Students, staff share experiences, tips for class registration

Kaiya Little, Life and Arts Reporter

Heart racing, Michelle Ivbievbiokun refreshed her Registration Information Sheet at exactly 2 p.m. — the time assigned to her for course registration — on her last day of freshman orientation.

With her ideal schedule written on sticky notes covering her laptop and multiple backup options listed on a Google Doc, Ivbievbiokun repearedly encountered words such as “reserved” or “error.”

At that point, she decided any class would do, so she rushed to fill in the blanks.

“I was actually very upset,” unspecified business freshman Ivbievbiokun said. “(My first choice classes) were all taken up, so I had to hurry up and find a random (class) to put on my schedule. That was unplanned, but it worked out for the best because I like the class the most, actually.”

Like Ivbievbiokun, every UT student must register for classes with each new semester. Course registration for the 2022 spring semester opens Oct. 25 and lasts through Nov. 5.  Students can access campus resources like major-specific advisers, the Vick center for academic advising and the course catalog to ease registration stress, but many still feel overwhelmed at the process each semester.

For this spring, Ivbievbiokun said she plans to especially consider location while building her ideal schedule.

“I feel like if I had my classes closer and I (could) get there earlier, I would have a different experience … and make a different connection with my professors,” Ivbievbiokun said.

Last year, Parker Kirlew, women and gender studies and psychology junior, created a step-by-step guide to class registration for her Twitter accompanied by picture references, a mock-schedule generator and a congratulatory certificate of completion for surviving registration.

“I feel like a lot of times people go into registration and they maybe have their set of classes that they want to take, and sometimes they won’t have a backup plan,” Kirlew said

To maintain mental well-being, Kirlew said she recommends students not schedule back-to-back classes.

“I would say that it’s super important to have breaks in between classes,” Kirlew said. “I feel like our brains appreciate a little break (here and there).”

Ivbievbiokun’s stressful registration experiences resonate with students across UT. Environmental science adviser Jeff Hallock said he attempts to ease his students’ registration anxiety with a few helpful tips: meet with an advisor often, check out the degree audit, clear registration bars and take time to consider a long-term plan.

“This is not the most important thing that you’re going to do (ever), and probably (not even) this month. It’s going to impact your next semester, (but) a lot of students … get very worked up,” Hallock said. “I always tell my students, … ‘If you get three out of four or five classes that are right for your degree, you did a good job.’”

To prepare for the challenge of spring registration, Hallock said students should embrace flexibility and take the opportunity to choose their own academic paths.

“The future is kind of scary. … That’s normal,” Hallock said. “But also know that registration can be a time to help alleviate some of that stress.”