The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

Shop, Drop and Enroll: A Guide to Picking (and Switching) Courses

Shop%2C+Drop+and+Enroll%3A+A+Guide+to+Picking+%28and+Switching%29+Courses

To master course registration, first years need to resurrect a classic fire-safety mantra and learn to shop, drop, enroll. Maybe, the Registrars’ optimization algorithm gave you none of your preferred courses. Maybe, your professor’s syllabus includes a soul-crushing grading scale and course load straight from the fiery depths of hell. No matter what course registration nightmare threatens to set your academic goals ablaze, following this timeless mnemonic device will allow you to extinguish any academic fires and craft the perfect college schedule. 

If you didn’t get into your dream class, don’t abandon all hope. Instead, find out when the add/drop period begins—a crucial piece of information that can be found on the Registrar and Academic Systems’ online page. Since half of the student body will be on the hunt for their elusive dream class too, writing down the course number of yours beforehand and typing it in—instead of searching for the course from a drop-down menu—can help you secure a seat before someone else snatches it. 

Unfortunately, seats may not open in popular classes. If this happens to you, don’t panic! Instead, write an email to the professor. Be sure to express your interest in the course and ask if there’s any way you can get a seat. Typically, professors will invite you to the first class meetings. If you demonstrate your interest by attending and engaging with the course, you have a good shot at getting that coveted spot. 

Like buying the perfect prom dress, crafting the ideal college schedule means trying out many different classes and—most importantly—shopping until you drop. Although many first years mistakenly believe they can only attend the classes listed on their schedule, students can sit in on any course during the add/drop period—even without being registered in it. Known as shopping, this practice allows students to get the feel for a variety of different courses and determine which class and professor is the best fit. 

While perfect for indecisive students who are struggling to choose between two, four, or eight classes, shopping also allows students to replace classes they simply do not want to take. To avoid any catastrophic courses, make sure to read your classes’ syllabi as soon as they are posted on Lyceum. If the syllabus or course introduction fills you with anxiety and dread, create a preliminary list of courses you might want to take instead. Ideally, you should choose classes that work with your schedule, and which have available seats—although you can always follow the tips above with any fully enrolled classes. Just make sure to email the professor in advance to let them know that you’re coming and to get any syllabi or reading assignments that you might need to complete. 

Welcome to the jungle of course enrollment, freshies! Contrary to Guns N’ Roses’ hyperbolic ranting, you’re not going to die—as long as you remember to shop, drop, enroll.

 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lena LaPierre, Assistant Forum Editor
Lena is a sophomore from Hattiesburg, MS, majoring in History with a minor in Russian. When she is not busy writing essays or memorizing Russian grammar rules, Lena can be found reading, volunteering with College Guild and exploring Maine with her friends. Previously, Lena was a contributing writer for The Bates Student.

Comments (0)

All comments must have an attached name and email. Please direct comments to the content of the article; attacking writers in any way, shape or form will not be tolerated. Any comments which do not meet these requirements will not be published.
All The Bates Student Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *