Get the Classes You Want

Signing up for classes is almost like shopping during the annual after
Thanksgiving sales, also known as Black Friday. It's the one time you'll find yourself getting up early in the morning waiting in line at stores and shopping malls to get the latest deals (or when the next iPhone comes out). The only difference about class sign up, is that you have be strategic about how you do it. There's going to be a lot of people after the same courses you are after, and it's important you have the strategies I'm giving you to stay ahead of the competition. Now, hopefully you school implements an online registration system. If they don't, then you'll have to work the system another way. The following tips may or may not work for you, but it's worth a shot.

If you're lucky, you might just get that three day weekend you've always wanted in a semester. Just make sure you plan ahead. Anyway, lets get started!

Here's what you do:
  1. Arrange an appointment with your counselor and figure out what classes you need to take for your first semester. Do this before the school semester starts.
  2. Take a look at your school catalog making sure the information your counselor is giving you is consistent. Counselors make mistakes; they are human. Make sure you don't end up wasting a year taking the wrong classes. A friend of mine happen to fall in that land mine one year.
  3. Bust out your Calendar Program (like Google Calendar or Outlook) and start inputting the days and times the classes are offered. Your goal is to generate a map of what classes you can place during the day.
  4. Write down the registration codes. Make sure to have them handy when you need them.
  5. Find back up courses. In the event that registration for a class fills up, jot down alternative classes and alternative discussion sections.
  6. Take MAXIMUM UNITS. Fill up your unit quota with classes. Even though you're not taking all these classes, it's never a bad idea to sign up for more and then drop a class later in the semester. The thing is, some classes may or may not work for you. You may find out in the syllabus that the class is way too difficult. Don't be like other idiots who find themselves at the minimum units. If you're at the minimum, you can't drop classes without risking full-time student status. This may also cause you to lose financial aid support. Signing up for extra classes will give you some cushion.
Other things you can do:
  1. Ask an upperclassmen to help you. In most cases, upperclassmen have first dibs when signing up for classes. In this situation, have an upperclassmen sign up for a class ahead of time. When your window opens, have them drop the class online, while you suddenly register for it.  OBVIOUSLY, this might not work. In the case you have a wait list system, the next person on queue will move up the list. However, it is worth TRYING. 
  2. Become an Honor Student. Some schools actually give priority registration to honor students. If you've got the chops, then take advantage of getting into a program at your school. Not only do you get priority, but there are other great perks.
  3. Join Sports. Similar to an Honor Student, athletes also get priority registration at most campuses.