Let’s face it, registering for classes is always stressful. Every year you have to worry about finding classes without time conflicts, and then wake up at the crack of dawn and cross your fingers that you will even get in. It can be stressful to even figure out what classes to take, and even more frustrating when you don’t get into them. As a senior, here are some tips I've found can help make your registration as successful as possible (trust me on this one, this is coming from a girl who has had many ups and downs when registering for classes).
- Get familiar with PeopleSoft
One of the biggest tips I can suggest is to get familiar with PeopleSoft. It has so many features that you may not even know about. For example, you can narrow class searches by the day or time. So, if you are looking for a specific time to take a class, you can filter to see only what is being offered then. Furthermore, you can also search for classes based on what goals they fulfill. This is especially helpful if you need a specific goal you haven’t fulfilled, and you aren’t sure what to take. Don’t forget to also attempt to validate your classes to make sure you can register successfully for all a few days before your registration.
- Communicate with your advisors, and get a second opinion if you are worried
Your advisors are here to help, and quite frankly, they have been doing this far longer than you have. I know it may be intimidating to reach out for help or you may feel pressure to go into your advising meeting knowing everything you are going to take, but they can definitely help if you're honest and ask for suggestions. My advisor has given me class suggestions for classes I hadn’t even heard of before my meeting and ended up being some of the best classes I have taken. If you still feel confused after your meeting, don’t be afraid to ask another faculty member for other opinion. They may be able to help or provide new information too.
- Wake up early and be prepared
If there is anything to take away from this, please remember to wake up and click “Register” right at the start of registration time (typically 7:30 am). You do not want to miss out on a course just because you weren’t prepared and didn’t wake up. I also find it helpful to actually get out of bed and register at a place other than my bed, whether that be my desk or a common room. This helps get you out of sleep mode and into registration mode and can be especially helpful if friends are there, so you aren’t going through it alone.
- Reach out to professors
If you do not think you will get into a class or you are missing prerequisites, do not be afraid to reach out to professors and see if they will let you in anyway. I have had extremely good luck with this, especially since we attend such a small school. If I am approaching registration week and see a class I want to take that I think may be popular, I will even reach out beforehand. A simple email just introducing yourself, why you are especially interested in the course, why there is a dilemma, and what new perspective you can bring to the course goes a long way. If you are having trouble reaching out via email, don’t be afraid to go to their office. If you still don’t get into the class on the day of registration, send another email after your registration period explaining your situation and you still have a chance! If you still don’t get in, check back with the professor at add/drop week of the next semester, where they may be more lenient to let you in.
- Take classes outside your comfort zone
Some of the best classes I have taken at HWS have been ones outside of my major/minor and comfort zone. These are the classes that came from left field but taught me so much. I remember talking to my professor about a class she suggested, and I told her I was worried because it wasn’t in my major/minor and didn’t cover any goals. She assured me that college was more than just checking off boxes but learning and exploring new topics. I am glad I took her advice and registered for the class, because it ended up being my favorite class here and the material covered I still think about every day. Don’t be overly concerned with your goals, they will get done! Allow yourself to take classes that seem out of your path as they may be worth it in the end.
- Don’t stress! It will all work out
If you are still unable to get into your courses on registration day, don’t stress just yet. Trust me when I say that every single semester I end up not getting into a required course that I need. The good thing about going to a small school is the professors really are looking out for your best interest and will make sure to get you what you need. It may take a few extra days to fit you in somewhere or create a new class section, but I have always been able to get those required classes after an unsuccessful registration. Make sure to email your advisors and professors who teach the class, and just remember you will be alright in the end.