By Ryan Lee, Staff Writer
Flashbacks of past registration nightmares are plaguing me, leading me to believe I may suffer from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s that time again, that semi-annual logistical battle for classes.
It brings to mind the catastrophe that was spring registration of my freshman year. Oh, those were the days, being a naïve doe-eyed 18 year old. I laughed at the idea of registration being a stressful experience. What could go wrong?
I met with my advisor, found the classes I wanted, even made a backup schedule. In the words of our famed founding father Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Well guess what, Ben? I prepared and then I proceeded to fail.
Out of the 8 classes I had added to my ‘wish list’ only 1 was available. This discovery led to an early morning meltdown of epic proportion, several pencils and other inanimate objects became casualties that morning, and for that I will be forever remorseful.
My faith in the system was briefly restored during my sophomore year. Registration was a relatively smooth process. I was lulled into a false sense of security.
Junior year saw the return of my nightmares. This time the problems arose from an outside source. One that many students here have fallen victim to at one point or another. Tempest, Oh tempest. The faithful, but sometimes finicky, internet connection at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF). I guess you could say that tempest is kind of like acne on a pubescent boy. One minute that boy’s skin is nice and clear and the next minute it’s flared up with pimples and zits and the captain of the cheerleading squad is snickering at your ‘pizza face.’ What I’m trying to say is tempest can be the absolute worst. You’ll be surfing the net and then the next minute boom, no Internet for 30-40 minutes.
That wonderful spring morning, I was all prepared to enroll in the classes my advisor and I had so carefully chosen. I thought I had prepared my schedule. At 6:54 a.m., 6 minutes before my registration time began, I checked to see if there were seats available in all of my classes. My preparedness was rewarded when I discovered that there were seats available in the classes I wanted. It looked like I was going to have a smooth registration. At 7 a.m. I refresh my browser. That’s when it happens, what a surprise, it won’t reload! After 15 minutes of not being able to hit submit on my schedule, I take a break and take a 10-minute shower. That 10 minute shower felt like a week. On my way back from the shower I had decided that if I couldn’t register, I would probably chuck my laptop out the window, drop out of school, move in the woods and become a hermit for the rest of my life.
Well, I sat down to register for all my classes, OF COURSE, one of the classes I went to register for was full. This was a class that is required for my major and graduation. Now, I will have to wait another semester to take it. This realization brought on more stress. With little to no general education classes I would have to find the only requirement left that fit in my schedule. This actually worked out for me in the end because I ended up signing up for Journalism and now I have the opportunity to write this wonderful rant about registering for classes.
This brings me to my senior year. One final registration that separates me and walking across the stage to receive my diploma in the springtime, no pressure there. As a senior, I have first dibs on classes which should ease my tension but that’s not the case. Why? Because I expect the unexpected to happen. I expect an issue during registering, and more than likely an emotional and psychological breakdown to follow. I feel like my chances of graduating on time could be jeopardized, due to a human or computer error. I predict myself running to my advisor in desperate need of advice, then to the Merrill Center to plead my case and then to a department head’s office where I will I beg for them to register me for a class. My registration appointment at 7 a.m. on Thursday cannot come fast enough.
It’s the night before registration, which is the absolute worst of all nights. In consists of me setting 20 alarms from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. in 5-minute intervals to make sure I wake up in time to get my classes. All night I think about the ramifications of something going wrong or me not waking up in time, so I end up counting the specs on my ceiling tiles till 3 a.m., a stress induced hobby of mine.
Finally dawn arrives and I hobble out of bed at 6 a.m. and head to Dunkin Donuts. I get a much needed coffee, with a double turbo shot for good measure. I trudge back to my apartment, sit in front of my computer for the next 30-minutes, ready to hit register for the very last time. The time comes and believe it or not I get all my classes. I can hear the fat lady singing in my head, because finally, it’s over. I will never have to register for classes again!