Discouraged - to drop or not to drop?

This summer I registered for my first post bac pre-med course (physics) and I’m dropping it already.

I’m overwhelmed with life right now: my dad died in February and now my mom is sick and I feel like I need to take care of her. I recently broke up with my boyfriend and planning to move in with mom asap. I understand med school is overwhelming too, and life keeps on happening and I should be able to handle it (and I know can even right now, which is why the decision to drop the class is so tough), but I think due to current circumstances, it would be best to wait to start in the Fall.

I guess I’m looking for someone to say I’m making the right decision in dropping this class.

The problem is… I would have a W on my transcript. Since the deadline for dropping without a W just pasted last week, I am hoping they will make an exception for me. But if not, is a W really THAT bad? Especially if it’s my first class coming back to school, and the rest of my post bac coursework will be As?

It’s not too late to drop… I can suck it up and earn that A, I just don’t feel emotionally and mentally ready to stress myself so much just yet.

I can’t say with any definitive certainty, but my understanding is that a single W, especially under circumstances like what you are describing shouldn’t be an issue at all. Provided it doesn’t become a pattern or other things along those lines, I think you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

I have a W here and there…one was due to an instructor who, when they actually showed up, couldn’t explain anything to save their life and was looking at a giant F and two, I was young and did not realize that a W actually appeared on the transcript and the class didn’t “fall off”. Remember, I was young

Now older and wiser, I plan on explaining EVERYTHING in my personal statement. Not to elaborate upon my W’s but to let the readers realize that I have matured and my educational tract record has dramatically improved.

Just like the rest of us, had life been “perfect”, I would already be a physician for 15 years. However, I will explain briefly that it is due to these life circumstances that will make me a better, compassionate physician and that a couple of W’s during a tough period, younger period, whatever it may be, has only made me a more determined, empathetic person.

No one is even going to ask about a single W and even if someone actually did, you have a perfectly valid reason (but no one is going to ask).

Thanks everyone, but this isn’t my first W. Just the first since making the decision to come back to school.

I should have mentioned, in my past life I earned several Fs (I think 4-5) and have a few Ws (at least 3) on my transcripts already. I’ve been out of college for three years, and the idea in coming back and re-doing all the pre med pre reqs was to get all As and no Ws.

My BS is in nutrition with a gpa of 3.37 and MA in nutrition gpa 3.8. But science gpa is pretty low. But I’m older and wiser now… but this damn W here now. Just… discouraged.

There’s a spot on most secondary apps that reads something like “Is there anything else you would like to tell us?” It’s designed exactly for addressing this sort of issue. No one is going to hold it against you that you dropped from class to take care of your mother after the death of your father.

I agree with what everyone says, but see if you can peptition your current school to have the W removed due to exceptional circumstances. You may have to write a short letter explaining what is going on, but I think it is worth a shot as the worse that can happen is that you don’t succeed and the W is still there.

Definitely agree with LJSimpson, many schools will do something like this - or mark the course as “incomplete” until you can retake/finish the next semester. I think the death of a parent would be a situation that might warrant this.

I did not know I could write the school and ask them to remove a W…who do I write?? The registrar, the dean.

One was due to it being the start of the first gulf war and was asked to work endless hours and being in the service, I tried to go to camp in the desert; I was pretty gung ho I was kept in the rear

One back in '95 was due to: strep throat with bronchitis and I had two toddlers (15 months apart) to care for while sick. Although I tried to march right through it, I was downright sick.

Again: my mom was dx with cancer and it was terminal (she’s gone now). I picked up a rather easier class with the left over funds I had knowing I couldn’t fulfill a tough class.

Guess anything is worth a shot!

Not sure it works years after the fact, but currently enrolled students can often defer, take an incomplete, or replace a W. Of course it can’t hurt to try, I imagine each school would handle these situations differently.

  • Leuschner4 Said:
I did not know I could write the school and ask them to remove a W...who do I write?? The registrar, the dean

Don't write, it indicates laziness. Go in person to your professor to request an incomplete. Explain your situation, and a few days *after* you have spoken in person follow up with an email outlining your request and "checking up" on whether s/he will grant it. At the same time, see your advisor (particularly if you have a pre-med specific advising office on campus) and explain the situation. They can intervene a bit on your behalf and make it more likely the professor will agree.

If professor will not, go to the professor in charge of that department (Department Chair or whatever) and do same process.

Yes, this is a lot of work. No, it did not work for me. Yes, I have two W's on my transcripts. No, it's not the end of the world.