Registration:One of many stressful college experiences

Bob Trettin

The first advance course registration for next year took place last week, and I can think of few things more stressful than this obligatory activity, except perhaps writing papers, studying for finals and paying for tuition. Interestingly enough, college accounts for all of these stress inducers. I’m beginning to think I would be much happier as a high school dropout. Damn societal pressure.

The difference between taking a final exam and registering for classes is that the latter packs the tension into an urgent 10-minute period of searching for open courses, dealing with registration errors and sweating over waiting lists.

Usually by the end of your registration, your schedule looks very little like the plan you and your advisor came up with, and you’re left wondering how you wound up in “Bizarrchaeology” or “Thinking about Harry Potter” — which sounds magically informative, and I can’t wait to take it.

Then the arduous process of emailing professors and your advisor to make alterations begins.

Of course I am writing from my own personal experience, and there is always the possibility that I am the only one who has difficulties with registration. The fact that I am a freshman, and therefore inexperienced with the process must also contribute to my struggles. I’m taking a leap by admitting my ineptitude and hoping that I am not alone here!

One of the biggest problems with my particular method of registration comes from the overestimation of what I believe I can handle in a given trimester. I have little to no regard for the well-being of my future self.

When deciding on which classes I want to take, my sleep schedule unfortunately does not get taken into account. The fact that the classes I am signing up for are months away allows me to be unwisely optimistic about my willingness to wake up early.

I think to myself, “I can totally take multiple 8:30 a.m. classes. No problem!”, even though I hate absolutely everything until about noon.

I can picture myself in a few months as my alarm clock goes off around 8 a.m. every other morning thinking, “This is by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I am a huge idiot.” I never learn.

I was also confident during this registration period that I could easily handle an overload of my schedule, yet I’m relatively certain that next year I will regret it big time, as classes, homework, extracurriculars and more homework intrude upon my vital nap time.

It is safe to say that I was not very considerate of my future self. However, I also recognize the importance of challenging myself, being a motivated individual, and obtaining the best education I can while I am at Lawrence.

If this means learning how to wake up earlier and manage my time better, then so be it! Is this what growing up is?

So despite the hastened stress of the registration process, there is an element of excitement to it. Each class is an opportunity to learn something new, another stepping stone toward your major and your life after Lawrence.