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Should You Drop a Class?

As a college student, you now have the freedom to take the classes you choose and drop a class when needed. However, dropping a class can feel like admitting defeat, and the decision to do so is hard to make. While there are times when pushing through and finishing a class is best, sometimes dropping the course entirely or taking it at a different time is the best option. Many parts of going to college can feel overwhelming. Ultimately doing what is best for you will help you to accomplish your goals both during and after college.

When to Drop a Class

There are many situations where dropping a class is the best option. The beauty of college is that you have the freedom to make these choices. Your situation is unique and there are many reasons why dropping a class is the right choice. However, your health, GPA, and overall schedule are three primary reasons why students commonly decide to adjust their schedule and drop a course.


Sometimes, certain classes, combinations of classes, or professors are not a good fit for you and can impact your mental health. While mental health struggles can feel isolating, mental health difficulties among your fellow students are common. Research indicates that college students have higher rates of anxiety, depression, and substance use disorder (SUD).

Your mental and physical health is vital and deserves to be protected. If a class is causing challenges with your mental health or leading you down a road that is going to be detrimental to your physical or mental health, dropping it can help. By removing the class from your schedule, you are protecting yourself. It is, in many ways, a form of self-care.

Impact on GPA

While your GPA is not everything, it does impact your future in multiple ways. For example, your GPA matters if you are considering going on to a graduate program. Additionally, specific jobs and internships also ask for your GPA upon applying. Therefore, paying attention to your GPA is important.

There are times when you know that you will not be able to do well in a course. This might be due to schedule conflicts, teaching style, or simply where you are mentally and emotionally. Regardless of the reason, knowing that you are not going to do well in the class can be a good reason to drop it and take it another time.


As a college student, you are likely completely in control of your schedule for the first time. Having this freedom to choose can be exhilarating. However, it also takes time to learn responsibility to go along with your new independence. Learning to do so and manage your schedule takes time and you might make mistakes.

If you find that your schedule is overly full with classes, work, and other commitments, it is time to make a change. One option is to drop a class and return to it when you have more time. While the adjustment might mean adjusting your plan for the following year or two, it is okay to make these changes and learn from the experience.

When Not to Drop a Class

There are many good times to drop a class, but there are also reasons not to. One reason is that the class is hard. In some college classes, you will be challenged. This can be due to the workload or the specific subject at hand. Regardless, you can find ways to work through the challenge by speaking with your professor about how you can improve or getting extra support to learn the material and get your work done in time.

Additionally, you might not like all classes in your designated major. If you are studying engineering, you might have to take courses that you don't enjoy to get your degree. Therefore, when considering if you are going to drop a class or not, it is important to consider if you need it to graduate. If you do not love the subject but need it for your diploma, it might be worth sticking it out for your ultimate goal of graduating with your degree.

Should You Drop a Class?

College is a time in your life when you are beginning to make big adult decisions that can impact your future. This can be incredibly intimidating; therefore, it can help to get some support. There are many ways to get helpful support. It can be from an advisor, professor, loved one, or coach. Coaches such as education or life coaches can help. They will support you while you work to find the right next step for you.

Going to college can feel isolating. When making a big decision, having a support network is helpful. The decision of whether to drop a class or not is ultimately yours. However, it does not mean you have to make that step alone.

While it is ideal for you to stay in classes, sometimes dropping a class is the right choice. If you are dropping a class to improve your mental health, care for your needs, or simply ensure you do well, it can be a decision that helps you succeed later on. At Northwest College Support, we understand that the transition into adulthood can be challenging. We provide programs that offer students extra support that can help them to make unique steps that are the right fit for them, whether it means dropping a class or not. To learn more about our programs, both online and in person, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, call (877) 485-2776 today.

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