fall semester started horribly and getting worse

hi everyone,
i’m in a bit of a dilemma. i dug a little hole for myself and the holes just gotten insanely humongous.
this semester, i decided to take 3 sciences so i can leave next semster open to focusing on mcat. the sciences i am taking are organic chemistry 1, bio 1(evolution), and physics 2.
i was behind slightly at the start of semester but almost caught up labor day weekend. unfortunately, my grandmother passed away that week and i fell behind drastically in my studies. i had ochem midterm following week, then bio week after, and this week i had physics. i did fine in ochem but i bombed my bio and physics midterm getting below avgs in each (C’s). mathematically, i can still pull an A- maybe an A, but that is if I completely ace everything. with bio, i think it is doable, but physics 2 is daunting.
i was considering withdrawing either from a class or the entire semester or just trying to study my butt off and see what i get. has anyone else been in this situation? people have told me that getting Ws are bad in general while others have said Ws are okay as long as i can explain it. please help me. i am unsure about withdrawing but i definitely don’t want a crappy grade. thank you everybody for reading my long post.

I think a W would be a lot better than a D or F. Of course that depends on whether you’ve ever withdrawn from a course before. If you only have a couple W’s and you have a good reason for it, which you do, I don’t think it’s a big deal to the med schools. But if you withdraw from two classes every other semester, that may be a problem. Seeing your situation, I think I would definately withdraw from one class and focus on the others. As everyone will tell you, this is not a race, no matter what age you are. If this adds another semester or another year to your plan, so be it. Being a doctor will be worth it. Good luck with everything!

I would consider the W because a W is not bad at all unless you have tons of them, but a D or an F follows you for life. Next time take it slow and excel.

thanks Gina and efex. the thing is if I stay in, i know i can study enough to maintain a C or even B, not to say I can’t drop down to D or F, but that, I hope will not happen. so my choices right now would be withdrawing from just physics, physics and bio, or getting Bs to Cs in those classes. right now, i am kind of leaning toward staying and persevering through this but who knows. thanks again for your help.


I already said in one post that in my case some ‘beginnings’ were really rough…but I always managed to pull my scores up and ended up with an ‘A’. If you think you can improve (+ usually they curve a lot in Chemistry and physics) you should stay…it may means that you’ll have to work more than ususally, but if you think how much time…and money you save, it’s worth.

it’s my 5 cents.

normally, i would just suck it up and try to pull it up, but after all the recent events, i am unsure about my ability to pull it through. i can’t seem to find the energy or concentration these days. i don’t know if i’m up to this task. i talked to my bio professor and he was encouraging, saying it could be done. however, the physics professor was kind of discouraging, saying it only gets harder from here. thank you for your input. im going to think about this a little longer and decide.
oh i had a question if someone could answer it for me. The drop deadline with a “W” is Nov. 11. If I were to withdraw, would it say on the transcript the date when I withdrew?

Yes, I would take the W rather than a D or F. When I first went to undergrad, I was self-supporting. But working too many hours cost me, and I went on academic probation with an F, D, and C. That was 23 years ago. I then tried again the next semester, but again did bad, but this time I took the W. And the others are right, F’s and D’s are part of your transcript and will follow you forever. Undoubtedly, I will receive rejections from med schools just because of these decades-old grades. And even if I do get an interview, I know that I will have to explain these grades to interviewers at med schools ad nauseum. And bad grades permanently hinder your GPA; it takes a lot of A’s to make up for just one C, let alone D’s and F’s.

Avoid low grades at all costs!

I would drop the physics and put the energy into salvaging the other two. You have to put in a lot of practice time to pull high physics grades because you have to be able to do the problems FAST.

Get out, get out, get out (of the physics class).
You will hear lots of stories on OPM about people who have overcome bad grades. HOWEVER, these are generally bad OLD grades and there is a big difference. When you’re an OPM and you go BACK to school because now you have a sense of direction about your new career, you are expected to put your money where your mouth is. There is not much forgiveness for NEW bad grades. You really have to present a good portfolio of recent achievement, and if you’re not really sure you can do that given the adversity you’ve encountered, GET OUT. Consider it an exercise in pacing.

hehe thank you! that is exactly the decision i have come to, to get out!

Very sorry about your grandmother, by the way. Also, death in the family, like illness, is one of the big legit reasons for a withdrawal, if I’m not mistaken.

Good luck as you focus on your other two classes. Keep a positive outlook!