OPINION: Registration can be an adventure for students, advisors

 

“You’re the first student this year who actually wrote times down for classes next semester!” –an enthusiastic Andrew Rudd.

Advising. Everyone hates it. I remember posting and reading several Facebook statuses on the subject. Posts on how hard it is to figure out the schedules, fitting everything in and making sure you can graduate on time, if at all possible. I’ve read horror stories of missing a single class and having to stay an extra year because of it, stories of advisors forgetting to OK their advisees for registration later on and even heard of the tears of people coming to horrific realizations of some sort that their lives will not be going as planned the next semester. It’s frustrating trying to get all the classes you need for your major mixed with all the general education requirements.

Cady Wilson is a junior communication arts major. (Photo by Jesse Peek)

The requirements are hard to fit in as it is. First, you have to think about your major classes, then your general education courses. But while scheduling you have to remember, are you a junior? How many credits does that even take? That class is only offered every other fall. If I don’t take it now I never can. Do I have the prerequisite for this class? What is the prerequisite to this class? There are so many things to think about and remember to check. Are they all conveniently located in one place?

No.

Every time I have to schedule I have to look all through Malone’s crazy website and my Malone Xpress account at the same time to make sure I have everything I need. I have to check to make sure my classes all fit together. If there is a conflict, which is more important? Can I take an alternate? Is it offered each semester? What is immensely disheartening is when two major classes conflict with one another. This has happened to me twice — I realize it’s a scheduling mistake — but if it happens as often as I’ve heard students say it has, something needs to be fixed somewhere.

After checking all that, we come to the next step in the process: advising meetings. My advisor and I get on the same page about my schedule, make sure it at least fits together, figure out if it’s headed in the direction I think I should be going and suddenly the hardest part of advising week is done. I have heard a lot of people complain about their advisors, how they were unhelpful, people leaving feeling like nothing got accomplished and a whole slew of other complaints.

That’s one (of many) things I love about my advisor. Without him I would be completely and utterly lost. Sure, sometimes we’re both not sure of something and we have to look it up, but without him I would have no idea where I’m going. I pick classes to fit and he makes sure that they will help me later on in life. To say the least, he actually cares about where I’m going rather than “does my schedule work?”

I imagine what it’s like for us students and then I realize that it’s not fun for professors either. They have to check a lot of students’ schedules and they have to check a lot of variables for each and every student, so I can forgive them if they mess up every once in a while. After all, their main job here is to teach, not to babysit everyone’s schedule. However, it would be nice if they remembered a little more often to OK their students for registration.

This brings me to what I think is the worst part of the whole process. Going to register after getting permission from your advisor, planning out your semester, comparing classes with friends and getting all the way to the “click to add” button. All that work and discussion with an advisor, all the time, energy and tears that went into scheduling only to be stopped by people who clicked the button a fraction of a second faster than you did.

It’s literally a race. You have to get up early on the day you’re allowed to sign up, sign into your account and wait until the moment it turns 7:00. Then click like mad for your classes. One minute too late and you’re out, you didn’t make it. Signing up bleary-eyed for my next semester scares me. I feel like I’m going to get something wrong and all my work will go down the drain.

All that being said, I understand why some things are the way they are. It’s nice to have a person help you figure out your life. I just wish there were a way that it was easier to answer all your scheduling questions. I hate having to search the entire website to find all the answers I’m looking for. As for registration, I suppose there is really no other way to fairly get classes, but I’m not an early morning person and I fear that my schedule may be in danger every time I sign up for classes.

I suppose the best way to make sure you get everything done is to check all the steps of the process. Ask your advisor if they checked you off. Even though it takes a bit of time, write down the times of classes you’re trying to get into. Actually be prepared for your advising meetings so you can make the most of your limited time. Just because it’s not the most ideal way to get your schedule done doesn’t mean you can’t do anything on your end to make the process easier.

Just remember, I’m pretty sure the professors dislike it as much as you do. Besides, if you get it all done ahead of time you can go back to sleep for a little longer on registration day, and who doesn’t need a few extra Z’s after all that hard work?

Cady Wilson is a junior communication arts major.

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