Trip to the registrar office, a hellish nightmare

By Michael Kazanjian
December 6, 2001

Registering for classes has always been a nightmare. Many people go through it every year without a hitch, but for me, I’d rather run a red-hot poker through my eye.

After my first semester as a freshman, three years ago, I had gone through three to four schedules before getting the classes I needed. My final schedule for second semester was one full of disappointments. My classmates were taking Harvey Lapes’s course on love while I drowning in a sophomore math class.

Students register based on a few different factors. The upper class students go before the lower class students and then it’s broken down by alphabet.

Now three years ago as a freshman I didn’t expect a whole lot. My mind began to revert back to my first year of high school. Back to the days when I was a big nothing on campus and anything that I said carried absolutely no weight.

I still held out hope. I had it set in my head that registering for my sophomore year would be a breeze. I had risen in the ranks a little bit and I wanted my payoff for a tough first year. How wrong I was.

Steve Murray, my advisor at the time who is no longer part of the Cabrini faculty, helped me plot my path of destruction to the big brown door of the registrar.

I was pumped up; this year it would be me sitting in the front row learning about the ways of love from a man in a pinstriped seersucker suit.

I handed my schedule to the attending clerk and within seconds I was shot down. Not for just one or two classes, but for every single one of them. As General Kurtz said, “The horror, the horror.”

Stupidly, I remained optimistic. Back into Murray’s office I went and out I came with schedule number two. 10 minutes later I was back in his office with a look of despair and disbelief. Rejected again. This happened about six more times until finally I had a schedule that I had no interest in whatsoever. I couldn’t see myself doing this for the next three years of my life.

That summer I made the decision not to return to Cabrini for another year. With the classes I was scheduled to take I would have felt like I was wasting my money, and as you know, Cabrini is no bargain.

The sad thing is that I know I’m not the only one who had to deal with this. It happens all the time. Freshman are faced with an incredibly difficult challenge. Not only must they choose which classes they are going to take to shape their education, but they must also worry about the possibility of none of those classes being available. All of this leads to some very stressful times for students. For me, it was so bad I left the school altogether.

Is there a solution? I don’t know, there might be. Maybe more courses can be offered for freshman only. Classes that are not made available until it’s time for freshman to register. That could help a bit. Some improvements have been made. Now a student can check the Internet to see what’s open and what’s closed, which cuts down the number of trips to the registrars office.

I think we need to get rid of the wait list. It’s killing me this year. The Internet showed that a certain SEM 300 course was wide open, but when I got to the office they told me that the one available seat left was on hold.

Rage enveloped me. There were 20 seats in the class, 19 were taken and one was waiting. I put myself on the dreaded wait list hoping that the student would back out and the chair would be mine, all mine. I was wrong-or screwed, whichever you prefer- again. I checked with the instructor and I was told that 22 people were in the class and that there was no possible way I was getting in. But I was on the list! What the hell happened? Sadly, I’ll never know.

You have to hang tight though. After a year away from Cabrini, I came back. I couldn’t be happier with my decision even though things like a wait list drive me crazy. My only advice is this: Offer the person in the registrar large amounts of money. I haven’t tried it yet, but soon, very soon, I just might.

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Michael Kazanjian

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