How happy am I to be a senior. Ya, that’s not a question.

The main reason is: class registration is a breeze compared to my early years! I just finished my last round of pre-registration before graduation. I got a good time, a solid layout, Whitman registrar’s offer online chat help during registration for help. I was a happy clam. I couldn’t manage to schedule no classes on some days like Fall semester. I don’t have class Wednesdays and Fridays, but I take SSRA classes, which are just fitness classes. I am currently and going to continue taking Pilates and step aerobics. For Spring 2019 I’m taking: paleobiology, weather and climate, an environmental interdisciplinary, and intro to computer science. I’ll also be continuing with my thesis class.

It is the last week before Thanksgiving and everyone is running around like the ducks that live on campus. Confused, scared, directionless. This last week marked the ending of class pre-registration, first and second years did not register the same week as seniors and juniors, though. So, it feels like a long time has passed but we’re still in the same month. That’s how all days are becoming; weeks are vague grouping of events to distinguish at least a time frame on when an event took place. Anywho, that’s the general vibe on campus. Winter kicked itself off this last week; temperatures are finally dipping below 30. It’s been a freezing fog kind of day in the Walla Walla valley. I worked for a couple hours outside for my weekend gardening job. I stayed warm.

*side note: YOU HAVE TO APPLY TO GRADUATE at most universities, if not all. It’s a process of verifying graduation requirements have been met. I’m freaked out! but not really because it makes sense. It’s not a totally fluid thing, graduating and all. Just wanted to put that in minds.*

Anyway, I’ve bore witness to all types of class registration tragedies. I was ALMOST one, not quite. Here are two I’ve found most insightful.

The first one I want to share with ya’ll is the dreaded late registration time and first year registration. It’s literally the very first possible situation the first year of college that could really feel like a bummer. But professors do a good job of allocating space specifically for first years. A lot of intro classes do this, some others include 200 levels. My first registration went smoothly. I had done pre-registration before during high school, so no big change. Whitman does registration online and it’s super easy. To register to make your schedule and hit a button marked “apply changes” and you’re in! But be lenient with types of classes your first year. There is no perk of declaring your major early or even applying for a minor. Let classes fall into distribution requirements and play around with a couple classes and keep two for serious major exploration for the normal 12 credit schedule. But some classes went from 4 to 3 at the same workload to allow students to take more for less–it’s a good intent but very poorly received.

A second one is one that couple possibly happen if you decide to change majors. Being so eager to declare increases the likelihood of changing your major later on in your college career. When you change you major and then switch to the required classes of the new major, you have to go back and change your class schedule as well. Because, depending on the time of declaration, the time invested in working in that major now needs to be reinvested. A lot of the time people who change majors declare a minor in the old major. Where the changing majors get hairy in class registration is that it places you at the end of all registration times for all grades. So the options are incredibly limited, you will have to discuss with the new major department to get into intro classes as well as any full classes, and you end with a schedule that could be bomb or completely bust. Sometimes gem classes reveal themselves after the dust settles by having a couple open seats or you could be history of mime.

I hope this gives a good picture of the ups and downs of registration. And, as always, there are people whose job it is to help you get through college no matter what, find the registrar and reach out. Keep your pre-major advisor in the loop and seek class advice from professors along the way.