Senior advice eases stress of registration

Jessica Remo

Afraid of getting stuck with a professor from hell? Trying to create a schedule around your job? Classes filling up as you wait in horror, poised with PIN in hand?

Registration can make you almost want to un-register yourself forever. Here are a few tips to help make the process a little less panic-inducing this semester.

Start Early. Nothing’s worse than trying to pick classes a few hours before your registration time. (I’ve done it, I know.) That’s like playing Russian roulette with the next four months of your college career. Unless you prefer to pray, close your eyes and point to a CRN on your computer screen, you should probably do a little research.

Don’t only rely on Nova Often only students who have had extreme experiences-good or bad-have taken the time to write a review. Also, most of the reviews are written anonymously, so you have no indication of whether the author is the same kind of student as you.

SallyStraightA’s may love a professor who lectures for hours, while SamTheSlacker may write a scathing review of a professor just because he got caught cheating. NovaTeachers is a good resource, but it shouldn’t be the only one you use.

Ask around. Your friends and classmates are excellent sources and can answer specific questions you may have. They can also tell you about the professor’s idiosyncrasies, like whether he starts class five minutes early every day or if she has a tick that makes her bang her hand on the podium every time she makes a point. Sounds silly, but why not get the best idea of what you’re getting yourself into?

Check out department websites. Usually department websites have longer course explanations. (These are often printed and available in department offices.) We’ve all probably chosen a course just from looking at a title on Novasis, but that method can backfire. Fake/ridiculous example: Performance in Ancient Rome. Are you studying Cicero or gladiator fights? Or are you traveling back in time Michael J. Fox-style and actually doing a performance in ancient Rome? Ahhh! Well, I guess that could be cool.

Also, many departments have a list of student “peer advisors,” whose job is to answer your questions. What more could you ask for? (Free tip: For English department questions, e-mail me.)

Overload if you can. Okay, stop laughing and listen. Full-time students don’t pay by the credit, which means you can take more courses for the same price. What a deal! Instead of whining that Villanova is too expensive, work on getting your money’s worth.

Add more courses if you can handle them so you don’t have to pay the big bucks to take them over the summer when you want to study abroad or have an internship the following semester. Then, tell Mom and Dad how you are making the most of their hard-earned tuition money and receive showers of gifts and praise.

Don’t give up! If your class has filled, don’t just shrug your shoulders and cry a little. Sometimes when the moons are aligned, you can coax the professor to write you in.

But a better way is to check on Novasis as often as you can because someone is apt to change a schedule and drop the class. That’s where you swoop in and brag for weeks about how crafty you are. You can thank me later.