Let me tell you a story: I was but a wee sophomore about to enroll in classes for my fall semester junior year. Since my school made us enroll online based off of times given by seniority, my enrollment time was 10a.m. I’m usually an early bird, so I didn’t mind having my time in the morning. I had no choice, really. But it was good because that meant I had a chance of getting into my classes before they filled up. So the night before, I go to bed and set my alarm for 9a.m. This way, I could also get ready to head to the library to study.
Fast forward to the following morning. My alarm went off. I turned it off and went back to sleep. The next time I woke up, it was 10:01a.m. I never jumped out of bed so fast in my entire life.
That was probably the most stressful class enrollment for me because I only got into two out of the six classes I wanted to enroll in, I was scrambling to add “filler classes” that were still open so I could retain my status as a full-time student, and I was running around campus like a crazy person trying to see which departments would take pity on me and just let me into their classes.
Moral of the story: class enrollment is stressful as hell. It’s just as stressful as room selection, to be honest. And that’s pretty much why I decided to write this post. I have a different post on how to create the perfect class schedule, that you’ll definitely want to read before you continue reading this one, so be sure to check that out. But here are my ~expert~ tips on stressing less when it comes to enrollment.
1. Visit your department advisor.
This is the BIGGEST reason why people stress so much. Self-advising is fine sometimes but not all the time. At the journalism department at my school, we are instructed to have a 45-minute meeting with our department advisor, and during the meeting, he basically tells us exactly which classes to take for each semester. We can go back and see him as many times as we want to, depending on whether or not something changes (we took a summer class, or couldn’t get into a class, etc.)
Visiting your advisor ensures that you stay in the loop of all of your degree requirements. Things can change, and your plan doesn’t always go the way you want it to. You might have fallen behind because you were unable to take the summer class you needed, or maybe you can even graduate a semester early because you took two extra classes this semester. Make an appointment ahead of time and be there early!
2. Have a few back-up classes ready to go.
I love back-up plans. Make sure you have a couple of extra classes in mind that you can enroll in just in case you don’t get into some of the classes you wanted. School curriculum courses are great back-up plans, but I don’t want to get into them too much here because I’m going to talk more about them in my second to last point.
If you have a not-so-good experience like I did, a good back-up plan would be to enroll in classes you’d like to take just for fun. Yes, taking classes for fun is actually possible in college, and this is coming from the girl who started her major a year late. It also never hurts to ask your advisor what other classes in the program could be an option for you.
3. Keep your enrollment date marked down and set reminders.
Circle the date in red on your calendar. Create 10 notifications on your phone. Do whatever it takes to remember the date and time of your class enrollment. We tend to get really busy and caught up in our classes, extracurriculars, jobs and anything else going on in life. You probably don’t want to remember about class enrollment at the last minute!
4. Don’t schedule anything 30 minutes before or after your enrollment time.
I say this because you’ll give yourself enough time to find a strong wifi signal (if enrollment is online), get settled, and open up your laptop. You definitely don’t want to be beating down on your keys or tapping your fingers impatiently because you’re just seconds away from having to click ‘enroll.’
Worst case scenario, if you have trouble enrolling or a class you really need is closed, you can head to an advisor’s office ASAP for help. If you can make sure you have more than 30 minutes after your time, that’s even better.
5. If all else fails, keep a few curriculum courses in mind.
And now we’re back to those curriculum courses. Most colleges that I know of require students to take curriculum courses that help them become more well-rounded…but to most people, those classes are just a way to accumulate credits while getting an easy A. I like to think of them as opportunities to do something a little different. Look for a curriculum course or two to fill in your schedule just in case you can’t get into some classes for your program. You can choose to keep these classes in your schedule, or have them act merely as placeholders so you remain a full-time student.
6. Wait-list yourself.
People tend to drop classes, especially after the first week of a new semester. Put yourself on the waiting list for any classes that might have been closed before you got to them. You never know when space might open up.
How do you get through class enrollment?