December 4, 2020

Guest Commentary: Registration Procrastination

BY REINIER TIMBAS

With fall registration upon us, many students are in a dire crunch of scheduling time with their adviser.  For many, this process is simple and goes by without a hitch, but for some, stress levels rise due to communication issues, scheduling conflicts and procrastination.

Many students wait until the last minute to meet with advisers causing a portion of us to blame them, our schedules, or hate the registration process as a whole.

Yes, it is frustrating when you don’t get a quick response from that email you sent Friday night pleading with your adviser to clear you for registration early the next week.  Yes, it can be extremely stressful trying to figure out what classes to take in the fall while writing a research paper or case study.  And yes, trying to find time to meet with your faculty adviser while working around both your schedule and theirs can be a daunting task.

These are issues all students face, but for some this process passes by without even a second thought.

What do those seemingly carefree students have that I don’t?  Well, they don’t procrastinate.  Like some, I affectionately like to think of myself as a “deadline worker.”  What that really means is that I wait until the last minute. I have the notion I work better under pressure.  For the most part, this works out for me.  It does not however, work out for the registration process at Webster.

In the week before registration I find myself scrutinizing course schedules and staring at my degree audit.  Finally, I am left scrambling to find time to meet with my adviser, working around my schedule and hers.

After speaking with multiple faculty advisers it’s easy to see the “other side” of the story and how a student’s procrastination affects the adviser.  They do want to meet with you and they care about what classes you take.  They also have your classmates to think about as well.  The faculty advisers are assigned anywhere from thirty to forty students to advise while still carrying a full workload themselves.  Comparing this to the student, the faculty adviser must work around their own schedule and the schedule of the thirty or so students they advise.  This workload also includes meetings and any departmental groups they participate in as well as answering questions to the students for the classes they instruct.

An average of fifteen to twenty students per class and three to six classes at one time and the number of students an adviser is juggling ranges from forty-five to one hundred and twenty in addition to their thirty to forty advisees.  So when half of those advisees wait until the last minute, you get fifteen to twenty students fighting for time against each other as well as the students from these classes.  This is where the crunch is.

What is being done to combat the crunch?

Remember that e-mail from advising around the seventh week of the semester?  Of course not, it got ignored because it seemed so far off, or your Webster e-mail doesn’t forward to an e-mail you check often.  Remember all those fliers posted throughout school about registration?  Of course not, no one can pay attention to fliers when they’re rushing to the library to print off a paper five minutes before class.

Registration is a student’s responsibility.  This is where our tuition goes to, the classes we take.  This is one of the few times in your academic career where the decisions you make can affect you for years to come.

This shouldn’t be one of those times when you’re stressed; it should be one of those times you’re calm, collected, and excited about your future.

After finally getting all my classes squared away, I’m relieved.  I have learned a very valuable lesson:  Procrastination works on your own schedule, not everyone else’s.

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