have to repeat it next semester.

To everyone else who has ever had to withdrawal from a class, I am with you. It is not an easy decision to make and it takes a lot of strength to admit that there is something wrong. My best piece of advice for this is to make sure you are making the right decision for you because in the end your decision, in this case, will only affect you.

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Autumn is a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University studying Forensic Science with a concentration in Biology and minors in Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry. She has an addiction to Starbucks and Panera Mac and Cheese and can usually be found with her nose in a book during her free time. She is also an active member of VCU's Rowdy Rams and the Forensic Science Student Club. In her free time, she loves to watch movies and hang out with her friends and family; including her beloved dog, Jake.
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