Meme from the Hunger Games It’s everyone’s favorite time of year, when stress levels rise in inverse proportion as finals draw nearer and on top of that its registration for fall courses! Usually, I actually enjoy registering for new classes; I like figuring out my schedule and the anticipation of new classes reminds me that learning is fun. But at this moment, I myself am writing in a state of anxiety as I wait impatiently for my window to open and hope against hope that there is a seat left for me in the classes I need.

Let me back up and explain the registration process a little bit though.

For all you high school seniors who have decided to attend Winona State this fall, your registration process is a bit different than mine right now. Entering freshmen all come to WSU on assigned days either in April or June and the entire second floor of the library is turned into an advising center. You will meet with a professor (usually someone in your declared major) who will pretty much walk you through the process He or she will help you decide which classes to take and show you how to use the online program.  As freshmen, you’ll definitely take ENG 111 College Reading & Writing or CMST 191 Intro to Public Speaking your first semester but then you get to choose which general education credits to start tackling first.

In the following semesters, you’ll meet with your assigned advisor privately (though some departments, including the English Department, have group advising sessions). The most basic purpose of going to an advising session is to receive your access code which you need to log in and register. But advising sessions can offer so much more;  faculty advisors can help you decide which classes to take, give advice about the difficulty or structure of particular classes, and make sure that you are taking the necessary courses to fulfill your major or minor. I usually look at all the classes available and plan my schedule well in advance so I don’t typically need much help but talking to English professors about class topics gets me so excited for my upcoming classes. (I told you I LIKE registration!)

Now, you may, like me, have decided on all your courses, creating this perfect schedule, and gotten your access code and that part was fun. NOW the dreadful waiting period begins while you count down the hours for your registration window to open. The registration windows, that is the time slots when your account become active, are staggered throughout the week and privileges those students with more credit hours under their belts. Windows for Senior-status students typically open on Monday, then Juniors on Tuesday, Sophomores on Wednesday-Thursday, and finally Freshmen on Thursday-Friday. You incoming freshmen are lucky (for your first semester that is)—you actually enroll for classes before anyone else does! While this system is obviously necessary for seniors who need to take certain courses in order to graduate on time, for underclassmen this spells agony as the days pass and there more potential that the classes you want will be filled by the time your registration window opens.

But don’t let the anxiety about not getting in and fear of falling behind get to you. Even if a class you want does fill up before you can register, you can get on the wait list or potentially blue card in, which means getting special permission from the professor to be added to the class. If neither recourse works out for you, you just have to face facts and try to take that particularly popular class next semester, when you will have more of a head start on THOSE incoming students!

P.S. By the time this blog was posted, my registration window opened. One of the classes I wanted was full but the others still had several seats left which I quickly claimed. Registration Week 2013—SUCCESS!