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First-Year Registration Tips

Posted by on Saturday, May 17, 2014 in Academics, Freshman Life, General Information, Studying.

For you lovely 2018er’s, I want to prepare you for the impending registration process. It’s new to you, and it’s admittedly a daunting prospect. But it’s really not that bad once you start to make plans and decisions. Your advisers will call you to discuss your courses for next fall, and you’ll pick 4 or 5 classes that you’re interested in taking. But here’s what they won’t tell you, or at least what you might need to hear again.

Get excited to be on campus, taking fabulous classes and loving VU.
  • These are not locked in. Seriously, add/drop exists for a reason, and IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL/OK/UNDERSTANDABLE TO USE IT. You’ll get to school, and maybe you’ll love three courses and hate the other one. If you want, you can change it. There are hundreds of options, and sometimes it takes some testing to figure it out.
  • Leave some time for yourself. Don’t schedule 5 back-to-back classes, or honestly any more than 2 within 2 hours if you can help it. The people who try to fit all of their classes into Monday/Wednesday/Friday’s and leave their Tuesday/Thursday’s empty tend to have a hard time with their work, exams and sanity. Give yourself a lunch break, check a campus map before scheduling classes with only 10 in between (some of the walks take closer to 12-15 minutes,) and pick classes that genuinely interest you (even if they’re at 8AM.)
  • But back to that whole 8AM thing… Don’t take one if you know you aren’t going to be able to get up for it. If you’re not a morning person, avoid the 8 and 9AM’s if you can. Know yourself.
  • Do not in any way feel like the classes you choose for this first semester are a commitment to a major or the biggest decision you’ll make at Vanderbilt. You have more options, and you don’t have to declare a major until the spring of your sophomore year. Take your time, try some classes that just seem interesting, and don’t stress too much.
  • On the same note, take some risks. The best part about AXLE (for those of you in Arts and Science) or liberal core requirements in other schools is that you actually get necessary credits when you take “random” classes that just seem interesting. I know people who took screenwriting, astronomy, country music studies and so many other incredibly cool classes, and they all counted towards their requirements.
  • Don’t take too much. I planned on doing this, but my adviser luckily convinced me to just take 14 hours (4 classes and a lab.) It was such a blessing that I had some free time to get used to the workload, get down a routine, and have some time to breathe in my first semester.
  • Register at 8AM (CST.) It’s not worth missing out on classes and professors you want, messing up your ideal schedule and trying to find somewhat relevant classes that aren’t full just because you wanted to sleep in one morning in the summer. Do yourself a favor, get up, and register ASAP.
    Seriously, campus is beautiful, so walks to class are actually great.

Ok, that’s my spiel about registration and classes and whatever. Email me if you have questions, talk to your advisers (seriously ask them questions. They’re super helpful.), and good luck—you’ll be at Vanderbilt sooner than you think, and it’ll be great.

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