Withdrawing to Heal

I am a Sophomore in college who is majoring in Psychology. I absolutely love the subject and am interested in all aspects, but my focus will be in clinical science. My goal is to get my PhD so that I can be a clinical psychologist. But that being said, any goal comes with its setbacks.

When I registered for classes for the 2019 winter semester, one of the courses that I was dying to take was cognitive psychology; this is a branch of psychology that is concerned with mental processes, especially perception, learning and memory. I have always wanted to learn why we do the things that we do, and I thought it would be very interesting to start with learning the specifics of the mind. I registered for the class, and didn’t think anything of it.

When Winter break ended and new classes started, I knew I had so much to change in my work ethic since the previous semester. Fall 2018 was my first semester and although I did well, my grades were not at my secure preference. However, when classes started, I began falling back into the old habits from last semester. I would procrastinate on certain subjects to make time for other subjects, which started to become the norm for me. The class that I found myself to neglect was cognitive psychology. I started to not do the readings because two thirty-page reading for each class date was overwhelming for me. I later started to neglect physically attending class because I figured that if there were lecture recordings then I would do them on my own time, but when would that time be?

One of the aspects of the class is that starting the second week, there would be discussion quizzes. The discussion quizzes are designed to be low stress because if you got four out of six correct on the quizzes, then you would get 100%. It was especially important to do the readings for these quizzes, so I began to fail each quiz, until now. Also, because I was in the hospital for a week in February, I wasn’t able to study much for an exam and scored a 60%. My current grade is a 57%. This was devastating to me, not because this was the best I could do and I felt like a failure, but because I knew that I was more capable than this. This class was also disrupting my ability to take care of my mental and physical self as it became a strong burden due to how behind I had become, and my professor and GSI were not very accommodating of my needs.

Withdrawing from a course does not mean that you are giving up, it is a tool that you can utilize to recognize your own needs and analyze what you wish to gather from the course. Sometimes, it can be better to have a W on your transcript than a D or an E. Also, there is an early add/drop deadline that won’t result in a W. If you are worried about keeping your scholarships after dropping a course, the Dean of Students is a great tool since they can allocate your needs towards the right people to figure out the issue. Also, you can always take the class at a later date when you are in a better state of mind and feel more prepared.