Well, this is something I need to learn how to do. This semester, I took four classes: English II, Spanish II, Humanities, and Statistics. I am also serving as a stage manager for a professor I took a theatre appreciation class this past Fall 2020 semester. I did not realize how much a stage manager does until the first rehearsal. I show up an hour early, make sure all of the actors are present, bring all of the props into the theatre, give time checks throughout the night, and write all rehearsals reports (time slot plays-by-plays with important notes from the director).
Honestly, I agreed to be the stage manager because I had so much fun acting last semester for the theatre appreciation class. I needed some planned social interaction that wasn’t in front of a screen (something that became very rare with all the COVID-19 lockdowns). I thought it wouldn’t affect my classes too much. When I was acting four nights a week, I was also taking six classes. I was still able to make high A’s in all of the said classes. I only had four classes to take this semester, so I figured I would be fine.
Now, math has never been my strong suit. This is pretty common for people with ADHD since we lack strong memories and have trouble concentrating. Fortunately, due to my parents’ and teachers’ help when I was young, I have been able to pull out strong Bs in all of the math classes I have had to take in both high school and college so far. Because of this good track record, I was confident that I would pull a high B in the class.
Unfortunately, the only options for the course were online. Completely online. This means that there are no lectures, no class meetings, and no study groups. Everything is learn-at-your-own-pace, entirely on your own. Now, learning material for a class on your own can be complex in the best circumstances. Still, when you already struggle with online courses and are not good at math, this combination of harmful factors can be detrimental to one’s grade. This was the case for me.
I was informed last Thursday via a mass-sent email that Friday was the last day to drop the Statistics class and still receive a W for the course (meaning that I withdrew from the class without penalty). I looked at my estimated final grade for the course, and it was lower than a B, which for my standing in the Honors College, could be risky when calculated into my overall GPA. Our professor had also told us that our course was only going to get more complicated the further along we went in the semester. I was not confident I could raise my grade. This was an incredibly considerable concern because I am dedicating to being a stage manager taking away most of the time I could have had to study the material or hire a tutor personally.
I prayed about it and talked to my Mom and some friends who knew more about college records and paperwork than I do. I decided to drop the course and retake it next semester when the college offered on-campus classes again.
I completed the paperwork by the end of Thursday and was dropped from the course without penalty by Friday. I had conflicted feelings. I knew that I could do this better in a different setting, but dropping the class kind of felt like giving up. Due to my perfectionism, quitting has always felt like giving up, which has always felt shameful.
However, after thinking about it for a few days, I realize that I wasn’t giving up. I was going to try again in a setting that better suits me. And the more people I talked to, I realized that dropping a class was not uncommon and sometimes is the wiser decision.
Would I have needed to drop the class if I wasn’t working as a stage manager? I honestly don’t know, and I decided not to dwell on it. I don’t regret becoming a stage manager, as it has been a valuable learning experience that has taught me many things about my abilities. I think it was just a case of right-thing-wrong-time.
My takeaway from this was that admitting you are overwhelmed with something and need to back out or try again at a later time is perfectly fine. It shows that you know your capabilities and are confident you can do better once the circumstances are different.
I would like to close this post with a verse.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I know that this post is a bit shorter than my normal content, but I am trying to make my posts more consistent and less lengthy.
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Until next time!