by Lauren Joffe

Having some serious issues with that one course? Thinking about dropping it? There are plenty of good excuses to drop a class after the semester has started, but it’s not always an easy decision. Here are the top four reasons to withdraw from a course, with advice on when to go with your gut … and get outta there! Read on:

Reason No. 1: It’s gonna screw your GPA.

Drop it if:

The first test was tough, and you still don’t make the grade when the second one rolls around. Says New York University junior Maddy Smith: “Before I transferred to NYU, I was taking anatomy and physiology at Villanova. The first test, I got a D+. I stuck it out, thinking I would do better. For the next test, I studied harder. I even got a tutor and attended office hours … to then get a D-. It got to the point where even if I did better on the next test, I still wouldn’t even pull off a C. I knew it was time to withdraw.”

Don’t drop it if:

- You don’t have enough credits to remain a full-time student.

- It’s too late to enroll in another course.

- The class is a requirement for your major (and you won’t be able to fit it into your schedule next time around).

Note: If you’re still failing after a few tests and a tutor isn’t helping, make tracks to meet with your advisor -- ASAP!

Reason No. 2: The class is a total snore.

Drop it if:

Your eyes are glazing over, and you find the information useless. Perhaps your time could be better spent focusing on something else. Says NYU soph John Michael: “Freshman year … a history of communications class … I dreaded going every day. The subject was boring, we got a ton of work and it never interested me. I just never wanted to go.”

Don’t drop it if:

- The information is valuable or otherwise useful. (“I ended up staying enrolled because I knew the information would help me later,” says Michael. “I suppose if I never learned some basic info, I’d be behind in other classes.”)

- The class is a prerequisite.

- Excelling in the class can help you cozy up to the professor for a future job or internship.

Reason No. 3: You hate the professor.

Drop it if:

You love the subject, but the professor just doesn’t challenge or inspire you -- or worse, has it out for you. Look into taking the class another semester with a different teacher. Says Megan Huntley, a junior at Colgate University: “While I was really interested in modern Jewish history, after sitting through the lecture, I knew I wouldn’t end up liking the course. The professor was knowledgeable, but her delivery was nothing but boring. I’d rather save the class for later when I’d get everything I possibly can out of it.”

Don’t drop it if:

- The add/drop date has passed (and you can’t recover course fees).

- Dropping a course will mess up a scholarship or grant.

Note: Sticking it out could be a lesson in perseverance, since life is full of challenges … such as dealing with difficult or lackluster people.

Reason No. 4: Your stress level is off the charts.

Drop it if:

Your schedule is so loaded with tough-to-the-core classes that you’re missing out on the full college experience you deserve. Says Rutgers University freshman Max Young: “Tons of kids get so stressed out they end up paying other people to do their essays. Even worse, I know kids who take anxiety medicine or Adderall to function. Dropping one class and taking on an easier one really helped me balance out last semester. I’d recommend that over high blood pressure any day.”

Don’t drop it if:

- You’re this close to meeting your requirements (and this class will get you there).

- You’re going in for the homestretch (i.e., approaching finals week).

- Dropping will prevent you from graduating on time, studying abroad or taking an internship.

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