You’re enrolled in 18 credit hours, involved in two student organizations and play an intramural sport. You barely have time to even go grocery shopping; aka you’re the average college student. Whatever it is, your grades might not be looking too hot right now. Classy co-eds need not to worry; there’s still the second half of the semester to recover and, with a little hard work you can get back on track to keep your academic record clean.
Dr. Meryl Krieger, an Indiana University advisor for the College of Arts and Sciences, has some great tips for Hoosiers to stay academically focused.
The first thing to do is to talk to your professor, before or after class and during office hours, about what you can do. Keep in mind all IU students have four types of GPA: overall/University, school (Ex: College of Arts and Sciences or Kelley School of Business), program/major and semester GPA. The most important are the overall and your major GPA, so don’t let one class that lowered your semester GPA make you think your life is over.
If you can’t recover from a bad midterm grade, one option is to drop the class with a W. Ws are withdrawals that you get if you drop a class during the semester once the drop/add period is over. Ws sound scary, but they’re not necessarily a bad thing.
“If there’s a class you’re really not doing well in, sometimes it can be a better idea to just take the W and move on and be able to focus on the rest of your classes,” Dr. Krieger said. Before doing this, however, she recommended, “A student goes and talks to their professor before they make the decision about dropping the class. And then go to their advisor about it, too.”
Many smart students worry about how a W will look on their transcript to a future employer, which Dr. Krieger believes is something to consider.
“If there’s only one or two, I wouldn’t worry about it,” Dr. Krieger said. “It’s a pattern that employers worry about – graduate programs worry about. When I see a student who does withdraw from one class every semester, I worry about their time management skills, and I worry that they’re ambitious in a way that does not demonstrate good planning. That’s something that employers can see as well.”
Stay savvy and know your deadlines. The automatic-W deadline, or the last day you can officially drop a class, is October 26th.
“Honoring that auto-W deadline is really important,” Dr. Kieger said. After October 26th, “the only way to drop a class is with the Dean’s permission, and you have to be really ill or have something tragic happen. It’s really serious.”
Even with a few Ws under your belt, it’s still possible to stay on a four-year track at IU. It’s all about planning ahead and thinking about your post-grad career because isn’t that what we’re all here for?
“Make sure you read course descriptions,” Dr. Krieger advised. “Ask questions about faculty; find out about their teaching style; talk to your advisor. What you want to do as best you can is plan ahead for not just what’s going to get you through the semester and finish your program, but how you are planning on using your classes. What is it going to help you do when you walk out the door? What skills are you developing that you can take out into the world?”
Graphic by College Lifestyles™
Image Courtesy of Dr. Krieger
Image Courtesy of Melanie Metzman
Image Courtesy of Melanie Metzman
Melanie Metzman is majoring in journalism as well as communication and culture at Indiana University. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds be sure to follow College Lifestyles™ Campus Satellite at Indiana University on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter @CLCS_IU.