As April 16, 2016 approaches, UT Austin students are scrambling to meet with their advisors about their upcoming Fall 2018 course registration. During this next week and a half, the campus will most likely be packed with stressed students walking in and out of class preparing for their registration time. While college students experience more freedom with which the classes they want to take and how many hours they receive from taking them, we long for the days when someone made our schedule for us.

I've never been more anxious than when registration comes around, and I've gone through this process three times with no hopes of it getting better until the spring of my junior year. My 2016 Fall Freshman registration was probably the easiest one I've had since I've been at UT thanks to my Gateway Scholars program. I was lucky enough to have a couple of my courses reserve a seat for me, but those days are long gone.

Since then I've had to wait and see like all of my other peers if my desired class would still be open after the third day of registration. Many of my friends experienced not being able to get the classes they needed and ended up going through plan A, B, and C before throwing in the towel and taking whatever was last.

For the first time last semester, I too, was like my friends. I had set up four different course schedules in case one or two failed, but I didn't expect ALL of them to fail. Although I wasn't able to get the classes I really wanted, the outcome left me more prepared and determined for this upcoming occasion that feels a lot more like a competition.

I've learned:

1) Strictly meeting with your adviser and doing no additional planning afterwards is going to kick your butt.

2) Make more than three possible course schedules because you never know what this year's registration period will bring.

3) Don't wait 10 minutes after your designated registration period to log in and try to find your courses.

4) Center your schedule around your most needed class (mine would be Reporting:Words because this is the third semester I have yet to get in that class and it's essential to my major).

My fourth lesson is the most important because, in my experience, once you don't get that one essential class, the rest of your self-made course schedule crumbles.

Think of it like avalanche, once one of your classes closes, the rest of your schedule will fall out before you can create a new plan; which is why making multiple schedules is crucial.

I'm thankful for my first two UT class registrations that left my fingernails unscathed and my sanity in tact, but these last two I've done in my Sophomore year now have me preparing myself like I've been chosen to participate in the Hunger Games.

To all of my college peers awaiting the first day of registration, like Effie Trinket said before pulling the first name out of the fish bowl, "May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor."