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Registration reservations

Bill Brink | Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I sit at my desk surrounded by an array of course selection materials – everything my advisor had to offer. I have my prospective schedule in front of me. My computer screen displays every piece of pertinent information I could find. I’m physically ready and mentally prepared to schedule my classes for next semester.

It’s 12:39. My registration time is 12:45. I’m not worried about getting the classes I want. All that worries me is whether I’ve made the right choices. I cross-check the classes with The Hours, second-guessing myself and my ability to construct a schedule.

12:45. I’m in. My PIN works. The page looks like the tutorial said it should. My first three classes fall into place smoothly.

12:46. I hit some roadblocks. Discussion sessions I need are full. Apparently, I have more AP credit than I thought – paradoxically making life more difficult.

I worry more that a wrong choice will hinder my college career. No, I tell myself, that can’t be right. Every course I’m taking fulfills a requirement for either the University, the College of Arts and Letters or my major or minor.

But is that the way it should be?

Some say college is preparation for the real world. Others believe it to be the best four years of your life and think it should be treated as such. Should I take classes that will help guide me along the path I envision my life taking, and that will be useful to me?

Or should I instead embrace the moment and take what I want to take?

“Political Theory” is clearly the right decision. It meets both a University and an Arts and Letters requirement and looks interesting to boot.

But the “History of American Sport” sure does look enticing.

1:32. I stare glumly at my computer screen as it mocks my feeble attempts to salvage anything resembling a schedule. It says I’m in a class at 8:30 in the morning – a sure sign of a desperation move.

How much should things like that factor in? I wonder. College is a time that will mold me into who I am after I graduate, and I want to make decisions while here to ensure that I’m molded the way I see myself. But will doing that sacrifice my experience while here?

1:45. I have a brainwave. I switch a MWF for a TR and the pieces of my scheduling puzzle fall into place perfectly. Looking at my completed schedule, I come to the conclusion that taking or not taking certain courses won’t obstruct my ability to succeed. In fact, it will widen my base of knowledge, an important aspect of life.

Every course will aid me in some way, and college will guide, not dictate, my life and career. I hope I’m right in my belief; if not, I won’t find out until it’s far too late to fix it.

Oh well. At least I get to sleep until nine.