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Why Students Drop Classes During Syllabus Week

First impressions are important. That’s why Penn State gives you one glorious week to try out all of your classes and decide if you really want to stay in them for the rest of the semester.

Okay, that may be an oversimplification of the add/drop period, which allows students to drop a class before the end of syllabus week without having it appear on their transcripts.

Onward State does not encourage the abuse of this mechanism — however, it does give students a chance to run for the hills if there’s something about the class that they find unbearable.

Admittedly, I have dropped two classes during syllabus week.

The first was one of three economics course that I scheduled last semester with the intent of dropping one. By the end of the first lecture of one of them, I wanted to gouge my eyes out, because it was so slow and boring. There was no way I could have survived a whole semester in that class, so I dropped it as soon as I got back to my apartment.

The second was a political science class that I dropped last week when I read the syllabus and found out that there would be weekly pop quizzes. No one was going to pull that kind of high school bullshit on me in my last semester of college, so I switched out of it before I even went to the first class.

My own experiences dropping a class during syllabus week made me super curious to hear the circumstances under which other Penn State students have hit the eject button on a class before it even got off the ground. That’s why I asked Onward State’s great readers to fill out a google form to share their experiences.

I only got four responses, but they covered pretty much all of the possible scenarios I imagined. Now, without further ado, let’s look at the four perfectly understandable reasons why Penn State students have dropped a class during the first week of the semester.

Being Too Drunk

Caileigh and Adam are two athletic training majors from the class of 2016 who admitted to dropping their CAS 100B class because they “were still drunk/hungover from the night before and thought it was too much work to stand up and introduce [themselves] to the class.”

Sounds like it was the right thing to do given the circumstances.

In Over Their Heads

Sometimes a class is nothing like the course description on LionPATH makes it out to be, as was the case for our friend Doug, an English major who graduated in 2018. Doug walked into a kinesiology class that he was taking as an elective before he found out what he was really getting himself into.

I came in thinking it was entry level, “foot bone’s connected to the leg bone” type stuff, then the professor asked who had signed up for the requisite lab. When everyone in the 200-person hall raised their hands except me, I walked out and never came back.

— Doug

Way to get out of there, Doug.

Lazy Teachers

Paul, a Health and physical education major, shared his experiences in Peter Whaley’s PSYCH 101 class with us. By Paul’s account, “He had all the lectures on video while he sat in the back of the Forum. What a joke!”

We’re definitely not paying to watch videos of lectures! There’s no reason to sit through a class that the teacher doesn’t even care about enough to actually teach. thank u next.

Dungeons and Dragons Disaster

Sometimes, a class throws you a curveball, and there’s nothing you else you can do but hit the drop button and get the hell out of there. That’s kind of what happened to Mac, an electrical engineering major from the class of 2015, who was caught off guard by his TA’s Dungeons and Dragons-related question.

When Mac walked into his 3D printing class late, the TA asked him what his Dungeons and Dragons character alignment is and showed him a chart like the one below.

Image result for d&d alignment chart

“I had zero clue what he was talking about,” Mac said. “I looked around, dropped the class on my phone, and walked out.”

In a world of chaotic evil, the ability to drop a class at a whim during syllabus week without any consequences is the last lawful good.

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About the Author

Anthony Fiset

Anthony is a senior *gasp* majoring in Economics and a lifetime Costco Executive Member. If you are an employer, please hire him. Otherwise, direct all complaints to [email protected]

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