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Thinking about withdrawing


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Hello everyone,

I made a post back in September about my concern for being able to do well in my program based on my background. I come from a non-mathematics/statistics undergraduate program and am currently doing a course-based Masters in Stats. Well, it seems like my worries have come true.

I've honestly lost any and all interest in what I'm doing. I suppose I never had a very strong interest in stats and just thought I did because I did well in the stats classed I took in undergrad (which were extremely easy compared to the classes I am now taking).

All the classes I'm taking right now are required for my program and I'm finding myself lost in most of them. I may be able to complete most of the assignments but that's only through intensive googling and group collaboration. I still only have a general gist of the topics we've covered but not much deeper than that. There's at least one class I'm sure I'm failing. I know I completely bombed the midterm even though we haven't gotten them back yet (there was really only one question I was able to complete and I'm not even sure I got it right). The only way I'll be able to pass this class is if I do exceptionally well on the final exam which just seems out of my ability. Actually, the only class I'm doing well in and am fully understanding is a non-stats course.

On a more personal note, I've transitioned from crying hysterically (basically all of September and a bit of October) when I'm alone in my room to just not caring about any of it. I find myself wasting a lot of time trying to avoid working because that's the only time when I'm feeling less depressed. I constantly feel like I have this ball of anxiety in my chest and it's draining. I'm tired all the time - no matter how much sleep I get!

I know I made a big mistake coming here. I really don't like research which was why I avoided thesis-based programs like the plague, and thought at least with this degree I'd be able to get a job afterwards. But now, even if somehow I manage to get through it, I can't imagine actually having a career in this field.

I'm at the point where I'm wondering if it's worth it to stay? If I do, then there's a very good chance I'll fail one of my classes and there's no guarantee that I won't get kicked out because of it. So should I withdraw before I get a big fat fail on my records? Which would look worse?

Thanks to any and all who read this post (I know it's pretty long).

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Hmmm, well honestly I can understand your situation. I am currently taking a stat class & half of my class are feeling the same as you! so don't feel bad about it. Some people can grasp the concepts from the first time but others can't. A student might be able to get an A in a class by studying for half an hour each day, for another student he might have to study 6 hours/day to get B. So you have to understand that there are personal difference between one person and the other but this should not discourage you at all.One of my classmate who just joined the program been away from school for almost 20 years and having a very hard time with the stat class. However, he is studying very hard to grasp all the concepts (using google, videos, notes,...etc) and also he gets help from the teacher assistant as well from all the other student to keep in track. So what do you think the overall impression of this student progress? everyone respect him/ adore how diligent he is, even the professor feels the same about him. You don't have to understand everything, you have to prove that you are a hard working person who can do anything to learn. So my personal advise, don't say I am going to fail a class/ go to the professor and talk to him about your situation, most of them will help you with making extra assignment/ make-up if they felt you are serious about your study. I dont think you are in the wrong place, I think you are only overwhelmed because you can't manage. You still have time so work hard and dont give up!

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You need to talk to someone. The earlier the better. Go see a counselor and discuss your issues realistically and write down the different options you have (maybe cutting down on the course load will give you the extra time needed to catchup in the other courses). The important thing is to do this now. Good luck, I feel for you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have been going through the same thing right now (the crying, the apathy, etc.), except in one of those theory/ thesis-based programs. I realized there was no way I was going to get my papers in by the due date because all of these philosophical concepts and theories are really out of my reach.

I finally talked to a councilor on campus and she explained that I can ask for an Incomplete and an extended date to turn in my papers. She said it's really common, and some grad students have incompletes hanging around their transcripts for years before they finish. Maybe the same thing will help you buy some more time to study and think it through? In any case, I highly recommend talking to a councilor If you're department is like mine, talking to professors can be really intimidating, and councilors can be helpful in kind of coaching you through it all.

Good luck with everything!

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