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Editorial: Use caution when adjusting your spring schedule

Students+studying+in+Grainger+Library+for+finals+on+Dec.+6%2C+2016.
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Editorial: Use caution when adjusting your spring schedule

Students studying in Grainger Library for finals on Dec. 6, 2016.

Students studying in Grainger Library for finals on Dec. 6, 2016.

The Daily Illini File Photo

Students studying in Grainger Library for finals on Dec. 6, 2016.

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Daily Illini File Photo

Students studying in Grainger Library for finals on Dec. 6, 2016.

Some of the University’s less-focused students may not have noticed, but we’ve already reached the eight-week drop deadline for the spring semester.

For those of you who accidentally missed the first few weeks of class or entirely forgot about a class in your schedule, Friday is the last day to drop out of a semester-long course without making your GPA do a nosedive.

If, after dropping that neglected class, you need to stay on track to graduate, there’s an emergency option: Eight-week classes, either online or in-person.

The perks are pretty obvious: they’re only eight weeks long, online classes usually fit with any schedule, they can often fill a pesky degree or general education requirement and they’re probably an easy “A.”

The perils, however, aren’t always as clear until you’re two weeks in and it’s already too late to drop.

Even though an eight-week class may seem short beforehand, it still contains a full semester’s worth of content. Falling  behind by even a few days can lead to late work, or at best, multiple late nights of catching up.

As always, the type of class you take will determine what sort of workload you should expect. Online classes that satisfy a rhetoric requirement are great, until you have two papers due every week.

In general, online classes higher than 100-level should be approached with caution. It’s also in your best interest to request a syllabus beforehand.

Unless you really need a class to graduate on time, don’t take a specific required class for your major. There’s a reason those classes are required, and it’s worth it to dedicate a full semester to them. If you’re set on adding an eight week class, stick to one that fulfills a gen ed requirement.

If you’re the type of person who routinely skips lecture and misses deadlines, eight-week classes won’t be that GPA boost you were expecting.

There may not be a scheduled time to meet, but that can make it more difficult to actually get work done. Unless you have incredible time management and self determination skills, it’s very easy to let your performance slide in an online class.

Beware: Adding a class for the last half of the semester means that all of the normal final project stress will be accelerated and added to every other class you’re taking.

Combine that with senioritis, or a simple unwillingness to work, and your last few weeks of school will get a whole lot worse.

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