Ah, registration. It’s a nightmare for St. Olaf students. It’s the one weekend where we find ourselves obsessively checking SIS more than Snapchat or Facebook. It’s when you yell to your friends, “I’m seat 150 out of 20 in this class I desperately need for my major!” It’s the weekend you spend an abundance of time on Rate My Professor, praying that the professor for your general education requirement course will be bearable. It’s when you frantically email professors hours before registration closes begging them to add one more seat to their class. It’s the time you ask the question: Is this really the best way to register for classes for next semester?
In my opinion, it is definitely not the best way to register for classes. I think the system we currently have causes extra stress that is unnecessary. First off, it spans too long of a time period, lasting five days including the weekend, which makes it difficult to actually know what courses you successfully registered for until the very last moment. I always enter my first choice schedule in the system as soon as it opens, and then I watch myself being bumped further and further down the seats as the hours pass. Fine, this system may help those forgetful folks who register at the very last moment, but it also gives false hope to the ones who think they made it into their top class only to be bumped out in the last hour. Also, the scheduling of registration over the weekend makes it difficult to contact professors about adding extra seats in the class. If you email a professor on a Saturday afternoon about adding one more student into their class, who knows if they’ll get back to you in time before registration is closed.
Secondly, there are simply too many people registering for classes and popular classes are nearly impossible to get into. It’s not uncommon for a class to only have 20 available spots and triple or quadruple that number of people attempting to get into it.
I got kicked out of five interim courses before I actually got into one. This means that many students may have to take a class they don’t really need. I do understand that this is the point of liberal arts. You are supposed to take classes solely because they seem interesting and would further your learning, and you don’t always take courses that have the most possible GE’s attached to them or are a requirement for your major. However, for students that are double majoring or have changed majors, they often don’t have room to take courses without a GE, or that doesn’t count towards a requirement in their major. Sure, they may have time to do that senior year, but by then, they’ll most likely get into classes they want anyway.
Finally, why is it that you don’t have a better registration number in the department of your major? Granted, if this were the case there would be the issue of students who have declared their major having a huge advantage over undeclared students. But, you must have declared a major by the end of sophomore year – that’s four semesters and two interims of registration that could be a million times less stressful as you register for courses within your major. I’m not a psychology major, so I would never expect to get into a course in the department over someone who is a psychology major. So, give psychology majors a higher number than me during registration for courses in that department.
Am I slightly bitter because registration didn’t go so well for me this time around? Probably. However, I also firmly believe that there are more efficient, and less stressful, possibilities for the registration process.