Registration: an American horror story

If my heart is racing, palms are sweaty, my eyes are fixed on the clock and my hand is glued to the computer mouse it’s probably because I am about to face a little battle I call registration. 

Every year during class registration, the campus is full of people walking around with blank stares unable to comprehend the amount of wait lists they are on. It is no secret that the registration system is a joke. I shouldn’t be paying this much money to possibly graduate in four years. 

All the major required classes seem to occur at the same time of the week that contributes to the many reasons registration makes students so anxious. Like many of my peers, in the past while making my schedule, all the classes that I need to graduate occur at the same time. 

For example, next semester I have two classes that are both offered only in the spring, taught at the exact same time of the week, and I need both classes to fulfill my major requirements. Now I am forced to decide which one I want to put off until a later semester. It would be very helpful if departments could offer more sections or coordinate their planning better with other professors. SSU prides itself on small class sizes but due to overcrowding people are often forced to postpone classes they need to another semester.

If a student has a Friday 3 p.m. registration time, they can pretty much count on having multiple 8 a.m. courses and kissing their free Friday’s goodbye. Many majors are so impacted that students with later registration times are  forced to take pointless classes because all the courses they need are taken by upperclassmen. 

Students then begin to fall behind on their requirements due to these pointless classes and are now in college longer than they ever hoped for. With such competition for seats, signing up for courses has turned into a game of survival of the fittest. 

Nothing is more annoying than seeing all the classes online that were once open now turn into orange triangles symbolizing that I will be wait-listed. 

Students have become paranoid, sitting at their computers ready to hit that magic green button that says “proceed to step 2 of 3” allowing them to enroll in the classes that they have placed in their online shopping cart. If I am paying thousands of dollars a year I should be able to have a seat available for every class that I need to take.

In reality, registration is so stressful because so much of this risky online system dictates your future. A bad schedule not only means that one has to suffer early morning classes; if one is not careful they risk falling behind and having to pay more money for extra semesters to finish requirements. 

While it would be easy to blame our professors, faculty or departments, the registration issue is so much larger than that. SSU does what they can for their impacted campus with limited funding. The government needs to realize that in order to raise test scores and to create more promising future leaders, education needs to become a priority investment. 

If more sections were open and more professors were hired, less students would be running away at the sound of the word “registration.” I should not have to fight so hard for my paid education.