Dear Future Employers, This Is Why I Have W’s On My Transcripts

Dear future employers, this is why I have so many W’s on my transcripts.

If you do not know what a W is, that’s great! I will explain it to you. If you do know what it is, that’s also great! You understand the terminology that colleges use to refer to a student who has withdrawn from a class after the (usually one week long) add/drop period.

I have some reasons for these W’s. It is not because I am lazy. It is not because I was failing the class. It is not because I cannot handle a large course load.

For starters, I would just like to say that currently I have a 3.75 GPA, and I am in my final year of college at Arizona State University, so I have one more year if I want to get my GPA up to Summa Cum Laude status, which is 3.8 or above. I have been a consistent student, going to ASU for 3 years, since the age of 17. At this point, all of my general studies are completed, and now I am just taking upper division English electives to fulfill my upper division requirements.

You could say that I am a good student. That is why I would like to explain the oh-so-dreaded W looming on my transcripts waiting for someone to say, “Why did you withdraw from so many classes in your time at Arizona State?” Instead of waiting for that question to come, I have decided to answer it in the form of this blog post, because it will help me feel better about the situation and hopefully help people understand that W’s aren’t all that bad.

  1. There was NO description of the course on the course catalog
    This drives me crazy! Sometimes, when universities put classes up on a course catalog, they write a succinct, not descriptive paragraph about what you will be doing in the course. I understand they have thousands of classes to describe, but students are paying for this kind of thing when they pay their tuition! Sometimes you do not really get a feel for what the course is about til after the one-week mark, so you choose to withdraw from it, leaving a big fat W on your records. This is not something to panic over, and it shouldn’t be a big problem. You did not know what you were getting into, that’s all.
  2. The class turned out to be CRAZY
    So, I have a specific example for this one. I had a really busy schedule a few semesters ago, and I was trying to fit as many iCourses (online classes for on-campus students) into my schedule as possible. I chose to fulfill my science requirement through a Geology course, and I chose to do it online. Unfortunately, the professor was not the one actually facilitating the online course, it was a Teacher’s Aide (TA). I was having difficulty with the material, so I emailed the TA for help. She/he basically told me I needed to figure it out on my own. Well, TA, the purpose of a teacher is to help the student learn the material, so I think I’m gonna have to W your class. Later on, I took Astronomy, in person, and totally aced it. Sometimes the class turns out to be unrealistically difficult. Anything 100 level should not be causing you to lose sleep at night.. hence, the W.
  3. You have a really horrible thing happen, or just LIFE happens
    So, this has been the cause for some of my withdrawals in the past. It is NEVER a problem to give yourself a break sometimes. I have had 2 pretty rough breakups since I started college 3 years ago, and I would be lying if I said that they did not make me have to take a couple steps back and work on my own mental health for a few months. This caused me to release some of my more time-sucking courses, which were never REQUIRED courses, just electives that I chose which happened to be rather difficult.
    Also, I might add, that the important thing is I did not DROP OUT completely, although at times it was tempting. I kept on working hard and busting my booty, and got through 2 and a half years so far (I have one more year; I will be graduating one semester early, woo!)
    Another thing I would like to say about this one: dropping those courses was the best decision I ever made, because 3 W’s on my transcripts look ALOT better than 3 C’s or 3 B-‘s. I would say that because I withdrew from these classes, I was taking care of my GPA. Quality over quantity. And, to counter those semesters when I only took a few classes, I have semesters like the one when I took TWENTY credit hours, or this semester, I am taking 18 credit hours, applying for a 10 hour a week internship, and starting to work full time in about a month. Yeah, for every tough semester, I have one that I totally kicked butt in.

Those are my reasons. Everyone has different reasons, and I would never suggest you withdraw from a course after 12 weeks of taking the class and slacking off. Failing a course is never a good reason to withdraw from it, because you should not have allowed yourself to fail in the first place! All of the courses I have withdrawn from have been within the first 2 or 3 weeks of class, and I just realized they were either not for me, or I took on too much at once. Either way, do not be afraid to have a W on your transcripts. It shows that you know your limits and are able to give yourself the proper amount of coursework while still doing an excellent job.

So when I do the tallies, I have 7 W’s. But, I have 2 A+’s, 14 A’s, 4 A-‘s, a B+, 3 B’s, and my LOWEST grade, one B-. (Central Arizona College grades don’t show up, thankfully, I got one C there and that’s a whole other story).

Pretty much, I have 7 W’s, but 24 good grades and an AWESOME GPA to make up for it.

Thank you all for reading, and I hope you understand W’s a little bit more!

Elise

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2 thoughts on “Dear Future Employers, This Is Why I Have W’s On My Transcripts

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