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Wednesday January 20th

What to do if registration didn't go as planned

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct errors included in the original article. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for these errors.

We all have a registration horror story or two. Mine involves me not knowing how to select the specific classes I wanted to enroll in and therefore hitting enroll on my entire shopping cart. My schedule briefly consisted of five different English classes. I may have had a minor stroke, but at least I am now a seasoned expert in salvaging a decent schedule from an awful registration session. 

Here are some solutions to a few of the most common registration nightmares. If you don't see your question below, just send a message to The Daily Tar Heel's Facebook page and we'll help you out.

What should I do if I only got into 6 hours?

If you weren’t able to get into at least 12 hours, and all the classes in your shopping cart are closed, don’t stress about losing your full-time student status right this minute. You definitely have time to get into enough classes before that would happen. It’s just time to hit the ConnectCarolina course search functions again.

You’ll basically repeat the same process you used to fill your shopping cart before. The only difference is that you’re probably going to need to get more creative. 

If there’s a specific class you really wanted to take, try searching it again to see if there are any other sections of it that are still open. If there is a waitlist, you can join that, but be wary of trying to waitlist more than one class. ConnectCarolina includes the hours from classes you waitlist in your total enrolled hours, and only allows you to waitlist up to four hours.

If the class doesn’t have a waitlist, there’s still a chance you could get in. People drop and add classes pretty constantly even up until the first week or two after they start, so keep an eye on the one you want. If you’re vigilant enough, you just might snag it. Also keep in mind that seats are often reserved for people with later enrollment dates, so check back after those restrictions are lifted. 

Another good way to find classes is to just read through the course catalog and see if anything catches your eye, then see if it has open spots. Don’t be afraid to take something that’s not in your major or that you don’t necessarily know much about – that’s the cool thing about college! You’re here to ~expand your mind~ and learn new things, so go ahead and branch out. Maybe you’ll discover a newfound love for archeology or graphic design or something. Or maybe you won’t, but you have to take at least 12 hours anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I couldn’t get into a class that’s a prerequisite for a lot of courses for my major. Is this going to put me behind?

Probably not! While it’s nice to knock out prereqs, do not worry about getting super behind if you couldn’t get into one during your first semester. In general, as long as you keep trying to take them throughout your first two years, you should be fine. 

If you’re still super antsy about not getting in, you could always try emailing the professor and asking if there’s a chance they could fit you in closer to the first day. I can’t promise that it’ll work, but it might be worth a shot. I’d also like to add here that this means you really do have room to take courses that aren’t related to your major! They’ll still give you a computer science degree, even if you took a class on Chaucer and another on the history of sex in America during your first year.

I really don’t like my schedule. How can I change that?

Try following our advice for people who aren’t in enough hours! With a little luck, you should be able to create a schedule that you at least kind of like. One word of caution, however: SWAP, DON’T DROP. It is actually heinous to drop a class you didn’t really want so you can add one that you do, just to have that one suddenly become full and leave you without either. Take it from me, kids.

I was told I placed out of a class but was barred from enrolling in the next level up. What now?

If you’re sure you sent in all your test scores and transcripts to UNC, then this probably means there was an issue with ConnectCarolina. You’ll want to contact the Office of the Registrar at (919) 962-3954 or registrationservices@unc.edu to have that hold lifted from your account.

However, if this is a foreign language class that you took a placement test for, do keep in mind that summer and fall language placement test results are not submitted to the registrar until October. Here's a tip on foreign languages from Valerie Bernhardt, administrative manager of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Lori Harris, manager of the Department of Asian Studies:

"Each department that offers foreign languages has its own policies. Some encourage emails or going to the first day of class; others require that students enroll through drop/add.

The best way to find out how to enroll in the proper level of your foreign language is to consult https://languageplacement.unc.edu/: Click on your chosen language and you will see specific information about enrollment!

I didn’t get into ENGL 105, is that bad? 

Nope! Like we said above, it’s totally fine if you didn’t get into all your prereqs and/or Gen Eds this semester, and that includes ENGL 105. UNC definitely takes into account that every student has to take ENGL 105, and by the spring semester, half of the people you were competing for spots with would have already taken it. If you couldn’t get in this semester, you will almost definitely get into one in the spring.

How do I know if I’m overloading myself?

This might sound like a non-answer, but honestly, go with your gut on this one. You know what you can handle in a course load, so just listen to yourself as you plan your schedule. Even though you might be used to rigorous course loads from AP or early college classes, it’s still better to come in with a little breathing room while you’re learning the ropes and settling in.

For what it’s worth, I’d personally suggest trying to give yourself a really light schedule first semester. I was lucky as a first-year to have so many friends who warned me not to make their mistake of taking ECON 101 *and* CHEM 102 *and* BIOL 101 their first semester. I’m not saying you’ll definitely flunk out if you happen to have all of those classes on your schedule right now, but what I am saying is that I do encourage you to avoid the Tar Heel tendency of romanticizing stress and trying to do too much. Because, as impressive as it may seem to spend every night in Davis until they kick you out at 2 a.m. and still make it to your 8 a.m. every day, have y’all ever had a full night’s sleep? Incredible.

Is 15 minutes enough time for me to get from one class to another?

ConnectCarolina automatically requires a 15-minute gap between classes because in general, yes, that’s usually enough time to make it from one class to another. However, it definitely depends, so be mindful of where your classes meet as you’re scheduling. 

It can be tricky to gauge this when you’re still not familiar with the campus, so I’d suggest pulling up a map of UNC. Dey to Bingham? Totally doable. Fetzer to Carroll? You might break a sweat, but it can be done. The Stone Center to Alumni? Good luck with that.

Keep in mind, that was not an incredibly scientific summary, and ya girl hasn’t run a mile since freshman year of high school. Regardless, you really should give yourself a healthy amount of time to make it to class, considering how dang many other people are also trying to get to their classes. There will also likely be stairs involved in your journey, so go ahead and mentally prepare yourself for those.

Is registration always this stressful?

Yep! But the good news is, you’ll still have us when registration rears its ugly head again in the fall. 

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