Strategies for conquering registration
We have all heard the saying, “so much to do, so little time,” and for me, it never rung as true as it did towards the end of last semester. I experienced plenty of sleepless nights full of homework, studying and a steady buildup of pressure with the coming final exams.
Many people have said to me that college life is easy because “we college students have so much free time.” In high school, it used to be that writing a good paper would take me roughly two to three hours. I would sit down in my room, turn up the music and take a go at it. Here at Wake Forest, however, it is not so simple. Writing a paper might take me up to a ridiculous eight hours – not necessarily because we have to write considerably longer papers, but more because when you live just a 10-minute walk from all your friends, distractions are inevitable. Oh, procrastination! If it were offered as a major, I’m sure it would be most popular.
But the most stressful period for freshmen like me is probably registering for classes. I have had to do it twice now, once for the last semester and again for this one. After making a long list of all the possible classes you can take to fill your divisional requirements, you have to find which ones can fit into a schedule. While making this schedule, you have to check virtualratings.com to see which professors are going to make life impossible. And unfortunately for freshmen, we are the last to register, as we are the furthest away from declaring and fulfilling a major.
So while the upperclassmen begin registration, us lowly freshmen are constantly “stalking classes” by checking space availability online, since each class only accepts a limited number of students. If a class fills up, we need to estimate how far down on the waiting list we would be and then calculate whether waiting is worthwhile; if not, we need to find another class that fits into our schedule, and if no such class exists, it’s back to square one. This process usually happens a few times as each day passes until it is finally time for freshmen to register.
As a way of relaxing and keeping fit, my hall’s RA (residential advisor) gives us a few opportunities every week to join various workout programs. There are multiple ones offered every weekday, and they are open to everyone. If I feel like relaxing, I’ll go to yoga; if I’m up for something more intense, I’ll join the “ab attack” or “metabolic effect” class.
After working out, it is usually a good time to do the laundry – a deceptively easy-sounding task. In my particular dorm, there are six washers and six dryers for approximately 210 students. If you are lucky enough to get to the laundry room when there’s a free washer, there is still the possibility that it is the one that doesn’t work so well and will leave your clothes soaking wet. And timing is everything: If you don’t go back down to the basement in time to transfer your wet clothes to a dryer, someone might take your clothes out for you and put them somewhere. Or a dryer might not be available because some people like putting clothes in for an extended amount of time. If you’ve managed to get this far without a problem, you still might find that by the time you make it back downstairs to take your clothes out of the dryer, someone has taken them out for you and left them on the folding table in a wrinkly heap, and until your next laundry session, you’ll just have to walk around with that just-rolled-out-of-bed look.
Once you overcome such obstacles in the day-to-day life of a college student, however, there is something wonderful and amazing to look forward to: winter break! I’m much more excited about it than I ever was in high school, and it’s probably because classes in college only last one semester – once completed, there are no more assignments or research papers to worry about; all there is left to do is relax. And I plan to do plenty of it when I’m on vacation and back together with my family in Beijing!