Staff Column: Preparing for class registration doesn’t have to be stressful

Emily Pagel

It’s that time of the year again. Midterms are lingering, Thanksgiving break is becoming the light at the end of a tunnel of academic chaos and…registration for winter classes begins soon.

Emily Pagel: News Editor

Early last week, my Facebook news feed began to show signs of the impending course offerings and registration dates for the coming winter semester.

As a post-baccalaureate, multimedia journalism student, I’ve endured five years and 11 semesters’ worth of registration, including the excitement and, sometimes, the absolute terror of it. Yet it seems that no matter what I do, I’ve never been totally prepared for the wrath of course registration. Through and through, course registration has stressed me out, inducing chaos into days already full of midterms, projects and papers.

Needless to say, this year has been no exception to my uneasiness with registration. When I got wind of course offerings having been put up on the NMU website, I madly clicked the link, introducing me to the offerings for winter semester.

I only have three more courses required to finish my degree — allowing me to graduate in May — so I naively thought winter semester’s registration would be easy.

That wasn’t the case. Instead, two courses required of me to graduate on time were scheduled with a 40 minute overlap in the winter semester.

Of course registration couldn’t be an easy 1, 2, 3 process — a couple clicks on my laptop and only a few minor heart palpitations — because nothing can be easy when graduation is around the corner and you’ve got a 1,000 other things to do besides think about it.

So with two overlapping requirements, I began to think in terms of worst-case scenarios: I was devastated that I wouldn’t be able to graduate with my boyfriend and that I would have to reschedule my life around another semester of college. Was I having a mental breakdown? Probably. I swore. I whined. I cried. I complained and then I complained some more.

However, luckily for me, it was just an oversight by the two departments in charge of my major. With several other students also addressing this issue, the problem was brought to light and changed within the same day.

Yet I realized just how precious plans can be on that day. In fact, course listings and registration days are kind of like the Black Friday of a college semester. We can check all the ad listings, compare prices, make a list and plan our time as wisely as we want and is humanly possible,  but we can only hope that when it’s finally our turn in line, all that planning pays off (in the form of a semi stress-free graduation).

Registration being no different, we find ourselves fighting for the limited space in the classrooms with the best professors or in a course we desperately need, and we do so with hundreds of others who have to fulfill the same requirements.

The moral of the story is simply to keep an eye out for future semesters. Just because something says it will be offered during fall or winter semester in the bulletin doesn’t necessarily mean it will be for the upcoming one. Plan accordingly, not just from semester to semester, but several into the future.

Additionally, working with advisers and the Academic and Career Advisement Center can ensure a less stressful time during registration. Get a good adviser now, and save time, money and sanity down the road.