I'm a fourth year student in Experimental Psychology who is dealing with major, unresolved mental health issues and major problems fulfilling my basic responsibilities. I'm finding myself under-performing this semester big time with late grading, arriving late to classes (first half of the semester anyway), showering every other day, and taking long naps. It has not improved at all and I haven't made any progress even writing for my dissertation at all despite data collection being a thing at the same time. I'm probably going to step down from this position altogether before I strongly anticipate being dropped from my courses for next semester due to my low reviews. How can I broach this to those at the SLAC (Small Liberal Arts College)?

I know I'm also going to invite some backlash but would this do more harm than good (even with the negative reviews on the way)?

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    Have they even offered you a position next semester? Nov 26, 2023 at 19:51
  • @AzorAhai-him- I was assigned classes for next semester so yes they have in this case.
    – zzmondo1
    Nov 26, 2023 at 19:57
  • @JW Small liberal arts college.
    – zzmondo1
    Nov 26, 2023 at 20:15
  • The title question is a duplicate of this. Other important context is that we have already told you that the issues you mention are not that serious (though the low reviews, if they really are super low, change the picture somewhat) and that you are unlikely to be fired in the middle of the academic year.
    – cag51
    Nov 27, 2023 at 0:33
  • If your job is to teach, "not wanting to teach next semester" is in essence saying that you want to resign from the job. Or what other kind of outcome are you looking for? SLACs don't generally pay people unless they are willing to teach. Nov 27, 2023 at 3:10

1 Answer 1


Given your other questions and concerns, I suggest that you go talk to the department chair (or maybe the dean) and let them know that you are over committed generally and need a break as soon as can be arranged. Preferably for the coming semester.

Perhaps it would be easy for them to accommodate and maybe not, but they should be able to tell you. They may have to scramble a bit to cover at this date, but should, hopefully, be prepared for such surprises.

You can also resign your position, of course, but you may need to find something else for financial reasons.

If they aren't already aware of your general issues, I suggest that you not bring them up. Over commitment in your situation is pretty common and natural.

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