Putting off the task of enrolling in classes can lead to all kinds of frustrating problems; it’s therefore very important to enroll as early as possible to avoid making things difficult for yourself. This week, I thought it might be helpful to all you student readers out there to identify some of the more common issues that can arise if you let enrollment slide. I suppose you could consider this article a friendly warning from a university graduate who made all of these mistakes at one time or another in the past—and learned from them.
The first thing you should be aware of as a freshman is the fact that classes sometimes fill up much faster than you might think. This is a recurring factor with popular courses that are therefore in higher demand. For example, in the area of psychology, intriguing-sounding courses like Abnormal Psychology and Animal Behaviour will almost always fill up faster than Introduction to Neuropsychology. Similarly, fun courses such as Cinema Studies stand a good chance of filling their seats in the blink of an eye. Don’t count on the more popular courses being the only ones to fill up quickly, though. Less popular courses are usually held in smaller classrooms instead of larger lecture halls, meaning that there are fewer available seats—which could potentially disappear before you know it.
If a class runs out of available spaces (each course has a set number, depending on the size of the lecture hall), you may find yourself on a wait list, which brings us to the second issue to discuss. I found myself on a wait list several times during my university days, and I can attest to the fact that it is not much fun. You’ll spend weeks checking and re-checking the online listing in the hope that enough people will drop the course to allow you into the class. Being on a wait list is surprisingly stressful, especially if the course is a requirement for completing your program or a prerequisite for another important class.
Another major problem that can result from not enrolling in classes promptly is a broken-up, inconvenient class schedule. This has happened to me more than once; during one particularly tedious semester, a class I enrolled in at Sheridan College had three different tutorial times, but since I signed up late I had to take the 8:00 p.m. slot. This meant that after my two-hour lecture ended at 5:00 p.m., I had to wait around for three more hours killing time until my tutorial began.
So please, students, heed my advice: You’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you enroll in classes early. If you can get into the classes that most interest you (not to mention those that are vital to your degree) at times that work best for your schedule, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be setting yourself up for an immensely enjoyable semester.