Why Withdraw?

 (Mithchell Martin)

(Mithchell Martin)

With the deadline to withdraw from a course just around the corner (Thursday, April 30), here are some of the most common reasons why students would want to withdraw from a class.

Don Biederman, a counselor here at Skyline, says that the primary reason that students have for withdrawing from a course is, as one would expect, that they are not doing so well. But, one may be surprised to find out just how many other reasons there are that can force students into withdrawing.

Frequently, according to Biederman, a student’s work schedule will change. Another not so uncommon scenario is that a student moves out of the area. It also isn’t unusual for a student to contract a serious illness that can cripple them for a couple of weeks. By the time that they are better, they are so far behind that it seems nearly impossible for them to catch up. It is also important for students to avoid the mentality that more is better.

“Sometimes students register for too many units,” says Beiderman. “I wish it weren’t a reason.” Biederman noticed that this trend is more common at Skyline that at, say, a university or private school. He believes this is because tuition is cheap, being only a mere 20 dollars. Many students will join a class with no real intention of staying in the whole semester; they just want to see what the class is like.

Another thing students need to be weary of, says Biederman, is to not take too many units for how many hours they are working (for example, if you work full-time, then you shouldn’t take 12 units).

Students will often times draw out a weekly calendar, planning at what time they will be doing what thing. What mistake students make when doing this is they don’t allot any time for having fun, or “goof-off time”. Nobody can work all the time and never play. Another thing that students who create these weekly calendars forget about are things that are beyond human control, such as a family outing or illnesses.

What exactly does a ‘W’ mean? A ‘W’ does not impact a student’s GPA, but it does go on their permanent record, which means that employers and private schools will see it. If a student has more than just a couple of ‘W’ marks, the student will probably be viewed as a person who doesn’t finish what they start.

As Biederman says, “It’s not a nothing grade.”

But who better to ask to know the reason why students withdraw from classes than students themselves?

Mike Ball, who is an English major at Skyline, said that he has previously withdrawn from a math class back during his second semester. Ball carried his high school mentality to the class, and that is what he considers the main reason for why he withdrew. He said that the homework was all online, and he couldn’t access it from home, so he just gave up. Three-fourths of the way through the semester, the teacher said there was no way for him to raise his grade.

Ball is currently taking the same course again, and if he passes, the ‘W’ will be erased.

Ball’s advice for teachers is to try not to keep the relationship impersonal, to give students opportunity. The teacher he had didn’t seem to care much, sort of a show up or don’t attitude.

For students, Ball advises, “don’t get cocky and do all of the work”.