Furman is a little different than other schools in that instead of taking five or six classes, we only take four at a time. After your freshman year you’re able to overload and take five, but most students only take four.
But don’t let the small amount of courses fool you– these classes are academically rigorous and will make you quickly get your time management skills under control.
There’s a saying that for every hour you spend in class per week, you should be spending three to four outside of class studying. Add that up and you’ve got a very full schedule.
Usually the workload is pretty manageable, but sometimes it can get tough. Especially if you’re in a course that you don’t love or don’t learn as well in based on the teaching style.
Luckily Furman has a window of time at the beginning of the semester where you can drop courses you don’t like and add a new course without any penalty. My freshman year, I went to one of my German class meetings and decided it wasn’t for me. So, I dropped it and switched to a literature class on resistance narratives.
My freshman year I also was struggling to keep up with four classes (mostly because I didn’t ask for help!) and halfway through the semester I talked with my advisor and decided it would be better to drop the class I was struggling with and just focus on my other classes. This was one of the best decisions I could make for myself.
I ended up pulling my grades up from Ds to Bs and I was able to learn better time management skills and how to ask for help because I had more time to relax and get things under control.
After that first semester, I still didn’t feel ready to take the full four classes, so I took a 2 credit course as my fourth class. It meant that I would be a little behind on finishing my credits in time, but it was absolutely necessary for making sure I did the best academically as I could.
Now I’m a second semester junior and I’ve taken a full course load ever since my freshman year, but this semester I thought it would be fun to take an extra course for fun. All was well, but I found myself really disliking one of my classes to the point where I didn’t even want to bring myself to class. I decided to drop the course even though it would help me for my minor.
It can feel scary to drop a course, especially in the middle of a semester. But I felt relieved every time and taking that extra commitment off my shoulders always helped me do better in my other classes.
My advice is to not feel guilty about dropping a class if you need to. Your college experience is about doing what’s best for you, taking care of yourself, and having fun while learning. Sometimes we need to take a step back and use the time we were spending struggling in a class to rest or to delegate among other time commitments.
It may be hot scholar semester, but it’s also self-care semester, so don’t be afraid to drop a class if you need to.