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Ask K: The Fear of Dropping Out

“Hi K — I might be doing very poorly in two of my classes and effectively ruining my GPA and thus my future. Now whenever I hear the word college dropout, I think that could possibly be a label for me if I can’t make it. I don’t know. I’m so overwhelmed, and I feel like I’m going to fold into myself and disappear. I’m just venting. I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for reading.

– Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

You can do this! Yes, we are past midterms, but that does not mean there is no hope left, and it certainly does not mean that you should be thinking of yourself as a potential college dropout. I have 5 things for you to do that can help to strengthen your grades and keep you from folding up and disappearing. College is doable. It is hard, it is stressful, but it is 100% doable.

1. Talk to your professors. Immediately.I cannot stress enough how vital it is to meet with professors. They have office hours for a reason, and if you aren’t meeting with them they are sitting there waiting for you to do so. Can’t make office hours? Schedule an appointment. Regardless of what people say, no teacher wants a student to fail. Sitting down and expressing your concerns will not only show them that you care, but it will also give them the opportunity to tell you what exactly you can do to fix this.

2. Meet with an advisor.Whether it be an academic advisor in Swem, a pre-major advisor, or any other sort of advisor, these are all paid professionals whose job is to help students. Advisors can help set up an academic plan, handle/plan your schedule, and give overall advice as to how to proceed. Furthermore, advisors often have specific information about professors, and can help you know how to approach the problem.

3. Buckle down. Focus up.You have taken the first step by recognizing you have a problem; now it is time to fix it. If we are being honest, it is likely that you have not done every reading, every assignment, studied for every test and are still about to fail. I understand that there is a lot to balance, but if you truly want to salvage your grades you have to put in the work. This may mean missing a mixer, a game, or an event, but sacrifices will need to be made–it is part of life. I am not suggesting you crawl into a hole and only study–that’s insanely unhealthy–but do set your priorities straight.

4. Seek a tutor.Swem has the tutor zone, sororities have inter-chapter tutoring, and friends love to help teach, whatever you have to do, look for help from a fellow student. While advisors may help you plan and teachers will let you know the assignments, a tutor will give you undivided attention with the sole purpose of seeing you succeed. Tutors that have taken the class will have a better handle on the specific material, and will be able to help you pinpoint your issues, and then improve them.

5. Have a little faith.Yes, college is tough, but that does not mean you have to think of yourself as a potential dropout. Things may seem tough and stressful now, but you can handle this. It will take work, but be confident in yourself and know that you got in here for a reason and that reason is that you belong here, and no one wants to see you go.

There is time and hope left. Get to work, and you can still turn this semester around.



Photo Cred: http://www.tutorii.com/do-you-really-need-to-drop-out-of-college-after-a…

Born and raised in Southern California. Loving the East Coast.
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