For first-time college students, class registration can seem overwhelming. However, with this handy guide, you’ll be signing up for classes like a pro. So, take some notes because we’re going to cover all the ins and outs of class registration.
When Can I Sign Up?
Most colleges and universities have separate registration dates for different groups of students. They usually go by seniority. Your school will send you an email for your class registration dates.
You should sign up right at the exact time you are allowed to sign up. Classes fill up fast, and with limited space, you don’t want to end up on a waitlist.
What’s a Class Waitlist and How Does it Work?
A class waitlist is a list of people who want to take a class after it has already filled up. However, people add and drop classes all the time. If you’re on a waitlist, you will receive a notification if a seat opens up for you in the order you are put on the waitlist. So, if you’re at the end of a waitlist your chances to enroll in that class are slim.
What Are Registration Deadlines?
You will be informed of the deadlines to add or drop a class well in advance. These deadlines dictate the closing date for when you can register a class, and by what date you will need to drop a class before incurring penalties. Penalties usually mean you will still have to pay for the class even though you did not take it. The penalty for not registering for a class on time is that you probably won’t be allowed to take that class that semester.
How Should I Schedule My Classes?
Some students try to schedule their classes around two main schedules. One way is to have all or most of your classes on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. The other way is to have all or most of your classes on Tuesday and Thursday. Both have pros and cons; you just have to weigh your options and see what would be best for you.
M, W, F Pros
This schedule allows you to have three days of your most intense work. However, it spreads out your schedule, so there isn’t one big, heavy day. A lot of students find this schedule less stressful because they have three light days, and two either very light days, or two days off altogether to focus solely on homework, study, and work or extracurricular activities.
This schedule means that you have to be on campus a minimum of three days a week, and because some classes’ times are far apart, you could be on campus all day long three days a week. Plus, you will always have class on Fridays.
T, Th Pros
This schedule means that you will only have two heavy days a week, and the rest of the week with only one or two classes. You have more time to work, do homework, study, or take part in extracurricular activities. Also, your Friday nights are more likely to be free.
T, Th Cons
For two days a week, you will have a super intense, sometimes overwhelming class lineup. Your Tuesday and Thursday are almost guaranteed to be spent on campus from early in the morning to late in the afternoon (or even evening). Tuesday, Thursday classes, also tend to be longer because your class meets only twice a week instead of three times.
The beauty of college is that you get to decide what you do. Look into what is best for you, your lifestyle, and your needs. You may have to make a few sacrifices of some “me time”, and a little free time may become study time, but in the end, you get to schedule your life. So, know your options, know your deadlines, and run your life your way.