Yes, this headline may sound familiar. In fact, given that this question has plagued Human Development and Psychology majors for centuries (well, okay, maybe it just seems that way), we’re “going green” and re-cycling our favorite answers. The Pink Flamingo has the following suggestions for frustrated students.
1. Plan ahead. Particularly if you are a freshman or sophomore, many upper-level classes in HUD and PSYCH may be closed by the time you register. Make sure you select back-up options for any upper-level Human Development or Psychology classes you hope to take.
2. Don’t panic. This is typically not a crisis! Freshmen and Sophomores (even some Juniors) often come to see us because they are worried about not getting into upper-level courses in their major. Seniors, on the other hand, frequently come seeking advice because they don’t have enough credits to graduate, but they have already completed all major, minor, and General Education (GEN ED) requirements! We understand your frustration and wish everyone could enroll in every class they wanted, when they wanted. In reality, though, students often need general elective courses outside of Human Development and Psychology to obtain enough credits to graduate. Remember, each student situation is unique, and you can only determine your credit needs by reviewing your Degree Progress Report.
3. Take elective courses. Taking classes outside of Human Development and Psychology can enhance your career and graduate school marketability, fulfill your interests, and be just plain fun! Writing, public speaking, computer skills, knowledge of other cultures, and speaking another language (just to name a few!) can all make you a more competitive job or graduate school candidate. Your advisor can help you select courses consistent with your specific career goals. College is also one of the few times in your life when you have opportunity to take classes just to expand your horizons or learn something fun.
4. Think about summer classes. There are currently a number of summer offerings in Human Development and Psychology, as well as in related units (e.g., Social Science Statistics is being offered as an Internet course in Summer 2009). Your summer registration date should be the same as your spring registration appointment, so take advantage of these possibilities now!
5. Consider waiting lists. If a class has recently closed, think about putting yourself on the waiting list. Do not, however, count on waiting lists. Some instructors will increase their caps and allow a few students on the waiting list in; others will not. And…some instructors may increase caps for one class they teach but not for others. They attempt to make these decisions based on sound educational principles and with the goal of making the class the best it can be for enrolled students. If you are on the waiting list, go to the first day of class or contact the professor to let him or her know of your continued interest in the class once the semester begins, BUT…
6. Avoid asking for waivers at this point. Unless you need a class as a graduating senior to fulfill your graduation requirements (or some similarly dire situation), faculty members are unlikely to sign course waivers far in advance. We have waiting lists associated with our courses, and it is very difficult for us to sign one student in when there are others waiting patiently (or even with deep-seated frustration!) on a waiting list. Once the semester begins, that policy may or may not change.
7. Consult with your advisor. Okay, so all of this stuff sounds great (maybe not, but play along with us, please), but how do I select these amazing non-HUD and PSYCH courses I’m supposed to take? (Yes, we do hear the sarcasm in your voice!). That’s what advisors are for – please contact yours!