Every semester, students show up to a class with some sort of an idea of what to expect, only to be disappointed to find out that the class is very different from their initial expectations. Immediately, students want to switch classes or just drop the class altogether. Although students may have that desire to get out of a class, it can be a confusing process, and they may find themselves questioning whether they should even consider leaving.
Charles Reismann (freshman, Theater of Arts) explained that he needed to better manage his time as a borderline full-time student and as a worker for the campus’ theater production. “I’ll be forming productions and stuff, so taking four classes was already hard since I am already working,” Reissmann said.
For many others, the entire enrollment process is difficult to understand. Reismann’s parents’ reaction to him dropping a class was a bit confusing to them. “I told my parents that it was very difficult… I didn’t know how they would react to me dropping that class,” Reismann continued. “My feeling about [the process] was not necessarily petrifying, but I was very anxious because I don’t know what my parents would think about it.”
Jacob Perez (junior, Business Administration) is another student who was forced to drop a class. He cited that the class’ inability to fit his schedule was the reason he needed to make the change. Perez elaborated on his experience. “I think dropping a class was fairly easy and adding a class was a little bit tougher because I was a late enroller.”
Luckily for students in similar situations as Perez and Reismann, there are a couple of tools and resources to help the process go a bit more smoothly for all involved and could even prevent these kinds of situations from happening in the first place.
Most major departments require advising before a student can begin to enroll in classes for the next semester. In many cases, students are able to schedule meetings with their advisors to help them figure out the best plan and explore different options and scenarios.
Another popular resource that students at Stan State tend to use to help prevent these types of situations from ever happening is RateMyProfessors.com. It’s extremely common for a student to check the feedback and reviews that a professor has received on the website before enrolling in a course, but as it has previously been revealed, posts on the site may not be the most accurate or honest descriptions of a professor or course.
If you do end up finding yourself in a situation where you are torn between staying or remaining in a class, Christian Escamilla (sophomore, Pre-Nursing) shared some qualities he does not like his professors to have. "Some professors have different approaches, which I understand, but some are a bit rude and when a teacher pushes the line, some students don't want deal with that for the rest of semester," Escamilla said.
For Escamilla a class lead by a professor who is passionate about the subject they teach makes for a more enjoyable learning experience for all involved.
Maricela Johnson (senior, English) is a full-time student who used persistent planning to help her avoid the troubles of dropping and adding a class at the last minute. “I have been working for the Writing Center for the past three years [while] also being a full-time student. For me, I had to balance that and do over sixteen units. I always try to do my best managing time so I use a planner all the time so that I don’t over-schedule things in my social life or at work or with my classes… It’s pretty important for me just to make sure I don’t overwork myself or add too much to my schedule.”
Even though students can take advantage of the tips and resources that are offered to them, it’s very common for there to be doubt. After all, the decision of whether to drop a class or not can be a very big and serious deal.
Briana Talley (junior, Business) assured those questioning their feelings that their gut is most likely right and that making the decision to drop a class will more than likely be beneficial in the long run.
“I was taking a class and I didn’t like the way it was being taught and I didn’t like the material or like the general course itself,” Talley said. “I just felt that dropping would be better than just being miserable all the time in the class,” she added. “It helped me out in the long run and I ended up passing all of my classes whereas if I hadn’t dropped the class I would have failed most or all of them,” she continued.
Talley also acknowledged the fact that these types of situations can be very stressful for students. She urged students to “put your mental health over everything” and that “dropping a class isn’t as big of a deal… you can always make up the credits.”