Sam Clark Staff Blogger
Washington College’s fall semester Advising Day is coming up, and sometimes it can be overwhelming to those who are unsure of the process. Having been through it a couple times, here are some tips to ensure your registration for classes goes as smoothly as it can.
Talk with Your Advisor
While this first tip seems a bit self-explanatory, especially when a meeting with your advisor is mandated to register, it’s still an important one. You should ask as many questions as you have. Whether it be about the whole process, or recommendations for specific classes, your advisor was matched with you for a reason: to help you throughout the process. Registering can be confusing and, at times, frustrating, so anything that you might even have a slight doubt on is worth mentioning to your advisor.
Do Your Research
WC offers so many different classes that registering will either seem like a breeze or too many choices to pick from. With this in mind, do your research on classes you’re interested in taking. Some classes involve a pre-requisite before taking that class, and you won’t be allowed to register without it. Some classes are better taken when you’re simultaneously taking another class. If you know your major or minor, you might have to take your classes in a specific order for it to be the most effective. Whatever the case may be, read the descriptions and guidelines of the class within the course catalog. Knowing any bit of extra information can only help your registration.
Organize the Classes You Need
Even if you’re undecided on your major, it still helps to do this second tip. Washington College has a different set of requirements for each incoming class that each student must fulfill on top of their major/minor classes. I would recommend going to the Office of the Registrar website and finding your classes distribution requirements. This will give you a look at what you have completed, as well as what you still need to take by the school’s standards. Your advisor does have this information, but when you’re a freshman or sophomore, and you have more classes that you need to take and less classes that you’ve taken, it helps to be able to see what areas you should be looking into for future classes.
If you’ve already declared your major, and have met with the appropriate advisor in your field of study, here is another tip you can do on top of your general education requirements. Each area of study has their own sheet of what students in that major, or minor, need to study. For example, as an English major I was required to take three classes on literature of pre-1800s, as well as three classes on post 1800s. As I continued taking classes, I wrote down each specific class in the category that it fell into. That way, when my registration day was coming up, I saw that I only needed to complete one more class of the pre-1800s and I would have fulfilled my major classes. It’s a lot to figure out and can sometimes be confusing, but you don’t want to waste time taking a class freshman or sophomore year only to find out that you didn’t need to take it at all. These charts will help, I promise.
Have Back Ups
Every single WC student knows the frustration of wanting or needing to get into a class just for it to be filled before your registration time. While this is sometimes unavoidable, to lessen the frustration I recommend having back-ups, and back-ups for your back-ups in some cases. Some of your classes will be an automatic in, but for some higher-level classes you should really have one or two other classes that you can swing if your number one choice isn’t available.
Some Quick Tips to Keep in Mind
If you do have to get on the waitlist for a class, depending on how big the waitlist is, there’s a good chance you can still get in. Some professors can make their class size bigger or add another section, or once classes begin someone will probably switch out. Just be patient.
When your moment rolls around to not be able to get into a class, take a deep breath. Trust the process. It just wasn’t meant to be this semester. Unless it’s a special topic, it will be offered again, and you will have your time to shine.
Talk to your friends and fellow students! Getting advice about classes and their experiences is so helpful in knowing what classes will be most beneficial to you.
With that in mind, however, don’t listen to people’s opinions on which professor to take a class with. Everyone has their own experience, and just because one student may not have gotten a full experience in one class doesn’t mean that you won’t.
At the end of the day, you’re going to make it out of registration just fine!
Image by Shannon Moran