Course selection is right around the corner. *shudder* It is a sacred university ritual that involves a lot of planning, scheming, and careful manipulation.
Frequently Sent Texts (FSTs), pronounced [fists] and a term coined by yours truly, are a series of text message conversations often seen once course selection rolls around. These FSTs will hopefully demonstrate the struggle felt by many students and provide helpful resources that will make this process more bearable.
ROSI vs. ACORN
U of T is in the process of transitioning from ROSI to ACORN as our main Student Web Service. As seasoned veterans of using ROSI, I and many other students can safely say that she can be both horrifying and useless. She feels no ways about telling you when you’ve come close to failing a class. And to no fault of her own, ROSI can crash, log you out, or just take forever to load on the day of course enrolment. This is understandably frustrating for many students but often occurs just due to the sheer number of people trying to log onto the site at once. Designating start times helps to prevent this from getting too out of hand.
ACORN is a new addition this year and after trying it out, it seems to be a superwebsite that provides links for all spheres of U of T student life, including housing, careers, and health and wellness contacts. It also includes links to the Course Finder and Degree Explorer, which are so useful during course selection! Newly accepted students should log into the SWS before the actual day of enrolment, just to get a feel for the website so you don’t get caught off guard the day of. Upper year students used to ROSI are free to continue on with their love/hate relationship with her.
Asking your friends’ opinions on particular courses they previously took is a good strategy to figure out if it’s right for you! Also check the Course Evals link on Portal, which is a great tool when analyzing pros and cons for specific courses. For new students, Portal is VIP (Very Important Portal). It is an online learning hub, where you submit assignments and where course instructors post any announcements, lectures, or answer questions on discussion boards. There is a link at the top to Course Evals, and students in A&S or Engineering can look up specific courses to see how past students have ranked them. If you’ve never logged on to Portal before, you can do that using these instructions.
Always remember that your registrar is your best friend! You can go to them with just about any question or issue and they will be ready to help!
There are two types of students at U of T
Nothing like comparing your schedule to that of your engineering friends to make you feel better about yourself. I have friends in this faculty and seeing their schedules always offends me on a personal level. Their timetables look less like timetables and more like badly played games of Tetris.
First year students who are required to take mostly pre-requisite courses may not have as much leeway when it comes to choosing times for your classes. But after this first year, we have more control over which courses we want to take. Often times for me this means choosing courses that will satisfy my program requirements and also allow me a 4-day weekend. (a girl can dream)
I like to use griddy.org to plan out my year and make sure there are no time conflicts between courses.
Buy & Sell
After you finalize your schedule, you can start looking into what you’ll need for your courses. Lots of students, including myself, like to buy textbooks secondhand to save $$$. There are many Facebook groups and external websites dedicated to book sales. This often includes texting random strangers in cryptic codes that share uncomfortable similarities to the discussion of illegal drug deals. Hey you selling? Yea sure meet me in this alley, bring your cash.
[On a more serious note, PSA to all students buying books in this way: Always meet your seller in a well-populated area of campus!]
Students in the Faculty of Arts & Science can find detailed instructions about course selection here. For those in the Faculties of Engineering, Kinesiology, Music, or Architecture also have particular course selection protocols. Remember to contact your registrar if you have specific questions that you can’t find the answers to on the U of T website!
What are your strategies for a successful course enrolment period? Leave a comment or tell us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
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