A freshman’s guide to a successful registration

Ask any upperclassmen on campus about registration and I guarantee you will hear a horror story or four. Registration day is one of the most dreaded days for students at Marist. It calls for a lot of planning, praying and usually ends with a lot of bribing.

Marist faculty and upperclassmen from a variety of majors offer freshmen some advice to help the process run as smoothly as possible.

1.    Follow along with your DegreeWorks

Sean Rodriguez of registrar reminds students to be attentive. Make sure you are taking the necessary classes stated on your DegreeWorks and that you are aware of prerequisites. There are a lot of classes offered only in the spring or only in the fall. There are also many classes that require a minimum of one prerequisite. You will be unable to register for a class if you do not meet the requirements.

2.    Meet with your advisor

Business Advisor, Melinda Weisberg said, “you can have the perfect schedule planned out and wake up on time, but if you have not met with your advisor you will not be able to register. This is an extremely important step in the registration process.” Believe it or not, it is a common occurrence for students to realize they still have a hold on their account the minute they are about to register. Sometimes, you could even have met with your advisor but he/she forgot to take the hold off. To be safe, double check that there are no restrictions on your account a few days before registering.

3.    Create a four-year plan to avoid falling behind

It will be extremely beneficial if you know which classes you have to take each semester. Your four-year plan can be flexible, but make sure you have one. Advisors have heard the story many times before where students realize they are behind schedule when it is too late. Plan out your classes in advance. “As a psych special ed major it is extremely important to stay on schedule. Before you know it, you will be spending your days student teaching and there will be no time left to take that history class you’ve been avoiding,” said Emily Eisenson.

4.    Pick your most important class first

“When creating your schedule, choose the class you absolutely need to be in first and plan the rest of your courses accordingly,” said biomedical science major, Christina Monteleone. This tip becomes crucial as you begin to take more specialized classes because there will be fewer time slots available.

5.    Have back up classes

No matter how early you register there will be an occurrence, or several, when you will not be able to get into your desired class. Don’t freak out, it happens to everyone. Very rarely will you get into everyone of your first choices so be prepared with backup classes. “Especially for the popular business major, classes fill up very quickly. Have different sections of classes written down, you will need them,” said senior business major and lacrosse player, Jesse Brown.

6.    Constantly check class availability

With athletes having first pick and upperclassmen registering before you, classes can fill up fast. Make the necessary changes to your schedule as often as possible. Wake up 10 minutes or more before your registration time to double check the availability left in classes. “Things can be changing every minute so be sure to stay on top of it to avoid a last minute panic attack,” said Brianna Sherlock, senior fashion design major.

7.    Ratemyprofessor.com

There are many strategies to be used in creating a schedule but one of the best pieces of advice is to look up the teachers. “A great professor can make a hard class bearable. I usually base my schedule off the professor rather than the convenient time,” said Jaclyn Bocuzzi.

8.    Leave room to enjoy yourself

Dr. Lerner, advisor and journalism professor, urges students to take one fun class per semester. You will have a miserable semester if you pack your schedule with five serious and demanding courses. Whether it’s a one-credit sailing class or a three-credit art class, take something that will make your week less hectic and more enjoyable.

9.    Save core classes for abroad

This may depend on the program you enroll in, but for most cases core classes will be offered abroad and many of the specialized classes will not be. “If you are planning to go to Florence, save a science class so you can take Italian-style cooking,” said senior Samantha Payne, “I guarantee it will be the first science class you will absolutely love.”

10.  Avoid Wednesday and Friday classes (if you can)

Give yourself the necessary recuperation time after a night out. Don’t schedule a class that you know you won’t be mentally present in. “One of my biggest mistakes this year was scheduling a 9:30 on Fridays. I dropped the class after syllabus week,” said senior Jaclyn Sanderson. Your days as a college student are numbered; take advantage of not having a 9-5 commitment everyday of the week.

11.  8ams

If you are not a morning person, do not register for an 8am. It will be a waste of your time and money if you’re sleeping while in class or frequently absent. “Be mindful of what kind of student you are when creating your schedule,” said professor Bowser.

12.  Do not oversleep

There’s nothing worse than sleeping through registration. To avoid a disaster filled with tears and override forms, make sure you wake up on time. “Set five or more alarms,” said senior and late sleeper, Sarah Rowley, “have another alarm ready to go off after you hit that snooze button.”

13.  Copy & paste method

On registration morning, have the numbers typed out and ready to be copied and pasted, suggests junior Katie Obrien. This will make the process much quicker and smoother. It will also avoid accidentally typing the wrong number because you were in a rush.

Learn from the mistakes of your classmates and take all of these tips into consideration when registering for the upcoming spring semester.

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