One student’s decade long registration journey

Jacob WaringOpinions & Features Editor

I have spent my 20’s pursuing my undergraduate degree, which means I have undergone class registration countless times. My personal experiences have either been horrific or fantastic. Some factors were within my control and some were not.

At Southern, I have had zero issues at Southern thus far. It has been the best experience by far because I have an advisor that is at the top of her game and does her part in helping me get to where I need to be in my educational journey. Yet, that was not always the case at the previous colleges I have attended.

I had to learn some tough lessons. I had to endure a lot of craziness with certain advisors. Or else I would not be where I am at now without those crucial lessons.

The first time I ever registered for classes was a nightmare. At the time, I wanted to become a veterinarian, but quickly decided to switch to journalism when I discovered I was awful with mathematics. Switching majors at Gallaudet University not an issue as my first semester was consisted of courses that would apply to any major- or so I thought.

My advisor at the time was horrid. The individual suggested courses they thought were interesting, fun or could “expand my horizons”.

Only one class, a freshmen forum course, was worthwhile; the other courses did not count towards my major beyond being free electives. The individual made recommendations as to what classes to delay taking without seeing if they were available in the next semester.

It was incredibly frustrating; I requested an advisor change, and the new advisor pushed me to take classes just to be a body on the roster so the class would not be canceled.

It was ludicrous, but as frustrating as it was, I do not place the blame entirely upon those individuals.

Do not get me wrong, I do place a good chunk of the blame on them; I wasn’t the only student who had these issues. I just was not prepared on my part.

I should have obtained a document showing the courses I needed for my major and checked to see which courses are available in which semester; map out two or three semesters at a time. I just needed to do my due diligence and I was not mature enough to do that at that time. Those are the lessons I learned in my early twenties. I ended up taking a leave of absence, and ultimately transferred to Norwalk Community College three years later.

I took my own advice and had a much better experience. My advisors at NCC were better, but I still had some issues. I had developed the bad habit of procrastinating on taking my math classes because I knew I would be struggling. I ended up taking my required math classes too late and struggled to the point where I withdrew from the class, delayed my graduating.

I cannot tell you how many times I misplaced the document that had my planned list of classes to take during my time there.

I sometimes felt like my advisors wanted to staple the document to my head as a way for me not to lose it again. Knowing how I was, I probably would have lost it even then.

The journalism department at NCC also had a crucial faculty member who left for another college, and it resulted in many classes being discontinued until they found a suitable replacement. I do not know if NCC succeeded in that, but they did not during my tenure there. I had to do some awkward course substitutions to fill in the missing blanks in my schedule. It was not an ideal situation for anyone, but I felt that the college could have done a better job at finding a replacement.

Now at Southern, my advisor just expects me to do my part. I know what classes I need and when. I have a plan in place. I’m more organized and I have everything for registering for classes in one folder.

Most of import, I always ask questions.

If I’m unsure or need guidance, I don’t hesitate to send an email to inquire. I am sure that can get obnoxious at times, but in the end, it is better than being the version of myself that I was nearly a decade ago.

I do know that if I had not had learn those lessons. If I had not had those experiences. I would not be as successful as I am at Southern. I know I would not have made it at Southern being the college student that I was back then.

Be organized. Take the classes you want to avoid as soon as possible. Just get it done and over with so you do not have to ever deal with those courses again. If the course you are avoiding is a prerequisite, then you are going to be in for a bad time and likely not graduate on time.

Or worse, you could be like I was years ago.

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