Some Musings on Registration

Happy Friday, Deac families!   If you are not aware, we have designated Fridays as Black and Gold Friday, which means we hope you are wearing black and gold (or even better, official WFU apparel) wherever you are.  You can help us boost school spirit and name recognition by representing Wake Forest wherever you live – so join us and go black and gold every Friday.

It’s a big day on campus with the dedication of Farrell Hall later today.  That is going to be an incredible event, so I hope your students attend any parts of the day they can.  And because it is Friday, this is your gentle reminder to call your Deac today and give them that unconscious reminder of home, which tends to reduce risky behavior.

Coming up next week is spring 2014 course registration, and that is certainly figuring in to students’ minds.  Here are some musings about registration.

– Students (or authorized parents/family members) need to check the student’s financial account to ensure there are no unpaid balances or registration holds.   Check it now, pay any balance off, and check it again the day before AND day of registration, just to be sure.  An unpaid balance could be even just a nominal charge from a parking ticket, student health bill, etc.

– Registration is scheduled AFTER 5 pm.  This came at the request of Student Government several years ago, who wanted registration to take place after most classes have ended.  The one catch to this is that administrative offices are closed after 5 pm, so if your student doesn’t check his/her financial account during the business day and finds there is an unpaid balance, he/she will be blocked from registering until the account can be settled the next business day.  So please, please check that account balance and clear any holds.

– In talking to some students (my own advisees and others) as well as other academic advisers, some students seem to be feeling some uncertainty about their potential major choice because they don’t think they are going to love ALL the requirements.  For example, a student who loves psychology but isn’t a huge fan of math may be rethinking that major because he doesn’t want to take Research Methods, or a student who loves modern American lit might be a little hesitant to declare an English major because she doesn’t want to take one of the “Single Author” courses (Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, or James Joyce).  VERY rarely will a student love ALL the requirements for a major.  So if your student is worrying about a major because of just one course, encourage him or her that it is normal to feel that way.

– Because Wake Forest students are high achieving and want to do well, they tend to be pretty worried about GPA.  This can lead to students trying to determine class schedules based on perceived reputation of what will be an easier class, easier professor, easier grading.   This is not the ideal way to search for classes.  Students should take a class because they are interested in the course material, not because they think it will be an easy grade.  If your student is deeply interested in Middle East history, for example, I would argue he should take that class rather than a class on Medieval history (if the only reason he is taking the Medieval class is because he has heard the class is easier).  My own experience was that when I was really intrigued by the subject, I did not mind working harder in a class.  Far better to work more in a class that stimulates you than slog through a class that you have chosen simply because you think it might have fewer tests or papers.

– Contrary to popular opinion, 8 am classes are not a tragedy.  If there is a class your student needs and the only open section is at 8 am, your student should think about signing up for it.

– Finally, urge your students not to stress out too much about registration – particularly our first-year students.  Between basic requirements and divisional requirements, they have a LOT of courses to take.  And so there will be time to take care of them.  So jump in and register for the best classes they can, and try not to worry!

 

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