Registering for classes is one of the biggest battles I’ve come across in college. Each school runs registration differently, but most have some type of panic-creating, stress-inducing process to pick your classes for the following semester. At my school, you get a time slot based on the credits you have completed, and you just have to watch the classes you want disappear before your slot comes up.

Registration is definitely a stressful time, but it doesn't have to be. We have a stress-free guide to registering for college classes!

What if I told you registration didn’t have to be this stressful?
What if I told you there is a way to get (some of) the classes you want?
What if I told you that last minute shuffle when a class closes could be WAY less overwhelming?

All of that is possible if you take action with the following tips!

Have a Plan B.

Chances are you won’t get into all of the classes you want-so make sure you have backups. Listing a backup for the same time slot for all of the classes in my schedule has always been super helpful.

Up until this year, I was also able to use myedu.com to help me find classes that fit during registration. They have this button that finds the next available class that fits your schedule-so if you have one slot open and quickly want to find what environmental science class fits your existing schedule, it’ll tell you. It’s a lifesaver.

Talk to your friends.

About professors they recommend, and the classes they are taking. Professors are crucial to your success in a class, and as much as we like to not believe it, there are instances where a bad professor can really hurt your grade. Take recommendations to heart!

In addition, it’s always helpful to have someone you know in your class, but it isn’t necessary. Don’t plan your schedule around friends, but if you end up in the same class-it just means you have a study buddy and someone you can rely on for notes if you are sick and vice versa.

Put all of your classes in your cart (or whatever equivalent your school has).

That way you don’t have to keep searching to find out if your class closed, and when your time hits you can just hit register-you don’t want to lose any of your valuable time!

Check the number of class seats.

My school shows how many seats a class has left-so I can check and realize that my top history class only has 2 seats left and hours before I register. That way you have a warning sign as to which of your classes are going to close without you.

Try to relax before your time slot.

My time slot freshman year was at 7:30 am; a time I usually wasn’t awake at. In order to make sure I was less stressed, I woke up an hour early, made some tea, and then sat down to look at my schedule. That way, I had time to put in alternate classes if some of the ones I wanted had closed. When my time slot came around, all I had to do was hit register.

Be wary of WiFi.

I’ve never had this issue during registration, but during finals our wifi at my school has gone out multiple times. If losing wifi worries you during registration, just plug in an Ethernet cord in your dorm for registration day. Our campus gives them out for free during move-in but you can find them for cheap on Amazon.

Check prerequisites.

The worst thing is having a class in your schedule, hitting the button to register, and realizing you haven’t taken the prerequisite. Check them first so you know!

(ALSO) This past semester there was a class I really wanted to take that had prerequisites I didn’t need for graduation. I talked to the professor about my skill set and he allowed me to take it anyway. If it’s a class you really want and think you can excel in, push to get there!

Pay attention to location!

My school has two campuses, one of which is 40 minutes away. Make sure you aren’t scheduling classes that are back to back but on separate campuses. Then your schedule would really be a mess.

If you don’t get a class-don’t stress!

Check back often. Everyday until the new semester. Odds are, someone got into that class but finds something else and switches, which opens a seat for you to scoop up! If you don’t want to take a chance, email the professor, or in my case our deans office to try and get the override code to get in.

Sometimes they will let classes get filled over the original seat number, but as a warning, this only really works if it’s a class you need for your major or minor and not taking it that semester will put you behind for graduation.

In addition, if you get an early class that you’d prefer not to have, check for classes to switch with after registration ends. Besides everyone swapping classes, schools often open up new classes as well when they realize which ones were hard to get into.

Best of luck with registration, and remember, stay calm-it’ll all be okay!


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Haley is the Academic Editor at The Young Hopeful and a junior at Loyola University Chicago, where she is a Digital Media and Visual Communications major. If she isn’t blogging, you can find her with her camera on adventures, curled up reading a good book, or cooking some type of pasta. Haley loves jamming with her ukulele, working on an art journal, and has a severe case of wanderlust. She loves to write about the adventures of college, self love, and living creatively. You can find Haley over on her blogInstagramPinterest, or Facebook.

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9 thoughts on “The Stress-Free Guide to Registering for Classes

  1. Super good tips and reminders! Going into my 4th year, you’d think I would have learned these things by now. I should start preparing earlier with tea, and just relaxing!

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  2. Having a backup is so important! Even if you think you’re all set, it’s still a good idea to have one. I thought I was all set, so I didn’t have a backup. But yesterday, I was told I wasn’t allowed to take a certain class, so I had to scramble to find a new class that fit with my schedule. Thankfully, I found a class that worked! Moral of the story: always have a backup 😀

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