Dear Flyby: How Do I Do Classes?
We’re back on Monday with our Dear Flyby column! You asked and we’re ready to answer. With the add-drop deadline sometime in the horizon, it’s never too late to start thinking about whether that fifth (or sixth) class is really worth taking this semester.
Q: Should I drop that sixth class?
A: First things first, if we’re actually talking about your sixth class, drop it. Now. (Unless you actually need it to graduate, in which case do what you gotta do.)
Ask yourself: would Marie Kondo approve of your course schedule? Does this class spark joy? Will it contribute to the transformative experience Dean Khurana so dearly wants you to have? Will it water your crops, clear your skin, and raise your GPA generally bless your soul? You’re a student, but you’re a person first. No class is more important than your wellbeing.
Are you curious about this class? Have you been vibing with the professor? Enjoying the readings? Or is everything in this class just a drag? If you have to drag yourself to class and nothing is helping you stay focused on the subject matter at hand — maybe take a class that will make you believe that this (very expensive) degree is actually worth it.
In terms of required classes, consider what you need to take to get this degree on time — is this class one of those classes? If it is, think about whether you can push it off to next semester or complete the requirement in a different year (unless you’re a senior, rip) Everyone completes their requirements on different timelines so don’t feel pressured to do everything at the same time as your peers (Yes, you can push Chem 17: “Principles of Organic Chemistry” to your Junior year). If this fifth class is not a requirement, then consider whether or not it is truly sparking your interest.
On the flip side, don’t drop a class just because it’s challenging. Not to be cheesy, but sometimes, the hardest courses are the ones that teach us the most — about new subjects and about ourselves. Okay, that was a little cheesy, but we mean it. It can be a really rewarding experience and a memory that can last beyond your college years, for better or for worse (we hope for the better!)
If this is your first time dropping a class — or even contemplating doing so, for that matter — it might seem daunting. You might feel unsure, anxious, or even petrified. But, add-drop period exists for a reason. It’s an opportunity, a trial period, a chance to listen to your reasonable doubts. And if you’re reading this, that means you’ve been thinking about it. This might be a sign. It might be your sign.
While we can’t tell you exactly what to do, we hope that we can help you make the decision that is the best for you. And the one that will help you become the academic weapon of your dreams. And the one that will make you the least sleep-deprived this semester.
DISCLAIMER: As always, know that Flyby Blog does not provide professional advice for your academic journeys and we always recommend discussing with your academic advisor (found on your my.harvard.edu and sending them a quick email).