There’s a week left of students making a ‘pros and cons’ lists and attending lectures thinking, “Do I really need this course in my life?” It’s the time to drop exasperating courses and give your mental health a break (pls). We personally spent hours contemplating whether we wanted to drop a course or not in our first year, and our indecisive asses had no help. Fortunately for y’all, we’re a year older and wiser, and here with a (moderately) helpful guide to whether you should drop a course or not.
A helpful note, learned through experience, is to remember that in most cases, UBC is asking that you drop your courses through your faculty to qualify for W-standing removal from your transcript. Unless you specifically ask, the tuition refund will take the form of a tuition credit for the next term.
What's your course load like?
It's hard for anyone to take six courses in one term and actually do well overall (unless you’re a fucking genius). Even if you have five courses, but some of them require more work than others, you don’t necessarily need to take on a full course load. It’s better to do the remaining courses in the summer term rather than taking five courses and not doing well in any of them.
What else is going on in your life?
The balance of life and school is an art. Considering your other responsibilities will help you construct a schedule that doesn’t require the entire Crayola palette to colour-code. Athletics, membership in a club or team, jobs and caring for family are also vital parts of your life and may be worth dropping a course over.
Do you need the course? Follow up: Are you interested?
There will be courses in your degree that you don’t love (that seem completely unrelated to your program), but graduation requirements insist you take them. Those we unfortunately can’t help you with. In other cases like electives, however, definitely take a hot minute to really gauge your interest. A difficult course may be worth it if you love the material.
Is it taking up all your time?
If a course is too difficult or time consuming, that is definitely something you should consider while contemplating dropping courses. Unless the course is a requirement, don’t take an elective that takes up most of your time and has a bajillion assignments. Give your brain a break, you don’t need to do four assignments for a course that has no relation to your major whatsoever.
How’s the prof/TA?
I mean, why’d you wanna drop a course if the prof or the TA is easy on the eyes? (KIDDING, kidding) But seriously, it’s very important that you like the prof/TA’s teaching style. If you’ve tried to understand what they’re teaching, but it isn’t clicking, then that’s a good reason to drop the course, or switch the section to another prof.
Otherwise, if the prof is a sweetheart and teaches well, then that could be a reason to hold onto the course because your appreciation of the prof could be the driving factor of your success (I swear this happened with me)!
Is it cutting into your mornings (or nights)?
Though this shouldn’t be the first consideration, dropping or moving a course for its timing can be more than reasonable. Particularly for commuters, a course that is only offered early in the morning or late in the evening can seriously impact your sleep schedule and time for yourself. If you’re able to move it to a different point in your degree or drop it altogether without too many consequences, you may have a great decision on your hands.
All in all, it’s already been an exhausting month, and if a course is giving you stress that you don’t need, just be kind to yourself and DROP IT.