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Undergrad GPA about to drop/worried/ need advice


Guest Chiper91

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Guest Chiper91

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum and I could not find a similar topic to put my question into so I decided to start a new topic.

I am currently an undergraduate junior double majoring in Political Science and Economics. Until now I have a 3.94 GPA, however as I started my fall semester with some upper division electives for both of my majors, I started getting B-'s and A-'s . I am taking 16 credits with one 4000 level course, three 3000 courses, among which is one language course and one 2000 level course in calculus. I am very worried because I do not think that I will be able to keep up my 3.94 GPA. I fear that I might get as low as 3.5 GPA this semester which would bring me down to 3.85 GPA.

I went to my coordinator and she suggested dropping one of the classes if I want to keep up my GPA. I have dropped one class before and I think that dropping another one would make a bad impression on the grad committee. She also told me that I have a dilemma, whether I want to keep up the GPA I have now or to "man up", get over my perfictionism and get through the upper level elctives, because it will keep getting harder as I go up in semesters.

What to you suggest? Drop one course in order to maintain my 3. 94 GPA or to stick with all courses, get over my perfectionism and face the faith of a possible drop in GPA? SOme of my friends suggested not dropping the course because it would make and impression that I try to avoid hard courses, try to stay in my comfort zone etc.

Ultimately I want to apply for a Master's programme in Germany and I want to have a good application.

I only had my first exams so I might improve towards the end but that is unlikely, the courses are so hard.

Looking forward to your replies/ suggestions/ advice. I will take anything

Yours sincerely,

poor undergraduate desperate for high GPA

P.S English is not my native language so bear with the grammar mistakes :)

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Dropping a difficult class for the sake of your GPA is a cop-out. It suggests that you care about your GPA, but not actually about learning. Do not drop the class. Give if your best effort.

Dropping the course will not just give the impression that you avoid difficult classes, but that could be the case. You have admitted it here in this thread.

I'm not trying to be harsh: My undergraduate transcript is a mess, including a number of Ws. I now realize that it has been in my difficult courses where I have learned the most, and I now deliberately seek to take classes with people who others describe as "difficult" or supposedly "unfair graders." I have a lower GPA than people who deliberately take the kinds of professors who give out all As, but I do believe I have gotten more out of my time here.

I suggest that you read this article over the Chronicle (http://chronicle.com...ontents/132789/) and relax. If you stop focusing on your GPA so much, you may find you ultimately do better in the class. Focus on learning the material.

Edited by asleepawake
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Guest Gnome Chomsky

I definitely agree with asleepawake. It also seems like you have much time left in your undergrad career so it's likely to not be as high when you graduate based on what you have said in this thread. I could see if it was like your final semester. It seems like you started off hot and it kinda got to your head and now you've gotten a dose of reality and it's beginning to get to you. My advice is just stay in school, take classes that interest you, give it your best effort every time, try to learn as much as you can, don't take cop-out classes, don't be afraid of a challenge, don't worry so much about your GPA, and see where you stand when you're set to graduate.

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I am going to disagree -- drop the stupid class. You'll still have a full credit load. You have time to take more classes. You don't need a 3.9+, but you do need a sane lifestyle. And time to rest, socialize, and pursue other opportunities that might arise. Dropping 2 classes in your college career will not matter a bit, in my opinion.

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Guest Gnome Chomsky

I am going to disagree -- drop the stupid class. You'll still have a full credit load. You have time to take more classes. You don't need a 3.9+, but you do need a sane lifestyle. And time to rest, socialize, and pursue other opportunities that might arise. Dropping 2 classes in your college career will not matter a bit, in my opinion.

Well, sure. I can agree with dropping a class because 16 credits is too much to deal with. But if you're dropping a class because you're taking too many, then you drop the class that is least convenient to your schedule. If you're dropping a class to maintain a high GPA, then you drop the class that you're not going to get an A in. It seems like the original poster is leaning toward the latter.

