Nobody looks forward to this point of the semester. The moment where you’re dangerously teetering on the borderlands of being able to drop with a refund, debating all the intangible worth of sticking to the Astronomy class you half-heartedly registered for the night before classes start. Don’t worry, we all have that kind of class, and we’re all struggling. There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to preemptive, loss-cutting class dropping, but here are a few of UWeekly’s suggestions.
Look at the other classes in the section
Recently I found myself sorted in a lecture-hall government class at three in the afternoon. I had a feeling I was in trouble when the professor was proclaiming his difficulty in a ratty pair of Wranglers, but I knew there was a problem when I realized that every other class was completely full except for his. Even the ones at 8 AM. When you’re sorted in a class with a teacher that kids are willing to wake up at 7 in the morning to avoid, you’re treading dangerous territory. There’s absolutely no reason to rot with a tenured, drill-sergeant prof for a general requirement, so drop it and register for tennis or something.
Gauge the attractiveness of everyone around you
This one kinda works both ways. On the one hand, if you’re really passionate about a specific subject and surrounded by other interesting people similarly passionate about the same specific subject, it might serve as some great motivation. Flexing your hard-as-nails knowledge about Colonial Latin America and making all the girls swoon is probably the easiest path to an A. However, if you’re sitting listlessly in Burdine’s auditorium staring at that Mediterranean girl’s thigh-highs, or that Peruvian boy’s triceps, you’re probably not going to retain too much information about “Gulliver’s Travels.” It’s hard, I know, but it’s for your own good.
Just how bad is the accent?
If your rhetoric professor has a silky, European-flecked west-Arabic accent, that’s nothing to complain about. In fact, getting hypnotized in those sorts of things is what makes comparative rhetoric go down smoothly. But if you’re straining with all your might to decipher the complexities of Vietnamese pronunciation with a TA that’s only had her visa for a week (no lie, that’s actually happened to me), it ain’t gonna be smooth sailing. They’re likely wonderful people, with incredibly interesting perspectives on human geography, but the awkward struggle with intercontinental language divisions is certainly going to inconvenience your day. Get over that American guilt and drop the class.
Will you be able to use it at parties?
Recently I used my knowledge of the Qing empire to impress a few people at a social gathering I unwittingly stumbled into. If you can’t use knowledge of the Qing empire to get pussy, you’re going to the wrong parties. Was that sole moment of success worth the C+, 10 AM start time, and three blue book exams? Well, I’m not sure, but I certainly feel good about it now. Use this method with the class you’re debating. The ladies might not respond to computer programming zingers, but being able to recite “Ode to Autumn?” That’s worth at least one group project.
Don’t feel bad for dropping a class that starts too early
Let me tell you something, as a 20-year-old peer, that your mom refuses to tell you. It is okay to drop a class that starts at 11 because you don’t want to wake up at 10. I know, I get it. If you’re not waking up past noon you’re going to be using your backpack as a pillow by four. We all know the groggy logic we use to justify skipping class in the morning, and the hours of guilt that follow. We went through 12 grades of waking up impossibly early; I think we owe ourselves a little refuge. So set that alarm, wake up at lunchtime, and start your day the college way.