How to Prepare for Registration

Registering for classes is what I like to call the “Hunger Games” of college. Registration can take all of 5 minutes but let me tell you, those are the most stressful five minutes in any college student’s life. Hundreds of students are fighting to get the best class spots and best professors. Instead of scrambling to find those pesky CRN numbers right before registration opens at 7 a.m., be sure to follow these tips to have the smoothest registration experience possible!

1. Pre- Registration Organization

When it comes to registration, organization is KEY. The event is stressful enough so being organized beforehand is well worth your time!

a) Researching Classes 

I like to start researching classes about 2 weeks before the registration date. This probably seems a little crazy but I’m very picky and need the best schedule possible! Researching classes can take quite some time so giving yourself ample time to do it is a must. Start by going onto your Degreeworks (or emailing the chair of your department) to see what classes you need to take the following semester and jot them down on a piece of paper. Next, log onto Self Service and start researching! If you’re stuck between choosing a professor, ask around! Students will give you their honest thoughts on the professor making your choice a little easier! 

b) Mock Schedules 

A tip that I find to be really helpful is drawing up multiple schedules! This is just in case your first choice of classes fills up super quickly (which has happened to me in the past!). You can either write out the days and times on a sheet of computer paper, or you can always email the Dean’s office for a blank schedule to fill in (if you want to be REALLY organized). Once you’ve drawn out your ideal schedules, write out all of your CRN numbers and the corresponding classes on your registration form!

c) Holds

Holds are the most annoying part of registration. They are pesky little issues that, if not taken care of, can result in you missing registration and the chance of getting your top choice of classes. Make sure you follow all of the steps given to you by your department and take care of your holds before registration. These steps may include sending your department your registration form and a copy of your Degree Works. If you have any parking tickets or any other holds on your Self Service, make sure you take care of them before registration!

2. Registration Day!

The night before registration I like to take out my registration form and write out the CRN numbers for all of my top choice classes on a Post-It note with the class titles next to them. When I’m writing them out, I put them in order of difficulty. If I know a specific class is very hard to get into, I put that CRN number at the top of my list so I register for it first. On another sticky note, I write out all my backup CRN numbers and class names. I make sure to plug my laptop in so it charges overnight and I try to get a good night's rest! Registration starts at 7 a.m., so I try to wake up by 6:30 a.m. This gives me enough time to warm up my computer, connect it to the internet (a MUST) and fully wake up. At around 6:50 a.m. I log onto Self Service and go over to the registration tab and then, it’s the painful waiting game. My anxiety rushes through the roof and I watch the clock count down the time until it’s 7 a.m. Once it hits 7, I refresh Self Service and get typing!

a) General Tips

If you’re registering for a class as well as its accompanying lab, make sure you type both CRN numbers (one for the lab, one for lecture) at the same time. If you don’t, Self Service will not accept it. If you know that there’s a class or two that is very difficult to get into, type those CRN numbers first and press enter. Then, continue typing in CRN numbers (you may need to type in your backup ones) until you register for all of the classes you need to take! Self Service may not let you register for certain classes if you did not complete the prerequisite or if you registered for another class that is during that time, making the researching step very important. Once done, close your laptop, forget about registration and get yourself a coffee because you deserve it!

The time leading up to registration can be really stressful so make sure to give yourself some “me” time once it’s over! If for some reason all of the classes you were meant to take fill up, reach out to each department and ask them to sign you in. It won’t always happen, but it’s always good to ask. If you have more serious problems, reach out to your department or academic advisor to make sure they’re resolved. Also a little tip for those of you who made it to the end of this article: if you really wanted a specific class time or teacher but it filled up during registration, keep checking Self Service! I really wanted a specific teacher for the spring semester and went onto Self Service every day from registration day until a week before the semester started and I saw that there was one spot open (due to someone dropping the class), so I registered for it! Self Service stays open until a week into the semester so be sure to always keep checking! Thanks for reading and happy registering!