Written by LUCAS SURYAKUSUMA
Somewhere, I’m sure, in a child’s mind, Katniss Everdeen is fighting for her life to survive The Hunger Games. UT has its very own version of the games…registration. Registration periods are probably one of the most stressful times a year semester students must face, second to finals. There isn’t a way to experience registration without it being stressful, but don’t fret! There are preparations to make registration occur as smoothly as possible.
1. Study the Course Schedule
Course schedules are released two weeks in advance, before registration starts. Use these two weeks effectively.
Start researching what classes you need to take and who the best professors are for them. Most of the bloodbath that occurs with registration happens because students all want the best. Use resources and tools like MyEdu and RateMyProfessor to read reviews and recommendations of UT professors. Another good thing to do is just ask around—ask your friends, upperclassmen, and academic advisors.
3. Plan Ahead and Be Prepared
Anything can happen during registration. However, keep in mind Louis Pasteur’s words “luck favors the prepared.” Have back-up classes that fit in your schedule ready. Don’t waste your time trying to find a professor that’s good or a class that fits in your schedule. By the time you’ve found one, it may be too late.
My suggestion: make a mock schedule. You can make one using MyEdu or other online resources like TheClassPoint. The tools can help you visualize what your weeks will look like and help you to not schedule for classes that conflict.
4. Add/Drop is Your Friend
Don’t think that once registration has passed it’s over. The fun still continues! If you still weren’t able to get the classes you wanted during the first round of registration, there’s always add/drop. Within this period, the registrar’s office checks to see if all students have paid the tuition bill for their classes. Those that haven’t automatically have their classes dropped and sometimes students choose to drop classes, for whatever reason. Consequently, waitlists move and previously full classes have available seats again. Katherine Vu, a Sophomore Nutrition Major, told me about her registration process: “I never get any of my classes during registration. I’ve gotten every class I’ve wanted because I checked every day during add/drop.” So again, add/drop gives students a second chance to register for classes they want but may not have gotten their first time around.
5. Waitlists are Your Best Friend
This may be the most important piece of information in this article. Every single person I’ve interviewed has mentioned waitlists. They really are important and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Don’t assume automatically that you won’t get in a class just because you may be really low on the waitlist. Nam Nguyen, a sophomore, had a friend’s horror story to share concerning waitlists: “My friend tried to get on a waitlist for Iverson and he was number 130. He took himself off the waitlist cause he didn’t think he would get in. I was 140 and I got in the class! He shouldn’t have taken himself off the waitlist! We would’ve both gotten in.”
The key to waitlists is to just be patient. Brittney Wittenbrink, a Junior Public Health Major, stated, “I was on a waitlist, but I got in on the last day possible!”. If you’re on one, most times you end up getting in the class. Honestly though sometimes waitlist don’t work out in your favor. That doesn’t mean you should try though! Getting off a waitlist depends on many factors like the class and the teacher to name two.
6. Special Cases—College Groups & Claiming Hours
I interviewed about a dozen people hoping to hear some horror stories but I got answers that were completely opposite to what I was expecting. Most people found registration to occur smoothly. I asked some more questions and I may have found reasons why these students had less traumatic registrations.
Most of the people I interviewed are in special groups—TIP, ESP, FIGs, Dean’s Scholar’s— that reserve seats for them in classes that they need to take. This definitely would make registration less stressful.
Another cause most students had smoother registrations was because they claimed hours. Claiming enough hours to advance your college classification allows you to register earlier. You should claim your hours cautiously though. Don’t claim hours that you don’t need and try not to claim hours that would only count as elective credit. If you think about it, elective classes should be easier than your major specific requirements so being able to take at least one a semester helps lessen your workload.
7. Things You Shouldn’t Do
- Not Take Care of Registration Bars
- Miss your registration time
- Forget to pay for your classes
Registration isn’t that bad of a time for those who are prepared and so I hope this article has made you a little bit more prepared. Good luck in these next couple of weeks and may the odds be ever in your favor.