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about a year ago

Drop/Add: The Eleventh Hour

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Today marks the end of test-driving courses, otherwise known to students as the Drop/Add period. It’s time to commit. Up until now, professors have either been scaring students off with promises (threats) of pop quizzes, research papers, and impossible readings, or they are about to pull a serious Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and crank out assignments once they know you are trapped in their class with no way out but late dropping.

While there are some classes that are necessary to your major and graduating on time, or graduating in general, there are also those classes that we are second-guessing. The end of the Drop/Add period has made us rethink our carefully crafted schedules, which we spent hours perfecting last semester (okay, we totally put our course list into the schedule generator).

Either way, the time is now to ask yourself a few questions about your classes this semester because after today you will be committing to a long-term relationship with your professors and classwork. Don’t let the regret of choosing the wrong course plague your spring semester.

Onward State has compiled a basic checklist for any last minute thoughts before the Drop/Add grace period ends:

Do I have enough credits to graduate without taking this class? This is the most obvious question, and if you answer yes, then you might want to reconsider taking that class unless it’s really interesting or you need a class to fill full-time student requirements. Or maybe you’re just an overachiever.

Will I gain anything fulfilling through this course? May it be the knowledge of higher education or even scoring that hot chick’s number, make sure the class is satisfying at least some of your needs.

If I add this course, will it disrupt my sleeping schedule? If a class is at an inconvenient time, let’s say 8 a.m., then is it really worth taking? Maybe consider adding a class at a better time. Unless waking up early is your thing.

Can I understand my professor? We’ve all had them, those professors that speak too soft and don’t use a mic, or speak too fast and are disorganized, or don’t even speak English at all. If you can’t keep up with the professor or are having a hard time understanding the lectures, then it could be a major factor in your success in the class. Try a different section with a different professor.

Does my current schedule fit in with my workout schedule? Don’t lie to me. I know you made those New Year’s resolutions to hit the gym, so give yourself some time during the day to accomplish your goals. If working out isn’t your thing then make sure you have enough room in your schedule for naps and relaxation. Mental health is just as important, so maybe dropping that extra class or finding a more convenient time for it would be beneficial.

Does my current schedule allow enough recovery time on Friday mornings? It’s self-explanatory. Nix the 8 a.m. on Fridays.

Is there a better section of this class taught by a better professor? So far this checklist has consisted mostly of questions aimed at making your schedule easier and more enjoyable, but perhaps adding a class with a more expert professor that falls in the early morning or (God forbid) at night is worth taking. We are here to learn, after all.

What are the chances of this course turning around within the next fourteen weeks? Go with your gut. If the class isn’t interesting or if the professor seems like a sham then it could be in your best interest to drop. But remember that the classes you went to last week might be better when you’re less hungover.

Is there an online version of this class? Because being able to do course work in your pajamas is unbeatable.

Should I put off this class to coincide with my spring social calendar? Definitely don’t drop a class just because you want to daylong every week. But one wouldn’t blame you if you aimed at making your schedule lighter, as long as you can afford putting off that GN for a few more semesters.

Drop/Add period is not the end of the world, so if you get stuck in a class you end up hating, there are always ways to turn it around. If not, then there are always your untapped (for now) late drop credits. And if your class is too easy, quit complaining because you could be an engineering major.

Did we miss any questions on our checklist? What questions are you asking yourself during this last day of Drop/Add?

image Dave Cole
Student Life - Student Life represents all the elements of the college experience at Penn State University. Creepy professors, drink specials, the location of the secret Coca-Cola machine, tomfoolery, chicanery, and bedlam. All these and more. Read more