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So today I dropped CHEM121…

I know that dropping a class probably isnt the greatest subject for a first blog, but why not jump right in?? And anyway, in Week 4 of my sophomore year, its a pretty significant event for me, and Im gonna own up to it: This morning, I dropped CHEM 121. This was difficult for me, as I like to think I hold high standards for myself, and Ive been told that Im hard on myself. Ive never dropped or failed a class in my entire life and even worse, this was a predominately freshman class. But due to a variety of reasons, at the middle of week 4, I finally decided to drop the class that has been causing me so much pain and stress and literally made me cry. As you may have guessed, I debated over this for a long time. But if ever there was an appropriate situation for dropping a class, I think this was it. For anyone who is considering dropping a class, or might potentially ever face this situation, read on…

First let me explain my reasons for taking the class: I am an Enviromental Science/ Sociology Social Welfare major. The past few months i began debating a major or concentration in biology, which is really my favorite part of environmental science. CHEM 121 is required for a major or concentration in biology.  The environmental science major requires either CHEM 121 or CHEM 101. So since it fulfilled a requirement for environmental science as well as left my options open for the possibility of more biology, I signed up for CHEM 121.

 I love science, but things like atoms, particle theory and equations for calculating things like the distance of an electron from the nucleus, or the wavelenght of light is just not something I understand or care about in the slightest. I was never a math person, though I always managed to get decent grades anyway. To top it all off, the last math or chemistry class i took was in junior year of high school. I knew CHEM 121 would be difficult but I tried to prepare myself. However by week 2, due to a combination of illness, lack of time put into homework and studying, (partly because I didnt have time and partly because I didnt like it and knew it would be difficult), and having a difficult time understanding the material or why I should care, I began to think about dropping it. It was making me stressed out and anxious all the time, which interfered with my other classes and the time and effort put into homework for them. As well, over the past few months I’ve begun realizing how much love i really have for the sociological and pychological aspects of life; Im more of a right brain thinker than a left brain thinker.. er, or left instead of right? Regardless the point is that more recently Ive been thinking of changing my environmental science major to a psychology major, and maybe just minoring in enviro sci. Since Im also taking a one credit sociology class and received a credit for field experience over the summer, I have enough credits to remain a full time student without CHEM 121.  After having a panic attack and sleeping through two alarms and hence my chemistry class in the same week, I decided it was getting too late for me to catch up, and it wasn’t worth it anyway. I finally picked up the drop slip from the registrar’s office and did the final deed.

After the fact, I feel so relieved. Everyone needs a break sometimes, and I definately felt like I was trying to do too much. (I work from 11am-8:30pm two days a week, and practice with L.O.V.E. for Yell three nights a week in addition to another lab class and a writing class). I am a little disappointed in myself, since for one thing this is a freshman class, and also since part of me knows I could’ve passed the class if I really tried. But it just didn’t seem worth it for me to keep going, and my professor agreed. As he signed the slip, he made sure to suggest that I check out the possibility of CHEM 101 being offered this spring if I was still interested in Environmental Science.

When I went to get my advisor Dr. Moline’s signature, he assured me that there were still plenty of things I could do with the environment, without CHEM 121, especially if I was interested in the human and sociological aspect (which I definately am!) and asked me to meet with him again next week to chat about possibilities for the future of my environmental science major, which I am still very excited about.  

So in conclusion, I am glad I dropped the class, especially with enough credits to remain a full time student, and before a ‘W’ got recorded on my transcript. And I guess my secondary point here is that I’m beginning to realize that at Augustana, everywhere you turn there are people to support you, and the worst thing you could do is refuse their help and advice.

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