Registering for classes is a rite of passage for college students. It’s a lot easier than it was when our parents were in school, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a time filled with stress and anxiety. Here are some tips and a little advice to make registration just that much easier.
1. Check Rate My Professor.
Rate My Professor is one of the most powerful tools to have when you’re registering for classes. A great class can be soured by the wrong professor and an already difficult one can become impossible. It’s a waste not to take advantage of it.
2. Be realistic.
In a perfect world, we all wake up at 8:30am ready for the day, but that isn't the reality for most people. It’s okay not to be a morning person, and it’s okay not to be a night person. It’s also okay to have all your classes start after 11am; that’s where I’m at this semester, and it works so well for me because I am terrible at getting up.
3. Don't just overload for the sake of overloading.
Being realistic also applies to how many classes you take. I’m not saying overloading can’t be done, but be smart about it. It’s tempting to get as much done as quickly as possible, but having too much on your plate can cause problems when you suddenly have three exams and two papers all in one week. Overload smart and try to pick semesters with easier or more manageable classes, so you don’t burn yourself out.
4. Talk to your friends.
Your friends can be the best sources of information because they know you, and they’ll be honest with you. If a class sucks, they’ll give you the low down, but you know they’ll come in clutch with that class that’s fun and easy and that fills like three requirements.
5. Talk to the upperclassmen in your department.
Upperclassmen are amazing because they have been where you are. They’re like advisors that will tell you what professors in your department to steer clear of. Advisors are also great, don’t get me wrong, but they can’t be as candid as students about the inner workings. They probably also aren’t quite as privy to that information.
6. Talk to your advisor.
I mentioned advisors aren’t always the best, but they are great when you need help. You want to study abroad but can’t figure out when or how to do it? Bam, they plan everything out and work with you. You’re don’t know what classes to take for your desired career? They will talk it through with you, and you’ll walk out feeling better.
7. Take a class you like.
You are paying a lot of money (or you aren’t, go you) to take classes and further your education. You deserve something fun, a class that is easy/fun/interesting/etc. because we all know that there are classes we have to take that no one would choose if it were up to them. You might be in three difficult classes, but that one class that doesn’t feel like class somehow makes it all worth it.
8. Plan beforehand.
Don’t just open up your browser when your timeslot starts and plan then. If you don’t have a good idea of what you want to take or what fits best into your schedule, then you’re going to hate yourself when you realize you forgot a class you actually needed to take.
One of the worst part about picking classes is realizing you can’t take all the classes you want with the professors you want at the times you want. You might not be the best at writing, so you choose the professor who is the best with feedback in favor of another class you know you have a good handle on. Maybe you go home every weekend, so you decide to sacrifice your Wednesday mornings so you don’t have classes on Friday.
10. Have a backup plan...or a few.
I’m going to be honest here; I have five different schedules currently. That may sound crazy until you realize how one class filling up before you get to it can mess up everything. Maybe the Calc class you were going to take filled up before you registered, and suddenly, you realize the only Calc classes left coincide with the other classes you planned on taking. You’re suddenly scrambling to figure out what you can change because you really need to take that Calc class next semester.