Should I focus on my major or the Honor's college?

I’m about to start my second semester of college. I’m a pre-med major and chemistry is seriously hurting my GPA. I need a 3.3 GPA to stay in the honors college of my school and chem has dragged me to a 3.0. If I drop chem for this semester, Ill have a greater chance of staying in the honors college. But pushing back chem might put me slightly behind people of my major in my year. What should I do?

Please stick to answering the question asked instead of unhelpful side comments. Comments deleted.


IMO you are better off focusing on adjusting to college and taking courses where you are more likely to do well as you learn to study in this new atmosphere. Learn to take advantage of all academic resources your school offers (help centers, prof. office hours, etc.). That way you can hopefully stay in the HC. Being “behind” others in your major in kind of a nebulous concept anyway. People change majors all the time. Are they “behind” if they still finish in 4 years? Even if you take 4.5 or 5 years to graduate, it isn’t the end of the world by any means, unless it causes significant financial issues. You will look back and realize that starting med school at 23 vs. 22 or whatever means very little. The trick is to get there, and that means sorting out whatever it is that is causing you to struggle in chem. Because as I am sure you have heard, most students find Organic Chemistry to be even harder.

For most it is mostly a matter of adjusting to the fact that colleges don’t “spoon-feed” information like a lot of high schools do, and also disciplining themselves not to waste all the “free time” they now feel like they have. I put free time in quotes because it really is an illusion. To do well in college you have to schedule your study time carefully. And then there is, like I mentioned, using TA’s, the profs, any resources the school provides to make sure you understand the material and/or know what they expect, like on term papers, so you are not unpleasantly surprised when grades come out. Many profs, to the amazement of students, will look at drafts to let you know if you are on the right track. But that means having a draft early enough to react to whatever comments they may have. It depends on the prof and how large the class is sometimes, although even in large classes so few students ask for this that they will often do it. It all depends on how important the grade is to you for you to have the discipline to get the work done in a timely manner.

I am not saying each of those shortcomings apply to you, of course I have no idea. They are just the most common issues I see with freshmen. So whatever rings true, talk to your advisor about it and take corrective actions. And I would put off chem until you have given yourself a chance to establish these habits and get comfortable with them. Given that your entire career plan is at stake, it would seem worth sacrificing one semester or even one year.

If you are doing pre-med and you have 3.0, concentrating on that major may not be a good thing which means that you should focus more on the honor’s college.

I’m a little confused by your question. Your ability to stay in the Honors College/Program at your school is contingent upon your GPA. Your success in medical school admissions as a pre-med student is also contingent upon your GPA. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. If you were struggling with requirements within the Honors College that were independent from your major/pre-med prerequisites, then that’d be different – but if you’re struggling with pre-med courses, then you have to reevaluate what you’ve been doing wrong in your classes and adjust accordingly.

IMO, I’d focus on chemistry. I’d also talk to your Honors advisor regarding options. Some Honors programs either put you on probation or they allow you to request to be reinstated once your GPA meets the required level.