The sun is out, the birds are singing, pollen is everywhere--whether we like it or not, summer's right around the corner. This week puts us right in the middle of one of the most ridiculous times on campus: fall course registration. There should legitimately be some sort of psych study conducted about registration, if only to entertain the researchers.
This process seems to bring out everyone's primal fighting instincts (remember that scene in Mean Girls when the kids in the cafeteria turn into wild animals? Try being in the library at 6:59 a.m. on a registration day)--except we're fighting for class spots, because come on guys, that seat in Intro to Lady Gaga will determine our futures.
Think back to registration when you were an eager rising freshman. That registration barely counted because you weren't even on campus for all of the mayhem. But you were ready to get down with your little overachieving bad self, mapping out your four-year plan, harassing your recently assigned academic advisor, and asking yourself questions such as, "Should I take five or six classes?" "Can I triple major in business, pre-law and saving the world?" "Will there be any spots left in the Lady Gaga class?" (Spoiler alert: No). Then you actually went and registered and got approximately one of the classes you really wanted and had to learn how to deal. Welcome to registration!
Things get even more competitive for rising sophomores. They've switched majors roughly 12 times in the course of the year and now actually have to take classes for their selected major. The sophomores get ferocious. Those are still the days of waking up at 6 a.m. for 7 a.m. registration (rookie mistake, guys) and planning out the precise location on campus where you think you'll get the best Wi-Fi connection.
They're the exhausted hordes you see struggling out of the library at 7:15, either quietly victorious or in a zombie-like state of mental breakdown. Sophomore registration can go either way, depending on one's Bannerweb clicking ability.
Rising juniors--most of you will be going abroad in the fall, so you casually get to sleep in and laugh at everyone else. The biggest quandary you'll be facing is choosing between classes in art history and wine tasting. For this, I am incredibly jealous and nostalgic for abroad, so you must promise to drink a glass in wine- tasting class in my honor.
Observing my fellow seniors, I can say we seem to fall into two camps. There are those who got started on their actual major late (or are finishing up that fifth minor) for whom registration is still pretty important. You still have to plot out classes and hover over the Login button; but, good news, you still have an extra semester left, so things will work out.
Then there's the other crowd, the seniors who have essentially finished their degrees save for a class or two, whose biggest problem now is deciding among ballet, photography or Lady Gaga (a legitimate problem).
No matter your class year, there are a few tips to getting you through this process. First, caffeinate. You want to be alert. You don't want to oversleep. You need your game face on. This is your future, people, and speed is of the essence.
Next, stay away from the library at all costs. It is a wasteland of high-achieving people on edge (see: caffeination) on registration morning. There will be tears.
Finally, afterward, remember that there's always somebody worse off than you. If you got into every class you've ever dreamed of, don't be too braggy, because you will get smacked.
But if your schedule sucks, take comfort in the fact that someone else's schedule sucks even worse than yours (probs one of the crying library kids), and you can offer them an "aww, sorry" while secretly feeling a thrill of victory inside.
With that, go register--and may the odds be ever in your favor.