The Leader’s guide to class registration: what your advisor will not tell you

EC student successfully chooses class schedule for upcoming semester (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

With the start of a new semester looming ominously over our heads, we Elmhurst students tend to yield to one of two emotions: Excitement, or more likely, fear. We all become anxious about whether or not we chose the right classes during registration, but this imminent sense of doom is far worse for new students. However, there are a couple of helpful tricks your advisor might not have mentioned during your preliminary registration sessions that will help you get the schedule of your dreams.

-Check Your Degree Audit

Your Degree Audit is the list of classes you need to take to graduate, which you can access in Bluenet. If you can’t decide what to take, taking a class that covers one or more of these general education credits (listed as AOIs and skill tags) is a great option. Your degree audit will also show you what classes you need to graduate within your major, or what classes you would need if you decide to change majors.

-Forget About Your Degree Audit

On the other hand, your degree audit shouldn’t define your academic experience at EC entirely. Take a few classes just because they sound interesting, you think they will be easy, or just for the hell of it. Sometimes the classes you don’t need to take are among the most memorable.

-Don’t Overfill Your Schedule (Seriously)

College is great because there’s a ton of extra activities to take up your time. However, college is awful for the exact same reason. Many new students feel the need to explore and expand their interests. Though this is great and everything, many students are left feeling exhausted and ultimately are not really able to commit to anything. Try a few things at first, and then narrow your extra-curricular activities down to the one or two you like best. You’ll thank us later.

-Schedule Times for Breaks Between Classes

Post-class fatigue is real, especially after three continuous hours of class. After every three hours of class, plan a time in your schedule for you to just relax, decompress, or catch up on homework that’s due later. Trust us on this one.

-Are you a morning bird or night owl?

Ah, the classic college conflict: ‘Should I take all 8 a.m. classes, or should my day start at the crack of noon?’ This is a personal choice. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Early morning classes allow students to have stress-free nights, while classes that start later than noon give some the option of getting a healthy amount of sleep. Pick your poison.

-Don’t Always trust Rate My Professor

RateMyProfessor can be a great tool to help choose your classes, if you use it correctly. Just remember that not all reviews are created equal. Some reviews just consist of post-failure rage, while others are students lustfully pining after their instructors (note the ever-popular hotness indicator). I can’t tell you how to exactly navigate the pages upon pages of the RateMyProfessor archives, but I can tell you that the more reviews a professor has, the more likely you’ll be able to weed out the trolls.

-It’s Never Too Late to Change

EC never advises students to do this, so your mileage may vary, but you can always change your class schedule during the first week of classes by registering for new ones on Bluenet. You can even join a class if you missed the first session. Email the professor telling them you’d like to join their class, even though you missed the first day.

-Communicate with Professors

If you do decide to drop a class and join a new one, let both professors know. Tell the professor who teaches the class you’re dropping that you just decided to go in a different direction this semester. Also, if a class is full, email the professor who teaches it and the department chair of the subject. Let them know how interested you are in the subject and how it could really help in fulfilling the requirements of your major. It never hurts to try.