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If you have too much work that you think you can't give your full attention to any of your class, then yeah, it would not be the end of the world to drop a class. However, you're halfway through the semester. If you've managed your time up to now with grades that will end up as a 3.5 for the semester, then you've clearly got enough time and energy to finish the semester. You just aren't super happy with your grades.

However, it's up to you. Another W won't destroy your life, but neither will a B.

Edited by asleepawake
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That is true -- but if having this many classes is stressing you out too much, you can drop. It's allowed, and it could make the rest of your semester much happier. Also, sometimes even though you are doing well enough (in this case a B), you may feel you are not learning as much as you'd like or need to. Retaking later can be a sensible thing to do in such a situation. There will be enough times when it will not be so easy to change a situation for your own benefit -- save your "manning up" for those times (I thought that was kind of a stupid/unhelpful comment). It's not as though you are in danger of losing financial aid, or graduating late because you need this class, or have a pattern of regularly dropping classes . . . so why not?

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Guest Gnome Chomsky

I think the "man up" comment was more of a way of saying "get over yourself." I didn't find it stupid or unhelpful at all. Graduating with a bachelor's with a 4.0 or 3.95 is extremely rare. Only a handful of people are capable of it. And it really doesn't matter if you're in a hard science or a soft or a humanity--getting A's in every class, regardless of subject, is not an easy task. That being said, there's no shame in graduating with a 3.5, .6, .7. I know many people who finish their first two years (associate's degree, if your school offers it) with a perfect or near-perfect GPA and then starts to have a little trouble when they take their upper-division classes. I think the original poster was so concerned with maintaining that high GPA he/she accumulated in lower-division classes that getting A's took precedence over getting a quality education. Now, there's nothing wrong with dropping a class for three reasons: 1) if you're taking too many classes and you don't have enough time to fully focus, 2) if you're in WAY over your head in a class and you're going to fail miserably, and 3) if some sort of emergency comes up. Now, it doesn't seem like he/she can't handle the 16 credit course load. And it doesn't seem like the material is way over his/her head (a 3.5 for 16 credits, 12 being upper-division, is a quality semester). It seems like the reason for dropping is to not lose the 3.94 overall GPA, which, like asleepawake said, is a cop out. I know that people want to have an impressive undergrad resume so that they can get into a good grad program, but you also want to have an honest resume. If a 3.95 GPA is what gets you accepted into a specific grad program, then they are going to have certain expectations for you, so it'll come back to haunt you if they realize you can't handle what they expect from you. That doesn't mean you can't handle their program. It just means you weren't a 3.95 student. But there are certain other things you're capable of that would make you a quality grad student.

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Seems to me what's stressing you out is your GPA dropping. That's a bad reason.

You don't need a 3.94 GPA and maybe you are realizing that graduate work will be harder and an awakening as your coordinator points out.

It's not that you are a perfectionist - it's that you are not perfect, and the harder courses get the less perfect you are likely to be. Welcome to the big league.

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Guest Chiper91

Thank you so much. To begin with, I am "he". Sorry for not specifying it. All of your comments are really helpful and I am grateful that you took your time and replied. In recent days I got over myself and face the fact that I am maybe not going to be able to keep up my GPA. Right now I am putting my effort into doing as best as I can. Sometimes I have the feeling that I cannot devote as much as time as I would like to particular courses, but generally I am ok. Frankly, the lower level courses do not take that much time, in fact one of them does not take almost any at all. THerefore, even if I had less classes, that would not make it easier for me. It is just the quality and quanity of material of the higher level courses that does not come easy since I am slow reader and I have to read about 80+ pages a day. Also, my exam schedules are not great at all, I have my exams back to back in several days, therefore my energy span deteriorates over the course of the day which affects my results.

I am half way through the semester and I think I will make it. I might get below 3.5 GPA for this term, but I realised that I would liek to elarn more than just egt the grades. Besides, I have three more semesters to go, during which I hope to increase my GPA.

I have little social life if any but I do not mind, because my friends are also busy and we do not get much time to hang out. I am willing to sacrifice my social life in order to get into a good masters programme either in the U.S. or Europe.

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