Registration for the spring semester is upon us. With core and major requirements, classes, and professors, it’s easy to get swept up in madness of it all. Freshmen, registering for classes is not “the end of the world”. Here are 10 tips to help the registration process go smoothly.
1. Seek out advice from someone you think would be helpful.
“Hillsdale is really unique as in people actually genuinely want to help,” junior Karissa
McCarthy said. “People are genuinely willing to help. Ask your RAs, an upperclassman,
2. Know yourself and your learning habits
“For me, I don’t study well at night, I study better in the morning,” McCarthy said. “So, I pick my classes around that. I know that I can focus and study more at 9 a.m. as opposed to 2 p.m.”
3. Make various tentative schedules just in case.
“Have your ideal schedule mapped out, but also build a sort of ‘choose your own adventure’ with each class having a different route,” junior Jessica Wong said. “Say ‘hey if this class falls through, how will this change my schedule?’ Have all these second backup schedules so that you have it all planned out. If it does fall through, you’ll have it all mapped out so that you’re not wasting time the morning of.”
4 Don’t pick a class based on JUST outside opinions
“We all have different study habits and learning strategies and personal preferences, and those should take priority over being in a class with friends or trying to take a hard professor just for the looks of it,” McCarthy said. “You should take what’s going to make you thrive and what’s going to make you want to go to class.”
5. Have all your backups cued up on WebAdvisor so then you’re not scrambling if you don’t get into the classes you originally planned.
“Having backups is so key, even if it’s not something you’re particularly excited about,” senior Ethan Greb said. “Just having it up and cued on that registration is so key, because if you don’t get into the class you want to, you’re not scrambling to go find it one the website is already crashed.”
6. Pick professors who will challenge you.
“I like to be pushed outside my comfort zone in discussion. I like to find a professor who is in the middle, between discussion and lecture,” McCarthy said. “I want a class that’s going to challenge me to speak up in class but also a professor who won’t be passive. Figure out what your learning style is and find professors that help you.”
7. Go into the classes you didn’t want to be in with an open mind
“For those core classes, it’s really dependent on the professor,” Greb said. “I wanted to get as much out of the class as I could. I didn’t want the core class to be more boring. I took Jackson for Great Books two. I came away from that class really glad I took it, even though I’m not an English major.”
8. Talk to someone who has taken the specific class you’re thinking of taking, and not just a class from that professor.
“They might not like the teacher because they took upper level classes for them,” McCarthy said. “It wasn’t the fact that the professor was hard, it was the fact that the certain subject was hard. I would talk to people who took the actual class, rather than people who were in the other classes.
9. Your second choice class/professor may surprise you.
“I never came in with any extra credits so I was always the last one to register. That made it hard for me to get into the classes that I wanted to get into,” Greb said. “I’ve always gotten the second pickings, but I’ve gotten to take professors that I normally wouldn’t have chosen which has lead to great classes, great conversations, discussions. It has given me the opportunity to learn things that I wouldn’t have typically learned if I didn’t take other classes.”
10. Email the professor ahead of time, BEFORE registration.
“I wanted to take Dr. Murphy for Great Books II, but I figured that I would be at risk at registration,” McCarthy said. “For that reason, I emailed her before registration and I was number one on her waitlist. I registered for my backup class, but then a week before classes started in August, Dr. Murphy emailed me and offered me the opening in her class.”