The spring semester appears to be going by much faster than the fall semester; I suspect this is because there are so many deadlines. One thing is due after another, so we just keep counting the days, checking off another box as something else gets turned in.For me, the two most stress-inducing dates are those of class registration and housing.
As complex as these systems are already, I have been increasingly overcomplicating them due to future uncertainty. Despite creating backup plans for every possible contingency, there is still the possibility of everything going completely wrong. Of course, overpreparation and extreme stress appear to be traits of many students on campus.
With regard to class registration, I was lucky enough as a rising sophomore to get some of the classes I wanted. Or, at the very least, I wasn’t forced to scour the open course list for literally any available COLL 200s. However, I essentially did that beforehand, so some of the classes I chose right off of the bat were backups because many classes that looked interesting were closed before registration for sophomores even began. Ultimately, I would say I was fairly conservative with my class selection, not trying to get the best teacher at the best time slot.
That being said, by some miracle I was, however, able to get a spot in an Intro to Creative Writing class. I recall last semester that there were none available by the time of freshman registration, even though the description said that priority was given to freshmen. I sent my fair share of override emails, but often teachers say they cannot offer an override. I think it would be helpful for the open course list to include some kind of indication of whether an override will be offered and how many a teacher plans to offer.
Perhaps the most pressing issue is my plan to apply to the business school next semester. The application for current freshmen is not due until June 1. This means that for a good few months I will not know whether I got in or, if I am accepted, when my classes will be. This jeopardizes the security of my schedule, at least for the classes I plan to take along with the business school core curriculum. If there are time conflicts, which I am quite certain there will be, I will have to start from near scratch at piecing together something that hopefully resembles a practical schedule.
While these issues alone may seem manageable, when combined with every other deadline that the spring semester has to offer, it can be easy to get lost in the hundreds of emails in your inbox, every single one seeming to be equally as pressing as the last. My friends and I are trying to get a 10-person housing block, and because I have the best time slot, as nice as that is, I have automatically become the group leader. This has brought me an additional responsibility packaged with a plethora of extra due dates.
During the spring semester, I believe many students, or at the very least myself, would benefit from these deadlines being spaced out far more evenly instead of being clustered in the final weeks of the school year. A big issue is the degree of uncertainty, and it would make things a lot easier if more information was released about availability of housing options and course desirability. Personally, my schedule would be more secure if there was more coordination between the business school and the liberal arts school. I know deadline stress cannot be completely eliminated, but we could at least try to lessen it.
Email Dylan Koury at email@example.com.