The Registration Games

18 Oct

joce

Spring registration is around the corner from November 11th to November 15th. Every time registration comes around, it reminds me of The Hunger Games. We don’t get served a fancy banquet and we are not given an outfit that lights on fire before registration, but, similar to the games, over 40,000 students fight to add common classes around the same time. This can be a nightmare, or the odds can work out in your favor. The secret to winning is being aware of the strategies on how to beat the system. So, let the games begin!

Happy day one! This is the most important day of the games because this is when you become knowledgeable and strategize your plan. Here are some tips to remember…

1) Know the date of your registration and write it down somewhere you won’t forget.
2) Plan out your ideal schedule ahead of time and make sure to always have a backup plan with alternative classes ready in case you don’t get the ones you want.
3) Remember that UAccess opens up to add your classes at 6:00 a.m. on the day of your registration, so make sure to wake up before six on that morning and have your hand on the mouse to add your classes right when the clock strikes…remember this is when you are trying to win the race with the click of your mouse.

Congratulations you have now you have made it to day two of the games. Now is when you will receive your sponsored gift to help you out during the games. This gift includes some insider advice on a few questions you may be asking yourself…

How can I make it easier to plan my class schedule?
First, it is important to remember your current or future obligations. This includes family, job needs, extracurricular activities, and any other factors that may affect your daily schedule. Once you are aware of these obligations, you can then know what days and times are free during the week. It’s also important to remember to make time for yourself. This includes having some time to relax and distress from the day by doing any one of your hobbies.

Does it matter what time a course is offered?
It is important to plan your schedule around the time that you think you work best or have the most energy. If you are not a morning person, like me, then it would be best to choose classes that start later in the afternoon. This way you are motivated and focused during your classes.

What if I have to work during the week?
Whether you have an on or off campus job, it is important that your employer is aware of your school responsibilities, and is willing to be flexible with your hours, so make sure to have this conversation with your supervisor. This way you can work your job around your school schedule, rather than your school schedule around your job.

What does my major entail?
Meet with your advisor on a regular basis to discuss the requirements for your major. You can visit the Advising Resource Center’s  “Academic Advisor Directory” to find your advisor’s email and schedule an appointment. Meeting with your advisor is key to making your schedule in order to know exactly what classes you need to add for the semester. Being on track for your major is important to accomplish future goals such as graduation. Sometimes classes that you need for your major fill up quickly, so that is why it is important to know in advance which classes you need.

What is the right balance?
College is all about finding the right balance, and this may seem difficult when you feel like you have too many classes to take in only four years. A key thing to remember when trying to make the perfect schedule is making sure to not overload yourself with too many challenging classes. Make sure you have a good balance of both difficult courses, and ones that you have prior experience with, so that you are not overwhelming yourself. This goes the same for outside academic commitments such as extracurricular activities, and your social life. It is important to know where to draw the line in order to be successful in school, but also to have fun.

What do I do if I don’t get the classes I want or need?
This is when your back up plan comes into play. If you do not get the classes you need on your first try, add the alternative classes that you picked out. There is always the possibility that the classes that closed up when you tried to register will open up later, so keep checking! Also, if there is the option, add yourself to the waitlist for the course, which can be done on Uaccess as well. The third option is to wait until the first week of spring semester and wait until students start to drop/swap classes to see if your course opens up.

This is my “perfect” schedule…

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This works well for me because I scheduled all my classes after 9:00 a.m. because I am not a morning person. I also gave myself a few breaks because I have an on campus job that I work at during these breaks. I also gave myself the morning off on Friday to have “me” time and de-stress from the long week. My afternoons are mostly open for extracurricular meetings and studying. I thought about all the questions mentioned above when making my schedule.

You made it! The end of the games is drawing near, and now that you have the inside scoop on the registration games, and strategies that can help you win, you are on the road to the perfect schedule. And May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor When Making Your Spring Schedule! 

–Jocelin Calcagno

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