How to Handle a Bad Class


Sierra Jackson

WSN has advice for those stuck in a bad class.

Ankita Sethi, Contributing Writer

Spring semester is upon us and so are new classes. While new classes imply the thrill of learning fascinating things and exploring new worlds, that excitement can sometimes be dulled by a class you don’t like or by waking up at 8 a.m. However, more often than not, the latter can be worth it unless you never make it to any of the classes, in which case you should probably immediately drop the class.

Finding yourself in a class you don’t like can be psychologically taxing, what with all the effort that went into registration and finding the perfect balance between classes you like, classes you need to take and classes you can take considering the pre-requisites and the schedule clashes. However, it’s unlikely you’ll get through your entire college career without having a class or two you don’t like. If the course seems boring or difficult, the professor seems overbearing or the schedule is inconvenient, here are a few tips to survive.

If the goals of the class are not what you were expecting when you signed up for it, have a conversation with your professor about your concerns. If you still believe that the class is not right for you, look for alternative classes on Albert that are still open and might be interesting. Once you have a few options, talk to your advisor. Even if you have missed a few classes, a determination to catch up and an email from your advisor to the professor can go a long way.

The common denominator for a lot of students in a classes they don’t like is needing that particular course to graduate. However, there are non-traditional classes that can fulfill a traditional requirement. For instance, “The History of the Universe” can fulfill a science requirement and save you from Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle because, let’s be honest, we have enough uncertainty in our life as it is. Consult your school’s website or your advisor for an alternative course that might fulfill the same requirement.

If the subject interests you but something about the class’s structure — for instance its size — hinders you from getting the most out of a course, make it a point to go to office hours and find a seat in the first few rows.

Many professors, including computer science professor, Chee Yap, appreciate it if you ask questions in class because more often than not, multiple students are struggling with the same question.

“A question posed by one student can help a large majority of the class,” Yap said.

If all else fails, make a friend in class to ease the suffering, grab a cup of coffee before class and try not to fail.

Email Ankita Sethi at [email protected].