By Angelique Lee
As freshmen, we already have enough to deal with: getting used to living in dorms, learning to do our own laundry and making new friends while leaving our old ones behind. But before we know it, it is already time to think about what courses we want to take next semester. Now, in addition to everything else, we have to pick classes at the best times with the best teachers. Not so easy.
It takes a lot of work to fill out the course selection sheet with five or six courses that we would be able to take, all of which fit perfectly into our schedules for next semester. After your adviser greenlights you, you feel even better because now all you have left to do is register. Hold that thought. Before you get too excited, maybe you should check to make sure your classes aren’t closed.
Don’t know how to check to see if a class is full? All you have to do is sign in to MyInfo, click on “Search for Sections” and type in a course’s information. Hit “Submit,” and your class will pop up. Check to see how many spots are still available. If there is a high number, there is a good chance that you will get that class, depending on what time you register. The problem for freshmen who are not athletes or in the Baccalaureate Honors Program is that by the time they can register, everything they wanted is no longer available, which leads to redoing that wonderful course selection sheet that took so long to perfect.
It may seem like freshmen have it easy, for some reason. Since we are in our first year, we only have to take 100-level courses, while upperclassmen are busy taking the upper-level classes required for their majors. So, there should be no problem with getting the courses we need. Actually, no. We have to get core curriculum classes out of the way, and most of those just happen to be 200-level courses, the same courses that sophomores and up have to take. Not only are we competing with them, but also with other freshmen who are fortunate enough to be able to choose their courses before us. It is the worst for freshmen with the last names of M to P, who pick dead last, a full month after RAs, athletes and honors students have already registered. Why do these select students get the special treatment? Your guess is as good as mine.
Course selection for freshmen is like giving a 6-year-old all of his Christmas presents on Dec. 1, but telling him that he cannot open them until Christmas morning. All he can do now is just stare at them and wonder what is under all of the wrapping paper. All we can do until the day we can sign up is sit patiently and cross our fingers in hopes that the class we want does not close up on us. Unfortunately, it won’t do us any good. I understand that seniors need certain classes or they may risk not graduating on time. So, “first come, first served” would not do well here.
It still seems unfair that freshmen have almost no say in what classes they will take. But it is fair that every upperclassman had to go through the same thing when they were freshmen. So I guess all we can do is sit back and keep thinking, we’ll be able to pick first … eventually.
Angelique is a freshman Elementary Education and Psychology major.