Dropping stigma and dropping classes

The negative connotation of withdrawing

Now that the add or drop period is no longer an option, you may feel stuck in a class that you no longer want to be in.

Thankfully, withdrawing from a class is an available option for all students until March 23. Although withdrawing from a class can be an uncomfortable and tough decision to make, it was completely necessary for my well-being. Last semester, I had to learn to drop the stigma of withdrawing and redeclaring, and I think that everyone else should too.

According to the University of South Florida, one-third of college students change their minds at least once, and ten percent switch their major two times or more. Changing your mind on how you want your future to look is okay and more common than you think. No one should feel ashamed for doing it.

My decision was made on the fly, but the idea would pop into my head every time I came home from class crying or just generally in a bad mood. I felt like I was always running around like a chicken with its head cut off; I could never just sit and breathe. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t feel defeated, which started to make me realize how little I was enjoying my life because of one three credit class.

Withdrawing from a class can seem like the easy way out. You spent the money for the credit and have already completed a portion of the course, so why give up now? To me, now that I’ve done it, it’s so much more complicated than that. When I was contemplating this decision, I would constantly try to justify my feelings. I’d tell myself that I couldn’t heal in a place that was hurting me.

There are many reasons why people withdraw from a class. For me, every single reason imaginable applied, but that didn’t stop me from feeling guilty about it and bad about myself. I worried that my friends and family would be disappointed in me and that my professor and classmates would talk about me withdrawing. I was especially worried that I would end up feeling even worse than I did when I was in the class. After contacting everyone I knew and cared about, and basically getting the “OK” from them, I knew what I had to do. I weighed the pros and cons and came to find that there were just no pros to staying enrolled in that course.

Let’s make something clear, never feel guilty for putting yourself first, especially when it comes to school. The option to withdraw is there because people need it and often take it. I can only imagine that others have felt guilty about making a similar decision, and it makes even more sense that the guilt comes from “wasting” money.

Now, when I say this was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made, I truly mean it. No one, including yourself, should make you feel bad for making a decision that benefits you more than it harms you.

In all cases, withdrawing is better than failing and compromising your mental wellbeing. If you have to, drop the class, and while you’re at it, drop the stigma of it too.