How to finish course enrolment as quickly as possible

What’s on your mind in the middle of July? Are you thinking about the beach? Thinking of flying to Europe in August? Contemplating your courses to choose for the fall? If you’re a student, that last part is particularly important, as starting this Wednesday, the first round of course selections start. I find course registration goes more smoothly when I am prepared before it starts. It helps take the stress out of class selection. You can't choose your start time, and sometimes you are put in awkward spots, like I was last year. I had to select classes at 9:10 am, and I started my shift at work at 9. Luckily, I had an understanding boss, but even then, I wanted to be as quick as possible. Preparation saves you more time so you can go back to the beach that much earlier (or, if you have an early start time like I do, go back to sleep).
A painting of two people sleeping under blankets in a bed.
I would still go to sleep if it were a late start time. I basically live for sleep.
(Painting: "The Bed" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, found via The Yorck Project)
Ever since I switched majors, I've had to be extra careful about course selections. I took my requirements, put them into a text file, and put all of the courses that would apply for certain requirements beside it. For me, I've had a plan of interesting courses that I'd like to take, but even this year, those options fell short a bit. Instead, I decided to branch out and learn a bit more from different streams of psychology, such as social, personality and abnormal psychology (most of what I've been studying has been specialized within cognitive psychology). I had my courses, but I had to see whether they'd work together, and check enrollment controls on the courses as well. Nancy, in her previous post, mentioned Griddy as a way to map out course conflicts. It is brilliant, but nevertheless missing a few things that helped me out this year to map my courses. Griddy doesn't allow you to see the enrollment controls for each class. On the other hand, the course timetable lists those controls for every course, allowing you to see whether there is priority sign-ups for any particular course. For example: I wanted to take a seminar course this year. Unfortunately, the enrollment controls block psychology majors from signing up for seminar courses before August 8th (they're prioritized for specialists). After August 8th, the priority lifts, and anyone can sign up. There's another benefit to using the course timetable: you can see what professors are teaching what class. I'm not one to advocate choosing classes solely on professors, because you're likely to miss out on great content and the opportunity to connect with great minds. Course evaluations on Blackboard will list all of the feedback over the past three years with the professor's name beside them. While none of the course evaluations will keep me from picking classes this year--in fact, they helped me feel more confident about my choices--it is an important tool to help you find the course that best fits you. Between Nancy’s last post and this one, here’s hoping you have all the tools you need to make course selection a breeze. Believe it or not, I’m actually excited for course selections every year (I actually had my schedule planned since early May), and for once, this year I should be able to get into every course without waitlisting. Here’s wishing everyone a quick and lucky course enrolment!

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