Dear Miss Milly,
This is my first time signing up for classes. I’ve heard stories of people not getting the classes they want or need, and then their schedule turned out awful. How many schedules and backup schedules should I make? Are there ways where I can look up the teacher and see what classes are the easiest? What’s the best way to go about this?
Dear Frazzled Freshman,
Many people have goals in mind when creating their schedule, so figure out what your motives are (even though you will have to be flexible). Some people try to avoid Friday classes, or they aim for all morning classes or night classes. Others search for the teacher with the highest grade distribution, so see what time frame best suits your lifestyle and makes you the most productive for class.
Consider the motive behind your decision making process. This is college, so do you really want the easiest classes to breeze through? What time of day are you most likely to actually go to class?
I think the most beneficial way to go about it is by making a spreadsheet of all of the possible classes you could take. Depending on how many classes you need from the different areas, copy and paste them as options. Then you can narrow them down based on your primary motivation and what interests you.
Next you can research the professors. The university provides us with our professor’s grade distribution on PAWS by searching “grade distribution.” Then Rate My Professor has opinions and reviews from your peers.
Here is your warning: by the time it’s your turn, the rising seniors and juniors will have created a schedule, along with the incoming freshmen, because their advisors have structured it already for them. No worries though — you can see this in PAWS, too. So for rising sophomores, the night before registration you will be able to see if your dream class has been filled by others before you.
To view this, go into C.A.T.S. on PAWS, fill out the info and type go. Make sure you pick the right semester! When you go in, it will tell you how many seats are still available in that class.
It is also highly unlikely that you will get that dream schedule. I recommend having two to three backups for all of your classes, and expect to find yourself on a waitlist. Don’t bank on the waitlist getting you in, though; if you aren’t in the top five, luck might not be in your favor.
My final bit of advice is make sure you sign up as soon as possible! Set two alarm clocks, and make sure you know the earliest date and time that you can sign up for class.
Good luck and happy scheduling Bobcats!