Classes all set? Think again

Beck Diefenbach

Beck Diefenbach

By Megan McNamara

Now that you’ve registered for classes, you may think you’re all set. However, students quickly learn that nothing is set in stone. You may find yourself zoning out in, say, your anthropology class and suddenly it hits you: if you hate the class so much, what in the world are you doing here?

Thanks to this little epiphany, many a student would bolt after lecture and just never show up to class again, reading the book or completing coursework on their own.

“If I really don’t like a class, I don’t go and just study on my own and just go for tests,” said Stacy Friel, now a sophomore in LAS.

But there are other options.

“If you don’t like a class, you should hightail it back to your adviser. The earlier the better, because you only have a few weeks to drop the class without any penalties,” said Julian Parrott, assistant dean and director of the General Curriculum Center. “After that, there are ramifications for financial aid, your major, etc. After the eighth week, it gets a lot more challenging. You have to go through a petitioning process to demonstrate why you didn’t drop the class within the first 8 weeks.”

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And unlike in high school, no one will hold your hand and remind you of the eight-week deadline.

“In summer orientation, we really try to get students to understand that the University is a lot different from high school. Not being aware of a rule (such as the eight-week rule) is no excuse for not abiding by it. The University puts out a rule book each year that details these rules,” Parrott said.

For those who are undecided, picking classes may seem daunting. But don’t be afraid to experiment with a wide variety of courses.

“I started out undecided and I took a wide variety of classes so I could begin to get a feel for what I liked, and I found that I liked psychology and biology stuff so I just selected more along those lines,” said Jon Kaplan, now a senior in LAS.

If you’re unhappy with a course and want to drop it, talk to your adviser.

“The biggest thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Come in and talk to your adviser; they’re very welcoming and they’re here to help guide you through the University,” Parrott said.

In order to add or drop a course, students go online and sign into the Banner system.

“On Integrate, you basically just click the ‘Add/Drop’ button to drop a class and at the same time you can add the call number of the class you want to add, so you don’t risk losing one class while not being able to get into the other,” said Rebecca Vercillo, junior in LAS.

If you cannot get into a class that you need for your major, keep trying.

“Really, really try hard on the system. Don’t just settle for something else immediately. Be diligent, and check Banner as often as you can for openings in the class,” Parrott said.

“You can even see why you didn’t get into the class; is it just because there are too many students taking it, or is the class restricted for some reason? Is it a major restriction, or is it restricted to students living in a certain dorm? Ask questions and find out why the department is restricting it.

“Also, make sure to register for the lecture’s corresponding lab or discussion section (if there is one) at the same time you register for the lecture,” Parrott said.

If you must get into the class to be on track for your major, talk to the instructor or the department directly. Don’t settle, and keep trying to get into the class until the Friday after instruction resumes.

“Also, if you just plain show up on the first day of class, you might have a chance of getting a seat if you talk with the instructor. When it comes down to it, they just want to fill those seats,” Parrott said.