To Withdraw or Not to Withdraw: That Is The Question

My sweet, lovely, beautiful Aura’s! How’ve you all been? I missed you guys so much. The little hiatus we took was rough but well needed. We have so much in store for you guys I can’t wait to see it all unfold.

Today I decided that I was going to focus a little more on our older Aura’s, specifically our first year college students. I hope you’re all enjoying your first semester and the new relationships you’ve formed with your roommates, friends, and professors. The first semester is usually rough what with being away from home and really being on your own for the first time. For my commuters I know it’s especially hard making friends when you’re not on campus 24/7 and holding down a part time job. My first semester, thank goodness, was pretty easy and I didn’t really have any issues (academia wise) to deal with. I’m aware that this may not be the case with you guys.

If you’re taking a class that seems impossible the idea of withdrawing may be floating around in your head. For those that don’t know, withdrawing from a course is essentially dropping a class with a ‘W’ on your transcripts as a penalty. Depending on your school’s rules, a partial refund for the class may be available. Withdraws don’t affect your GPA negatively or positively it’s just kinda…there. Withdrawing from a class is a huge deal and shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, withdrawing should only be considered as a last resort.

If you’re struggling in a class consider these steps:

1. Change your study routine. Each subject, at least for me, needs a different study method. The way you study for Calculus isn’t the same way you study for Anatomy. Changing up your studying routine can help you understand the material better.

2. To avoid having to withdraw from a class I suggest you make an appointment in your school library to meet with a tutor. It’s what you’re paying for so might aswell take advantage of all the resources provided. The second perspective on the subject may offer clarity you might’ve not seen before.

3. If the school tutors aren’t helpful, contact your professor and schedule an appointment to meet them during their office hours for one on one lessons. This way you’re not distracted by the other students in the class and you can feel comfortable asking the professor questions you may be afraid to ask during lectures. This will also show your professor that you are making an effort to improve in their class which can benefit you in the long run in terms of extra credit points being added to your final grade.

When you withdraw from a class your transcript gets a ‘W’ on it. Now, this ‘W’ isn’t necessarily an F. It just means that you weren’t able to stay in the class for whatever reason and chose to formally take yourself out of it. ‘W’s aren’t uncommon amongst student transcript but multiple withdraws do catch the attention of admission staff and possible future employers (if they require transcripts). So you want to keep the withdraws to a minimum if you can.

It is always better to take a W than an F on your transcript. When you fail a class you get no credit and essentially waste hundreds and maybe even thousands of dollars. Not to mention the huge plummet your GPA will take after receiving an F. GPA’s in college are a huge deal because your GPA can affect scholarships and financial aid. It can also affect your qualification for entrance to a Master’s Program if you decide to apply after graduating.

Now this isn’t to say you absolutely, positively, should not withdraw from a class. This is just to help you make an informed decision that is essentially affecting your education. Withdraws should only be taken when you know 100% that you will fail the class. If school tutoring, extra time studying, and professors taking time to meet you after class hours to work on the material doesn’t work out, withdrawing is probably your best bet. Before submitting in any paperwork to withdraw from a class though, make sure you meet with your professor and an advisor to make sure you’re all on the same page. If you can work something out with your advisor and professor to help you out in the class you need to know before you withdraw.

I hope this helped at least ONE of you guys out. If you have any questions hit me up on twitter and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!


Written by: Kimberly Santana

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