As a senior at Colgate, I can tell you that course registration doesn’t get any easier or any less stressful.
First, you have all of your classes perfectly picked out. Everything looks great, and then you go on Colgate’s course offerings page before registration even starts and you see that there are already 5 spots taken in a 15 person course. Ah, those eager students that are on top of everything and pre-registered for classes by emailing professors. I don’t understand how people finagle their way into classes: every time I email a professor asking to pre-register, I either get no response, a professor saying that priority goes to majors and minors, or a “just wait for registration, and if you don’t get in come to the first day of classes.” Great, thanks.
So you have your courses and a lot of them are already halfway full. But you go to your advisor to get your registration pin with a glass half empty attitude, hoping that on the day of registration there will be a couple of spots left. Let me tell you that this often is not the case. Especially for those popular classes like dance, art, acting, stagecraft, or public speaking, there’s virtually no shot if you don’t pre-register. These guys fill up FAST.
Now it’s time for registration, you are eagerly awaiting at your computer until your time slot comes up. You have the 7pm registration time, which means that two groups are ahead of you. You are constantly refreshing the Colgate course offerings page and see the number of seats dwindle after each time slot goes. It’s 6:59:58, your palms are sweating and your hands are shaking: you have two seconds to get yourself together and focus on the task at hand. Finally, it’s your chance to show off your amazing computer skills and get those course id numbers into the registration slots as quick as possible. Oh no! You enter your classes and even though there were 3 spots left, you’re on the waitlist?? How did people put their classes in quicker than me! You frantically add in your backup courses, but since you didn’t put those in first, they’re all taken too. Now you are on the course offerings page, desperately trying to find some classes that aren’t totally full and will fit in with your schedule. You scroll through and click on each course to see if any have seats left. You finally come up with something and put in some random class that you don’t even need to take.
Now that you have random courses in, and didn’t even get the classes that are required for your major or minor, you look at the 20 courses on your portal, most of which say ****WAITLIST**** and find that you are number 20 on the list. Great, as if that makes it any less stressful. You frantically begin emailing professors telling them that you really need to take a class but you got on the waitlist. They normally respond by saying “sorry there’s nothing I can do, but come to the first day of classes and if anyone drops we’ll see what happens.” You begin to dread having to go to 7 extra classes at the beginning of the semester, and have to try to get in front of all of the people on the waitlist before you. At least course registration is now over, and you can just sit at your computer in a bad mood until you have to deal with trying to get into classes next semester.