Oberlin Blogs


November 7, 2009

Alicia Smith ’10

I love class registration period. It's one of those nerdy activities I've always secretly looked forward to every November and March when we get to pick our courses for the next semester.

Next Tuesday at 11am is when my official registration period kicks off. Each student is given a specific time you can begin registering for classes that is based on how many credits you have earned and what year you are. Registration takes place with a brilliant little web-based computer program called Presto. I am certainly not a computer guru so I won't even pretend I can elaborate on how it works. Basically, you log-in with your student ID number [a.k.a. your T-Number], and a [seemingly pointless] other number called your "rap number" given to you at the beginning of registration period by your academic adviser. Then you can register for your classes. Good times.

Every semester, I spend way too much time flipping back and forth on Firefox between tabs of the course catalog and the Registrar's schedule of classes. Then I have a Microsoft Word document open where I can take notes and plan out my schedule. While all of this is going on, I'm usually sending too many e-mails to my dad/life adviser asking for advice on my course choices.

There is a whole strategy involved with this--you can't choose classes all willy-nilly. After all, your classes and the homework involved is how you will spend most of your time. Not only this, but this school is not cheap, so taking classes that will be worthwhile to you is important. On top of all of this, you have to adhere to requirements within your major, but also those extremely important requirements to graduate. No pressure, though.

The times that classes meet are also extremely essential [to me]. Not only can they not overlap [for obvious attendance-related issues], but I also have my personal preferences. For example, the 3-4:15 time slot on Tuesdays and Thursdays is awful for me. When the clock hits four, my body goes into nap mode, which as you can guess is not always very conducive for learning. Most of the classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays meet for an hour and fifteen minutes, and I have learned over the years that my brain cannot easily handle and stay focused for more than two of these classes in a day. I learned this the hard way during my first year when I took three of these excessively long classes during my first semester, including a 3-4:15pm class which was taught by a professor who had a monotonous voice and got joy from randomly calling out the names of students he caught dozing off. Let's just say by the end of the semester, I'm sure everyone in the class was more than familiar with my name.

This semester, I somehow survived 8am yoga during first module [the first half of the semester]. Our instructor, Doris, moves her body in ways that hurts me to watch, let alone attempt--especially moments after I got out of bed. It was certainly a worthwhile experience, though. Other than that, all of my other classes are in the afternoon at Alicia-approved times.

So here I am, a few short days away from the last class registration period at Oberlin I will ever experience. I have completed the requirements for my sociology major, and I'm done with all of my other distribution requirements. All I need is a mere 12 credits and I will have that precious diploma in my hands.

One could look at my situation in a few different ways:

Option A:
•Take the "easiest" schedule possible--12 credits of ExCos, gym classes, and other random classes that do not necessarily interest me but shall guarantee me some relaxation time.

Option B:
•Take the "hardest" schedule possible in order to experience Oberlin academic suffering at its finest one last time. Maybe try my hand at chemistry or advanced mathematics.

Option C
•Happy medium?

I've decided to go with Option C. As much as I'd love to spend countless hours of Food Network, jogs around town, and naps, Option A would just make me feel as though I'm not getting as much out of Oberlin as I can. Option B--not even an option. Hard sciences? Math? Get outta here. I like a challenge, but that is what my first seven semesters were for.

In conclusion, this is what I think I will take [but is subject to change I'm sure]:
Travel Writing, Bowling I, Social Psychology, and a sociology class called American Families. All of this in addition to my honors project, my Mellon research, my job(s), graduate school applications, life...

Okay, so I'm still going to be busy to the max, but that's the life of a college student and I'm going to embrace that one last time. It's a beautiful struggle and we're all in it together. *cue cheesy music*

Similar Blog Entries


April 25, 2024

Phoebe McChesney

In honor of National Poetry Month, I thought I would share poems I wrote for an assignment in one of my courses, Green Japan, which explores the relationship between Japan and its environment.
Phoebe McChesney.