The Endless Catastrophe of Course Registration

Course registration is consistently frustrating for almost all students.

Election anxiety has nothing on the pure terror that accompanies being glued to Nova Schedule Builder for two days straight, watching all of one’s classes slowly fill up. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, you’re watching the clock tick down to your registration time, only for every class you want to be marked ‘FULL’ in a matter of five seconds. 

My peers and I went into registration blindly. In the days leading up, I quickly realized I had little to no idea how to go about the process. I didn’t know what link to go to or which codes were required, and I surely never anticipated I would feel so personally connected to a series of five-digit CRN numbers. 

I became reliant on advice from upperclassmen, as they showed me abbreviated tutorials on how to register and gave some guidance on how to go about planning back-up classes. By the day of my registration, I felt prepared not by the information from the University, but from my peers. Per their advice, I had made about six possible scheduling options, but come 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, that was completely irrelevant.

I logged on only to discover that some of the classes I needed to fulfill my core requirements, like Psychology and Theology, were either completely filled or had one space left at obscure times that did not coordinate well with my schedule. 

This led to a series of frantic texts with friends who all said generally the same thing: it was a nightmare. They expressed that they felt totally unprepared. 

“I don’t even feel misguided,” freshman Russel Cuny said. “I feel like I am not being guided at all.”

Freshmen had absolutely no guidance regarding course registration in the first place, let alone what to do if every single backup schedule fell through or if the core classes we needed filled up. I hadn’t even heard of an override request form until hours after my registration time and a multitude of emails with my advisor.

The University did not provide any instruction or guidance to freshman registering for the first time, and students consequently were ill-advised and clueless. 

There should have been clear directions provided for freshmen in the weeks or days leading up to registration. Alternatively, this could have been implemented as a portion of Orientation. 

It is important that freshmen have this information ahead of time so they feel prepared and equipped with the skills for all outcomes. Although I have faith that things will work out eventually, I hope that in the future, the University is a little more proactive when it comes to scheduling and that freshmen are better prepared. 

In the hours following, upperclassmen offered their condolences with reassuring words and stories of their own horrific registration experiences from years past. The overall message was clear: things will work out. 

“You’re never completely screwed,” junior Bobby Montesano said encouragingly. 

He went on to explain that as long as you are communicative with professors and your advisor, the pieces will fall into place.