By Sophie Li (CAS’23)
So, the planner has just opened and it’s already time to start thinking of the classes you want to take next semester. Registering for classes my freshman fall, I had no idea how to even use the Student Link. I’ve made a list of a couple of tips that I would have loved knowing when I first registered. A lot of these tips go hand in hand and overlap but I think they’re all helpful!
The planner is your best friend! One of my favorite things to do is add any classes I’m interested in, graph all of them, and get rid of the ones that overlap until I have a schedule that works for me and that I’m excited about.
Not every class is always offered each semester, so make sure you check the planner or https://www.bu.edu/academics/bulletin/ (scroll down to the college you’re looking at classes in, and click on courses)! This website will give information on every course: the course description, the sections, the HUB credits you get, any pre-reqs, and which semesters it’s being taught for the current school year. After discovering this website planning became so much easier and way less stressful!
Make sure you have backup classes! Certain spots get filled really fast, especially if the class is popular or doesn’t have that many seats to begin with. One of the worst things is waiting for your registration time, watching the number of seats get lower and lower until it hits 0. Scrambling on the day of registration to find a class is never what anyone wants to do, so if you can, try and have some backup classes that fit into your schedule. If you know one of your classes might get filled before you can register, I definitely suggest having options just in case.
Rate My Professor is a helpful resource but take everything with a grain of salt. I know that it can be stressful registering for a class without knowing anything about it, or if you’ve heard it’s a hard class or professor. Looking at Rate My Professor can be a good way to relieve stress but sometimes it can also make it worse. Just remember that normally the reviews you’re reading on RMP are the most extreme. Students will really only go on to submit a review if they had an extremely good or extremely bad experience and can often be exaggerated or not the same experience you might have. I always remind myself, kids who have an average experience won’t be running to post a review!
Set an alarm and register the minute you can! This tip goes along with tip #3 but since classes can often fill up fast, be sure to set an alarm 5 or 10 minutes before your registration time to get yourself to the Student Link. Even if you’re on the registration page, you’ll have to reload once it becomes your time to register so prepare for that as well. When I was a senior in high school registering for my fall semester classes, I had no idea what I wanted to take and pushed it off for weeks. By the time I finally went to plan and register, so many classes that sounded interesting to me were filled or not being taught. I ended up taking the most random intro courses which taught me what I was not interested in, and although I did get a bunch of HUB credits from them, it would have been nicer to take classes I wanted to instead.
I know planning and registering can get very stressful, and it’s hard to find classes you want to take that don’t overlap or give you an awful schedule, but follow these tips and start planning early and by the time registration rolls around you’ll have a good schedule with backup option if needed. Hopefully this makes registration a less stressful process for you!