Emotional Signs You Need to Drop That Class

As the cutoff to drop a class without any academic penalty (October 30th) is over, you may still be on the fence about dropping that “problem class”.

It is in the middle of midterm season and reading week, so stress, anxiety, and dread will be through the roof with everyone. That one class with stress is going to get worse and worse as your grades suffer.

As a person who just recently dropped a class that was taking a toll on my mental health, I have learned a few things about the benefits of getting rid of that class. Emotional well-being is super important and there are some glaring signs that you should drop it.

Here is my 3 step-by-step approach that is based on emotions of when it is time to get rid of the problem class(es).

1. The Long Haul

books on shelf

When you are working on your assignments, projects, and studying, you feel comfortable with your learning because you are doing a subject you enjoy. Your unique course load feels easy to work with and nothing seems out of place.

As the semester comes to the midpoint or early to mid-October you start to feel absolutely crushed and panicked by a singular or more than one class. You feel that the workload is heavier than others, that you have excessive hours studying a singular subject while neglecting your other classes. Abandoning social activities, personal self-care, and extracurriculars.

If you are feeling this crush, then you may be experiencing what I personally call “The Long Haul”. A Long Haul is when you are in a place of being slogged and weighted down. This emotional strain feels like you are learning at a snail’s pace for one or more classes.

This workload feels miserable and it is taking all the fun away from your classes. I know I experienced this.

In my own experience with these feelings of “the long haul” and that one or two classes are taking away from other activities and my social life is that I was at the point where I asked myself:

Should I drop this course?

Which guided me to make “the choice”.

2. “The Choice”

exit sign

If you are feeling anxious, stressed, and dreading the choice of dropping the course, seek out a trusted peer to discuss this topic.

I recommend three different people who can aid you: a friend, an adult who is wiser/has university experience, or a professor/academic advisor who can talk it through.

I would also recommend you seek out an academic advisor if they were not the person that you talked to (if you have not talked to a peer, that’s fine, it’s always your choice) as they will be able to know if you need to modify your schedule to keep your schedule to complete your first year. Note: this is mainly for students that have scholarships with a prerequisite of classes.

Another thing to be aware of is the concern about money. Tuition is expensive and a massive insecurity many students have. Fortunately, there is one way to get that money back if you have a good reason to provide relevant information.

This is called a fee reduction appeal, where you fill out an application describing your personal issues with this class and how it impacted your learning, or if a professor/TA wasn’t treating you respectfully. I would once again strongly recommend doing it with your academic advisor as they should be able to give you clear instructions on how to do it.

IF you feel that you should apply for a fee reduction as you feel that you should be reimbursed for your negative class experience, please see fee reduction appeals for details.

I have applied for a fee reduction and I am waiting for my pending results. I will update you in the comments if you are curious about how it went.

3. The Upward Turn


You have gone through the proper process to leave that problematic course and it feels like a thousand pounds have left your shoulders. It’s a liberating feeling, isn’t it?

Savour your choice and take that free time to do something you want to do.

Maybe it’s spending time with that friend you blew off or told that your workload is too much right now.

Or go to CARSA for a quick workout to get your heart, head, and body back into a safe space to work out. Or to McKinnon for a swim.

Whatever your poison is, have fun with that free time, but do not forget that you still need to do your work for other classes.

Take care of yourself and remember, what brought you here. You had been struggling in a class and now you have the ability to concentrate on the things you love.


In summary, it is your decision whether you want to drop a class. It is your choice to recognize the issues. It is your option to properly drop the class and see if you can apply to be reimbursed for your tuition if that class truly was a detriment to your mental health. Lastly, it is up to your judgment to properly reflect on your choices after all is said and done.

Everyone’s emotional well-being is important and neglecting it by forcing yourself to complete a class that is too much for you is dangerous. It will lead to problems and bad habits in the future.

Trust me.

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