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Registering for Classes

November 9, 2012   

After we reach the halfway point of the semester, it's already time to pick out your classes for next semester!  This process always stresses me out.  How can I balance my schedule so that it's not too overwhelming but take all of the classes that I want to?  I usually wind up coming up with a good mix of classes from all different types of subjects.  Although I love science (obviously, if you have been reading my journal), I try to take classes from the humanities and arts as much as possible.  To date, I have taken classes in 10 different subject areas duing my time here.  The best part is that they are all subjects that I wanted to take, since we do not have to fulfill general education requirements. 

The way that registration works is by seniority and the time that you are assigned.  The seniors get to register first, and within the senior class, each student has a specific time that he/she can start to register.  If you have a bad time one semester, you are supposed to have a good time the next semester.  Usually, I get a pretty good registration time.  My best was 7:15 AM, which is one of the earliest times you can get.  I have never gotten later than 10:30 AM and luckily have never really had any trouble getting into classes.  When I went to check my registration time for Spring 2013, I saw I had 11 AM.  Although this is on the later side, I thought I wouldn't have any trouble getting into classes since I am a second-semester junior and am taking mostly upper level courses.  How wrong I was.

Around 9:45 AM, I checked to see how many spots were left in the classes I wanted to take.  There are seats reserved at most of the times for each class year, so even the freshmen can have a chance at getting into a popular class.  Therefore, although there might still be seats left open in a class, all of the spots for your class year might be full and you can be blocked out.  Unfortunately, this is what happened to me in two of my classes!  First, my class that I wanted to take for my biology major (Vertebrate Physiology) was already completely full.  Second, I really wanted to take Society and the Environment, which is a lecture class about the interactions between humans and nature.  It was looking pretty good that I could get into this class, but, of course, when I went to register, I was blocked out just by a hair.  I had to register for my backup classes just in case I couldn't get into the classes by being signed in by the professor.

I've already gone to talk to the professors for these two classes and they said that they would probably be signing people into the class.  Hopefully, this will all work out.  Even if I do have to take my backup classes, they seem really interesting and I’m sure I will enjoy them nevertheless.

Crazily enough, I actually have to start thinking about registering for classes for next fall as well!  Almost all of the majors at Hamilton require you to do a senior project.  Yesterday, I got an email from the Biology department with a form where we request our preferences for projects and advisors.  Mostly, this was for people who are going abroad in the spring and need to turn this form in before they leave, but soon enough I will have to fill this out!  It’s crazy to think of how little time I have left here.  It seems like just yesterday I was starting freshman year with so many semesters and classes to fill, but now I only have three semesters left and I already have to start thinking about my thesis.  I know that I am getting a little ahead of myself, but I can’t help but think about it.  Hopefully, time will slow down so I can stay here forever!