Registration for spring semester 2010 is coming faster than I ever imagined, and making a schedule I can live with (that satisfies the remainder of my requirements) is causing my hair to fall out. Not really, but close enough, especially because I put off my foreign language requirement and have to take a class that is five days a week with two days having two classes. Word of advice: Take your foreign language requirement NOW if you need it.
When I prepared for my first semester of registration at Richmond, I was a sophomore transfer student and at my parents' home in California. I had meticulously gone through the course catalogue on BannerWeb and decided which classes to take. The process was actually a little exciting because I was an eager, wide-eyed first year who had no idea what major to choose, with a little leaning toward English or something of that nature.
Then it happened.
The night before registration I set my alarm for 6:45 a.m. and nestled myself in bed, knowing the next morning would be the real beginning of my Richmond life. The next morning the alarm sounded and I pressed the snooze for five minutes. Three minutes later I shot out of bed because I realized that California is three hours behind Virginia and I'd completely missed registration. All of the classes I had meticulously planned were full. Begin freak out here.
Luckily for me the director of admissions helped me work out a schedule I could live with and I actually enjoyed (minus the 7:50 a.m. MWF). The advice resulting from this really long story: Pay attention to dates and times (and time changes) and be ready to change your schedule. Have a backup plan and don't lose all hope when that History 100 class is full.
The subsequent semesters I was a little more savvy and had a few backup classes. Even then there were problems for other people, but not for me. I live off campus and therefore had to wake up too early (for me) to get to campus before 7 a.m. so that I could be in the library and ready to register when the time came. I was obviously a little anal about being on time and had BannerWeb up and running and my fingers ready to type furiously at exactly 7 a.m.
I wasn't the only one. Several other students were filling the library with the same intentions, many of whom were business majors. I'm not exactly sure how, but my computer functioned correctly, everything went smoothly and I got in to all of my first-choice classes. Some of the other people around me were not so lucky and there was a lot of yelling and moaning about how people weren't going to be able to finish their majors on time because some class with a name I didn't even understand was full 20 seconds into registration.
Be ready for disappointment, especially if you have a high-demand major or are a senior. There is always the chance that you won't be able to get in to that one last class for one of your majors and you'll have to make it a minor. You can try complaining but chances are the response you'll get is that they'll try but everyone has to deal with this. Again, you can always check back until the end of the first week of classes to see whether there is an open spot, or ask for an override. I was able to do that this semester for the Spanish class I needed. I showed up the first few days and eventually someone dropped the class and I got in.
Get ready people. Next week could change your life.
Contact staff writer Stephanie Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org
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