Registration roulette

A reflection on stress, scheduling and Self-Service

By on April 2, 2019

*Use Chrome. No use Safari. Wait, Jill told me Internet Explorer is good. Really? Because everyone else told me Internet Explorer sucks. Try using two tabs. No, try using two different desktops. Actually, wait. What if I just went to the library and signed into all the desktop computers so I had 10 chances instead of one? That might slow down the Wifi even more. Maybe I will go sit in my car in Hogan Lot where the WiFi is less crowded. Is that even how WiFi works? Hmm. I KNOW. I can have my friend who registers before me register for extra classes so if I don’t get in, she can hold me a spot and then drop out of them and I can get into them. That is bound to work.*

No matter the flurry of thoughts that ran through your head on registration eve, I bet your ingenious idea, which was “bound to break the system” didn’t work quite as well as you thought. Somehow, your dream 11 a.m. photography class was replaced with 8 a.m. “Hands on: An Introduction to Puppetry” on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and all you can picture is standing up on the stage pretending to be Kermit the Frog.

It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.

There’s no “trick” to beating registration. The only trick is luck and preregistration, which is only bestowed upon a blessed few. The rest of the world is forced to compete in a harrowing, stress-inducing 7 a.m. race to hit register.

It’s only my second time going through registration roulette but somehow I’m already having Self-Service induced nightmares. The night before my registration I dreamed that when I clicked register, Self-Service logged me out and then when I tried to log in, I couldn’t remember my password. I eventually woke up in a cold sweat around 5:50 a.m. and convinced myself I forgot to change my clock to reflect the end of daylight savings even though it had been correct for the past two weeks.

And I’m one of the ones who has pre-registration.

I can only IMAGINE the stress of those sent to the wild with a schedule full of yellow boxes.

I’m curious as to how many emails are sent to advisers between the hours of 5-7 a.m. during registration week and what they consist of. The average college freshman doesn’t make the most coherent sense on a Friday morning at 7 a.m., so I can imagine advisers have seen some pretty weird things.

“If I don’t get put into Ants and Phys I can’t graduate. Please add me–Joe.”

“I have a medical accommodation so I can’t take classes before noon. Can u switch my economics class to the later section, even tho it is full?–Thanks, Marie.”

“I really care about my education and I heard from a reputable online source that this professor was only a two out of five stars and I’m paying for a five-star education. Please put me in with this other professor who gets a one for difficulty–Jim.”

In other words, I’d love to be a Russian spy in my adviser’s computer on registration week.

Registration is clearly a problem here. I think the best solution is to consider our current set-up logically. We are a student body who has grown significantly. We have thousands of students logging on to one website at the same time.

It’s bound to fail.

Why can’t we do registration like housing? Based on your major, you’re assigned a day. Then throughout the day, you have a scheduled time slot for registration based on how many credits you have. Each day, more slots of the UC credits will be opened up. That way, majors will have first access to the classes they need to graduate and they will still have access to UC credits.

I am very lucky because my program permits pre-registration. I have written this on behalf of the countless others whose registration nightmares are actually warranted and those who have tried Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and maybe even the illusive Mozilla Firefox. I am writing out of respect for their struggles and because I have hope for a future full of green boxes for all.

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