Registration has been one of many things on my mind this spring break.  While in some situations it can be “the most stressful time of the semester,” I think that registering for classes can be pretty exciting. Call me nerdy, but I can’t be the only one who is continually impressed at the variety of interesting classes offered to UDHP students.

However, that variety can be a double-edged sword.  While some majors, notably engineering, have relatively little freedom as to what classes they can choose from, those of us who have more liberty can be overwhelmed.  As a student pursuing a major and minors in departments which give many options to fulfill requirements, and preparing to register for her second-to-last semester of college (time flies), I’ve gotten pretty good at creating my academic schedules.  This is my list of the important things to consider for registration success:

  1. Topic:  Even if you’ve heard a certain professor is amazing and taking his class means free Fridays, if you despise European history, you should probably pass on the class examining the 18th century British Empire.  That being said, we’re supposed to be broadening our horizons in college, right?  Be mindful of the topics that bore you to tears, but don’t stick to what you’re already knowledgeable about.  For example, I took “Sociology of Health & Illness,” even though I have no academic interest in medicine, because I wanted to learn more about why healthcare is administered the way that it is.  The class was enjoyable, especially because many of my classmates were on the pre-med, physician’s assistant, or nursing path and would contribute their different perspectives.
  2. Professor:  I know, it’s cliché, but there truly are “life-changing” professors.  Their lectures let 3 hours of class fly by, their unique teaching methods allow you to actually enjoy math, or they make you think in a completely new way. can be a decent guide of a professor’s quality if there’s a general consensus, but take everything there with a grain of salt and rely more on recommendations from peers and other professors.
  3. Time:  Classes’ meeting times are important, but, in my view, not a #1 priority.  Once I’m taking a class that’s really interesting to me, with a great professor, I don’t mind being there at 9 AM, or late on a Friday afternoon.  However, after college most of us will have very little discretion regarding work schedule. Therefore, if you’re certain you’ll be happiest and most productive with a three-day weekend or no classes before 11 AM, go for it while you can.
  4. Honors:  Of course, the 186 South College crew doesn’t want you to forget about achieving the General Honors Award and an Honors Degree!  Thankfully, you can check off the Honors box when searching for classes, and the always-helpful Honors booklet should be available soon.   If you’re having difficulty fitting in those classes with a number ending in“080,” I can say from personal experience that the Honors staff is a great resource.

Good luck with fall 2013 registration!  Put in a few hours to craft a great schedule you’ll be happy with for over 3 months.  Do you have any registration tips?  Comment below!

~Ruby Harrington

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