While a college student’s life is filled with a lot of stressful situations, nothing compares to the stress of trying to get into all of your classes on enrollment day. Each major has certain required classes that students fight tooth and nail to get in to. If more advisors and majors offered flexibility with required classes, students wouldn’t be stressed trying to graduate.
This shouldn’t be an issue to begin with, if there’s 100 students that need to take Econ 405, there should be a class of 100 available, or two classes of 50 open, but that’s never the case. Instead you are holding on to hope that the one 30-person class you need to graduate won’t fill up before your enrollment day comes.
The University of Nevada, Reno, used to push the “15 to finish” motto from the moment we stepped on campus. “15 to finish” is the idea that if you take 15 credits every semester, you’ll graduate on time. The university’s new motto is “30 to complete” to encourage students to take 30 credits in one calendar year. But some semesters are spent compensating for others simply because students aren’t getting into their required classes.
Enrollment dates and times are distributed in a seniority-esque way, to make sure that students who are trying to graduate on time are able to get into their upper-level classes. Honors students and athletes get to enroll first, followed by seniors, juniors, sophomores, then freshmen. This is supposed to eliminate stress and ensure that people get into their required classes, but it never happens. From personal experience, I’ve never been able to enroll in all of my required classes without being waitlisted for one of them.
It’s hard to get into classes when everyone else in your college needs to get into the same classes, but it’s even worse when there is only one section being offered. A lot of colleges do their best to accommodate the rising student population by offering more class sections, but if you’re enrolled in two different colleges, your classes might conflict.
When dealing with your major, your minor and possibly a dual major/minor, there are so many different classes that are necessary to mark off your checklist. If classes were able to be interchanged easily, students wouldn’t stress out as much while picking classes.
Some departments introduce interchangeable classes to their students because they are aware that sometimes classes aren’t offered in a timely manner and they don’t want to hold up a student’s progression. If more advisors were willing to help students substitute in different classes to meet their requirements, this could help students who find themselves in the unlucky situation of being waitlisted for a required class.
It’s the role of every advisor to help students navigate scheduling classes in a way that works best, while also being better advocates for the amount of class sections needed to fulfill the needs of their students.
Being a college student, you learn to be flexible. Flexible with work schedule, flexible with added assignments, flexible with changing due dates. For four to five years you are being as flexible as humanly possible to ensure the best outcomes in your life. You shouldn’t be restricted to specific classes that are required when there is a suitable alternative. Having flexible required classes would ease the stress of the hellish task of enrolling in classes.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or of its staff. Jacey Gonzalez studies journalism and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.