It’s July. You know what that means? It’s Registration Time.
Registration Time is arguably the most stressful time of the year for U of T students, after Exam Week(s). We spend weeks or days (or hours, for the adrenaline junkies) figuring out our course timetable, praying to the benevolent ROSI spirits to not crash the system once we log on.
I just got my start time. As of 11:05am, July 10, I will be making my fourth – and (hopefully) final – U of T schedule. Getting my starting time reminds me of all the previous years I’ve registered for my classes. I’ve had early start times (6am), late start times (6pm). I’ve built my schedule in Edmonton and Hong Kong, but never in Toronto. There have been Eureka! moments, where I find a course that fits just so, and moments where I break into tears because trying to meet program requirements sucked.
My desk buddy Jen and I came up with a list of tips and things to look out for. Hopefully, these tips will help make registration period smoother and less stressful.
- Plan ahead – Make different versions of your timetable, and always have back up courses in case the course you want to be in is full.
- Pick up your Faculty’s Calendar and Timetable – They will become your bible. The calendar gives you course descriptions as well as program information. The timetable tells you when the courses are offered. If you can’t pick up a physical copy, it can be found online. I don’t know where to find the links to other faculties (sorry!), but here’s a link to Arts & Sci’s Calendar and Timetable.
- Artscis, pick up the ASSU Anti-Calendar. Remember the course evaluations that you filled out at the end of each term? They are compiled into this handy anti-calendar. Take a look at what other students have to say about the course before you take it.
- For upper year students (2+), check with your program department ahead of time and make sure you’re on the right track. All you have to do is talk to your department’s undergraduate coordinator. This is especially important for students preparing to graduate!
- Visit your registrar’s office to check whether you have all other requirements. Another important office for graduating students to visit! They can tell you how many credits you have left to complete, whether you have met your breadth or distribution requirements, etc.
- Waitlisting is okay. Say you got a late start time, like I did in my first year. By the time you log on at 4pm EST all the courses you were hoping to get are full. What do you do? Take a deep breath, and put yourself on the waitlist. Remember what I said about having a back up timetable? Make that in the meantime. Even if you don’t get into that course, at least you have a timetable to fall back on.
- Don’t. Panic. A lot of things can happen during registration, which means you have to mentally prepare yourself. The one most common is your computer, your internet connection or ROSI not working. Something that happened to me was that I had to register for classes in a middle of a busy restaurant in Hong Kong. Again, take a deep breath. Close all other windows and programs on your computer, and make sure you’re in a place with good internet access (I have an uncle with a nifty portable internet router while in Hong Kong) to minimize scream-at-the-screen time. Jen said she would log off of all other programs and find a quiet place, maybe even do finger exercises, to get ready.
- FOR GRADUATING STUDENTS – The worst possible feeling I can imagine is not being able to get into a course that you need to graduate with. Do not fret, for there is the Dean’s Promise! Contact your registrar’s office by August 20 if there is a course you need but can’t take.
- If my memory serves me, you can change your classes up until the day waitlists are dropped. That means you could – and should – keep checking course availablities up until then.
That’s all I have for now. Any other students care to share some tips? Getting the schedule together is stressful, that’s true, but once you have it done… Oh man. Best. Feeling. Ever.
P.S. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about registration for other faculties. Here’s a list of websites to undergrad programs in other academic and professional faculties that might help those of you who aren’t in Arts & Science!
Here are some faculties that also have undergraduate programs (with the exception of the School of Graduate Studies). They are second entry programs, meaning you don’t get into those faculties until doing some sort of undergrad studies. Their registration may be different, so take note!