Tips For a Successful Registration
STORY BY MOLLY LAMOUREUX
It’s that time of year again. Not only does fall welcome the change in colors and the pumpkin spice latte hype, but fall is also accompanied by the dreaded reminder emails containing information about upcoming registration.
What students don’t realize is that registration doesn’t have to be a dreaded activity, and it shouldn’t be.
As you prepare for your registration, keep in mind these tips to keep the process quick, seamless and even enjoyable.
Create a tentative schedule before registration time:
Registration is stressful enough already. Don’t add to the stress by having to decide which classes will work best at 7 a.m. on registration morning.
Picking out classes beforehand allows you to know your CRN (Course Registration Number) for each class ahead of time in order to sign up smoothly and efficiently.
Also keep in mind that the earlier you register, the more likely you are to get your first choices.
Didn’t get into all the classes you wanted? Good thing you had a list of second-string options handy.
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t fit your astronomy lab into your schedule this semester. It will still be waiting for you with open arms next fall.
A great thing about having backup classes is that it takes away from the stress of making sure you’re enrolling as a full-time student (at least 12 credits).
On average, a student at Drake should be enrolled in 15-16 credits per semester in order to graduate on time.
These backup classes can fulfill that awkward gap you have in your schedule when you don’t get a spot in your random Area Of Inquiry (AOI) class.
Don’t cram to take all of your AOIs right away:
Speaking of AOIs, it’s okay to spread them out. It doesn’t matter when you take them, as long as you take them before graduating.
By scattering your AOIs (or honors class requirements, if applicable) throughout eight semesters, you can keep on track with your major’s requirements.
Many classes in your major require prerequisites, and you can’t meet these if you’re taking 4 AOIs every semester for the first two years.
Work with your advisor:
Your advisor can also help you make the best decisions when it comes to registration.
A good advisor should do three things at the minimum: Help you plan ahead, keep your best interests in mind and get to know you as a person.
As long as you work together with your advisor, you will graduate on time with all of your necessary requirements, and you will be confident that you have made the most of your time here at Drake.
If your advisor isn’t doing these things, maybe it’s time to switch advisors. Talk to the dean of your specific school about the issues you’re struggling with, and ask who they would recommend.
Ask about professors:
Advisors aren’t the only people you should be picky about when it comes to registration.
Oftentimes, there is more than one of the same class offered per semester, taught by two or three different professors.
Ask your friends if they’ve had any of these professors in class, and what they thought of them.
Keep in mind that your friends’ opinions may not match your own. When one student complains about the heavy writing assignments, maybe you enjoy the challenge of writing.
When another raved about how often classes with a certain professor were cancelled, a different student might think that they’re not getting their money’s worth.
Overall, just remember what you want to get out of a specific class and if the option presents itself, choose the professor that best fits your educational wants and needs.
Take at least one class per semester that you think you will enjoy:
Your semester will be miserable if you’re cramming in 18 credits of classes you think you need to take.
Take one class where you think you’re going to have fun, where you may enjoy doing the homework or projects.
This will make you happier overall and give you something to look forward to during the week (aside from the weekend).
By following these recommendations, signing up for classes will be a breeze.
If you’ve taken all these tips into consideration and are still stressing, take a deep breath.
Registration is a short process. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting in those classes and the anxiety of registration will be long in the past.