My last registration is around the corner; I think tomorrow. Registration is a necessary evil of college. I can barely remember registering my first few go-arounds with college, thus I cannot compare then with now as I did with technology (something I will be revisiting). What I can talk about is registering over the last five years. It sucks!
I know for a fact that other people have easier times registering than I have. Thusly, do not use my experiences as an example of the way it is, but as an example of what could happen. As always an outlier.
Before I recount my registration experiences, allow me to extend a hearty thank you to Sandy, my advisor. I got very lucky having her as an advisor. Sandy has gotten me into and out of classes and allowed me to explore opportunities I would never had otherwise (I was a teacher for 8 weeks for one thing).
If this last registration goes as the rest of them have, I will have not had a single smooth, problem free registration. Registration, which is supposed to be a simple process borders on being the most stressful part of any semester for me. Why?
Starting with the easiest issue, time. I have always had a time requirement; I can take classes from X time to X time, unless the class is online. There are classes that are not online that I needed for my major and minor. Many of the necessary classes, especially for my dual minors (philosophy and communication) are only offered after X time, meaning I cannot take them or only offered in a semester that I am not registering for. If I cannot take them, then I cannot make progress. If I cannot take them, I need to find something that I can…
Finding classes is supposed to be easy, except that for whatever reason classes with the exception of classes for my major, have always been a pain to get into. My major crosses over into a lot of other majors. I do a lot more than write and sort of edit. I am proficient with layout, design, information flow, and many other skills. Being me, I wanted to expand upon some of those skills. Makes sense…except that if a class is in another program you cannot take it without permission from that department. Something about “reserving spaces for students in that program,” which on the surface makes sense, until you find out that there extra seats. Even when I found a class, I could not register for it, I had to ask Sandy to get me into the class. This is not something I feel she should have had to deal with, especially with classes that are related to the degree, but semester after semester this is what I have had to do.
Online classes are given priority to students who live off campus. This makes sense, except that it is an online course, thus butts in seats doesn’t make sense and having seen the amount of course work asked for by most online courses there is not a lot of work, if that makes sense. Thus, each and every online course I wanted to get into, I had to go to Sandy, ask her to get me into the class and wait. Why wait, because it never was easy.
Time, degree, and online aside there is one last issue. I admit this issue is a me issue–Professors. It became very clear to me, Barb, Sandy, Paul, and anyone else paying attention that my relation with the professor had to be good. I have not been the student who sat in class, did and said the bare minimum, and bolted when class was done. I take part. I came to college with previous experience and knowledge. Many professors here have been very welcoming, but there have been a few who I have clashed with and I do not pull punches.
What can you, the person in college or looking to go back to college take from this? First, befriend your advisor. Treat them like you would like to be treated and work with them. They can do most awesome things for you, if you demonstrate you are worth their time and effort. Second, registration should be smooth and hopefully for you it is, but there will be times and at those times seek out your advisor. Third, if you have an issue, such as my professor issue, make sure that everyone is aware of it. This will save you a shit ton of time and hassle.