Registration frustrates U students

T By Molly Kentala

there comes a time in every college student’s life when you are continually on-edge, extremely nervous and staring down the nearest clock. I am not talking about finals week – I am referring to the lovely occasion enriching our lives twice a year: course registration.

Everybody was a freshman at one point in time and knows how painful it is to register on the last day, almost a whole month after the process begins. It starts off as so much fun, sitting down with a newly printed class schedule book, opening its crisp pages and sifting through the abundance of class choices. Eventually, with the help of your adviser’s “opinion,” you end up with the perfect schedule.

A few weeks pass by and someone alerts you to the fact that your registration time is coming up. Just to be sure, you hop on a computer and check out OneStop. As you begin to review your classes, a look of sheer horror crosses your face: They are full. Panic sets in as time ticks away. Unfortunately, you are still hours from finding a class that is not in St. Paul.

Registration can be the most nerve-racking time of the whole semester. Learning there are only two of 55 seats available in the class you need to take is scary. You never know what you will end up with. But before you get so far as actually registering, there is the planning phase. All college students know there are many factors playing a part in determining the approaching semester.

My roommate wanted a schedule where she only had class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Looking at her preliminary semester outline, I was insanely jealous of the way the classes meticulously fit her plan. The day before she registered, a lot of cursing was coming from her general direction. The classes she had hoped for were closed.

Crafting the perfect schedule is an art form. It may take a couple of semesters to master, but gradually you learn how to select classes that fulfill requirements and meet at the right time. When choosing what to take, there is the beauty of double-dipping, as advisers so kindly refer to it. This tip was passed along to me at freshmen orientation: Do not take a class that fulfills one measly thing. If you are paying with your hard-earned money, it might as well count for two things. Why stop there when you can triple dip, knocking off two requirements and upper-division elective credits in one swift swoop.

Once all the registration homework has been completed and the big day comes, students tend to get as nervous as a pimply preteen leaning in for his or her first kiss. Waiting for your time in the queue is very nerve-racking. You sit there, glancing at the clock in the bottom right corner of the screen, waiting for the exact second it flips over and you are free to register. But then a thought occurs; what if my clock is wrong? What if someone got in 30 seconds before I did and took the last spot in a class I wanted? It is tension like this that creates the high demand for pharmaceutical drugs.

Everyone has gone through the process. Chances are good that the girl that always sits next to you in lecture got shafted back in the day as well. And to all those lucky people out there who do achieve greatness during registration, may you always have finals on Saturday. Even if you did not get the class you wanted, grin and bear it. It could be worse – we could be going to school in Madison.

Molly Kentala is a University sophomore majoring in journalism. Send letters to the editor to [email protected]