How to Deal with a Scheduling Crisis

As the class of 2021 just learned, registration time at Kenyon can be stressful at its best and vomit-inducing at its worst. Waiting until the hands of your phone’s analog clock align precisely at 11:15 am is a sensation comparable to inching towards the top of a roller coaster. (Of course, you can’t log in right at 11:15 because that might be too early, so you have to wait about ten seconds to be safe.) Despite our best efforts, something will go awry nine out of ten times, often in the time between registration and the start of the new term. When it comes to scheduling, four classes come with a limitless possibility for error.

This semester was my second time experiencing an upheaval in my schedule. I was so optimistic in April, when I had painlessly registered for four interesting classes at perfect times, each of which applied to my majors or diversification requirements. Little did I know that my tranquility would be smashed to pieces in early August by an email conveying the cold, harsh reality: one of my classes had been canceled. Naturally, this sprung me into a state of frantic action as I desperately searched for a solution. Luckily, I was able to find another class, and I actually learned from the situation instead of making the sad-puppy face all semester. In the interest of helping out those of us who tend to panic when the little things go wrong, I’ve compiled a list of what has helped me get through some of the scheduling complications I’ve experienced

If your class has been canceled…

First of all, take a deep breath. There’s nothing you could have done about this situation, so there’s no use in feeling bad about yourself. The good news is that Kenyon offers so many classes that you will always be able to find a viable alternative. The bad news, though, is that many of those classes are already full of the lucky few who haven’t dealt with what you have. Here’s the solution: email professors. The searchable schedule will tell you which classes have open spots or a waitlist, so all you need to do is contact those professors and simply ask if there’s room for you. This can be daunting, especially for those who haven’t interacted much with professors. They understand your situation, though, and they’ll definitely be willing to help.

If you have to drop a class…

Don’t worry! This is a pretty painless process. Edwards House (next to Wiggin’s) has add-drop forms that are easy to fill out after a meeting with your advisor, who has to sign off on all course changes. And don’t worry about hurting the professor’s feelings; again, they understand that schedules change, and the class that might not be the best fit for you may give way to a great learning experience.​

If you don’t get the class (or classes) you wanted…

It’s okay! Just take a breath, and get ready to start writing those emails. If you face this predicament during the registration period, make sure you have the CRNs for your backup courses at hand. If the registration period ends and you’re still short on credits, now is the time to contact professors. You may even be able to get into the class you originally wanted if you communicate with the professor and make an appearance on the first day armed with a completed drop-add form! There are often students who don’t show up on the first day, and to most professors, this means forfeiting their spot in the class. If you’re there, though, showing up means you’re dedicated enough to be in the course, and you may be rewarded with a permanent spot.

If you’re lying on your floor crying as your roommate feeds you Ben & Jerry’s…

Yikes. But never fear—there is someone who can help you when all hope seems lost. Formerly, Hoi Ning Ngai was Kenyon’s Dean for Academic Advising and Support (as well as a contributor to Her Campus Kenyon!). Unfortunately, Dean Ngai is leaving Kenyon to pursue bigger and brighter opportunities at UNC. Luckily for us, though, Thomas Hawks will be taking over her position. He will want you to have met with your advisor first, but if that doesn’t shed some light on your situation, Dean Hawks will gladly make time for you. His role is to offer guidance and support in any academic area with which you may be struggling, so it’s a safe bet that he can offer whatever you need to resolve the unending tragedy that is registration at Kenyon.​Hopefully, you’ll never need to access these tips to remedy a scheduling disaster. I have hope for Kenyon’s future of accessible, error-free registration and professors who get their work visas processed on time. For now, though, we have to make do with what we have, and that means at least a few scheduling crises.

Image Credit: Feature,1,2,3