top of page
  • Writer's pictureWCGA

Surviving Registration: Tips, Tricks, and Advice

MAGGIE CASTELLI is a sophomore from Pueblo, Colorado. She is majoring in Political Science, and with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Maggie is a Class of 2021 senator on the External Affairs Committee of WCGA.


Surviving Registration: Tips, Tricks, and Advice

You have three papers to write and a midterm or maybe you have a lab to makeup and a quiz. Perhaps you just have a ton of reading to do and all you want to do is take a nap. It is that time in the semester where you’re not quite sure if you want to sleep or cry or both … and then you get the email reminding you that registration is coming up. You knew in the back of your head that it would be soon, but now? When you have 400 other things to do? You need to meet with your advisor, plan out your classes to take (along with 8 back-up schedules), and set your 6 AM alarms NOW to make sure you don’t miss it. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to actually go to class and do your homework along with it all.

Registration is stressful for all of us, even if you didn’t have other things to stress and worry about. We all want to have good classes next semester, and the time to pick them out and plan them, so that you have that perfect schedule with no 9ams or Friday classes. This upcoming week will be my third bout of on campus registration, and I can tell you, I have little hope that things will be better this time. However, through stresses and missteps my first-year, I have compiled a list of (hopefully) helpful tips to get you through registration, and maybe allow you to have a good spring semester.

1. YES – you do need back-up schedules.

When you’re planning out your schedule, it may seem challenging enough to find one set of four or five classes that all fit together, with no overlaps, bad professors, boring subjects or times you couldn’t possibly tolerate. You think, “It’ll be fine! I’ll be up early, and I’ll get in with plenty of time and get my perfect schedule.” NOPE! At the risk of being pessimistic, I can say with almost full confidence that I do not know anyone who has ever gotten their perfect schedule. Something is always bound to go wrong, and if you don’t have some back-up classes picked out, you could end up in Calc 3, when you never took Calc 1, or an FYS that you’ve never even heard of. Even if you’re not stoked about your back-up classes, pick them out, so you at least have some registration numbers to plug in at 7:02 AM.

2. You can always try for an override.

Something that I definitely didn’t know my first-year is that it is possible to get an override into an already full class. There are no guarantees here, and often it depends on the discipline of the class you’re trying to take (for example, it is HIGHLY unlikely to get an override into a math class), but it is always worth a shot to email the head of the department you’re trying to take a class in and see if maybe you have a second chance at your perfect schedule.

3. Ask for help!

Upperclassmen have been through registration before, and they KNOW it sucks. But, they are always happy to help you out, so don’t be afraid to ask your friends for advice. Whether it be about which professor is best to take for Accounting or which classroom in Jepson has the best WIFI for registering fast, people who have already struggled through registration know what they’re doing (definitely more than me). You should ask them if you’re stressed or worried about anything specific.

4. Accept defeat.

Sometimes, your schedule just isn’t going to work out. You’re going to end up with that professor you didn’t want or the FYS that sounded the least interesting to you. You’ve asked for advice and you’ve searched for an alternative, but there is no way out in sight. But, you have to have four units, so you suck it up and bear it. And sometimes, this results in happy accidents. You end up loving the professor from your seemingly boring FYS or your lab partner in the chemistry class you did NOT want to take ends up being really cool and you make a new friend. There is always a silver-lining, so don’t get too stressed out if you can’t get every class you want.

I am sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of more ideas and advice about how to do registration the “right” way. If you have a registration tip or trick that you think could help out new (or old) students, comment below, or at least tell your friends! We are all in this together, and we all want good schedules, so don’t forget to support your friends, peers and classmates during this frenzy-filled time in the semester. Good luck and I hope you all get at least one of your first-choice classes.


Interested in being featured on our voices page? Click the link here to submit your writing or ideas, and spread voice on our campus!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page