Students struggle to register for classes

By Anne Davey, Staff Writer

December 5, 2012

For a college student, there is only one time considered more stressful than both finals and midterms alike; class registration. This dreaded day comes twice a year and if you’re lucky, your time slot comes a bit earlier than the rest. If you’re not one of the lucky ones, and even if you are, the mad dash that is registration is one of the most stressful and frustrating times of the year. Unless, that is, you manage to have incredible luck, or exceptional skill, in which case the entire process could take you roughly an hour and leave you feeling like an absolute champion.

The registration process is a complicated one. From meeting with your adviser, to making sure you know the classes you must take to stay on track for your major, and ultimately getting the classes you need in the least painful way that will ensure you have a schedule free of the dreaded “8 a.m.’s” and late night classes. This process can be even more of a burden if the specifically designed schedule for registering has you placed in dead last (freshmen), or if you are attempting to register while overseas in a study abroad program. Despite the best work of the administration, there are always a wide array of obstacles and issues that arise on the individual basis.

This is not a novel concept, and is a major part of the trials and tribulations of any college student across the country.

Attempting to register for classes and studying abroad at the same time is one of the biggest challenges that students say they face in their registration careers. Dr. Allen Goedeke, associate dean for academic development who coordinates the registration process, cites two main reasons: the time difference and difficulty with the Internet. Similarly, the Semester at Sea programs pose a problem for students with limited access to resources. However, these shortcomings are much preferred over the old system, which was for students to wait to register until they had returned. In this case, not only were classes mostly full, but also students still had to meet with advisers. Now, meeting with advisers can be done via email and students can register at their set time, based on credit hours. So it seems that a few issues along the way is worth not having to wait until you return.

Studying abroad, however, is nothing, many feel, in light of the problems freshmen experience. Simply put, when students are seniors they’ll relish the fact that the registration process is based on credit hours and that they can register first. The hierarchic structure once again favors those that have worked their way up, so freshmen must simply hang in there and know that in a few years time, they’ll all be laughing as they happily register on the earlier days.

The system is certainly not perfect, but after learning what the process used to be like from Goedeke, it seems High Point University students have much to be thankful for. Previously, the system was based strictly on identification numbers, thus creating an upside down system where seniors had to register last and credit hours had virtually no bearing. Now, the system is based on the amount of work you put in. The more credit hours you have, the harder you have worked is generally the idea. In basing the system off credit hours, it is “as fair as possible,” says Goedeke. “As long as we treat everyone the same, it’s as fair as it can be.” Despite the complaints, the system has been improved, and if the future continues as the past has, eventually freshmen and study abroad students might just have their luck improve. Plus, now that students know the key to early slots – lots of credits – everyone has the incentive to pile on the course work in anticipation of next semester’s slots.