There is a hushed rustling sound as everyone in the cramped front room digs through their pockets and bags to grab their phones and check the time. Sixteen different iPhones light up simultaneously – It’s 10:13 AM. At the recognition of the time the crowd shifts forward slightly. A few nimble students make their way toward the front of the group casually, as though they had ended up there by accident rather than in a strategic plan to be at the front of the pack. Looking around, there are numerous anxious faces. A girl jokes with the crowd saying, “I hope no one else is signing up for Music Theory. There’s only one spot left and it’s all mine.” There is nervous laughter in response. The clock strikes 10:15 AM. The crowd surges forward. And it begins.
This, being my first time registering for classes, was both exciting and nerve wracking to me. There were plenty of people in a complete panic as they realized that their classes had been filled up, and although there were plenty of women there to help the registration process move forward, many of the students’ nerves couldn’t be calmed. Luckily, I was toward the front of the group (Yes, I am one of those students who sneakily maneuvers to the front of the crowd when no one’s looking), was assigned an open computer without having to wait, figured out the computer process quite quickly, and registered for my classes without a problem. Unfortunately, some of the students around me weren’t so lucky.
Which led me to wonder – What are some of the best methods for having the registration process go as easily as possible? [Especially since students don’t choose the day or time that they register and just have to cross their fingers that they’ll be in the first bunch to register.] And I came up with some tips!
1. Have a backup class for your backup class. It’s advised that you have backup classes, so that if your first choice is full, you don’t have a reason to panic. But what if your backup classes fall through? I watched this happen to quite a few students and realized that it’s best to have one, or two, or three, backup classes. That way you can be less stressed.
2. Get there on time. Enough said.
3. Make sure you don’t have holds on your account. In the middle of the registration room is a red phone, which students used to call Financial Aid or other offices (in a panic) to get rid of holds on their account (which stop students from being able to register). Make sure you solve your holds ahead of time. The school will email you months before registration telling you of a hold – So make sure that you’re checking your email.
4. Take a deep breath. Even if you don’t get into a class that you really wanted, or needed, it’s not the end of the world. Drink some water, take a breather, relax a little bit. You’ll be fine :)