Sunnie Ning ‘18
The Smith College Office of Student Engagement has announced that it will offer a new workshop series to help student de-stress and navigate registration period.
From April 3 to 14, Smith students will register for classes for Fall 2017. Since the release of the new course catalog, students have already spent hours researching, crying about courses not offered and panicking about what will happen if they can’t get into the classes they want.
This year, the stress levels around course registration have hit a new high due to the new 19-credit pre-registration constraint. “I’ve already spent more than 20 hours, and I’ve only narrowed down my list to 24 credits. I just can’t narrow it down further,” said Emily Levansky ’18.
Other students expressed frustration at classes not offered the coming semester and fear of not being able to graduate. “I need this class for my major and it’s the prerequisite for the upper-level classes, but they are not offering it next year,” said Leah Morris ’19 with tears in her eyes. “I worry I will not have enough time to finish my major.”
Other sources of stress include an inconsistency between the department website and the course catalog, classes with incompatible schedules, advisers that are incredibly hard to reach, the crashing registration website and much more.
The school’s counseling service has seen an increase in the number of appointments since the release of the course catalogue. The number of students seeking advice from student academic advisers has also risen, increasing the burden for students filling these volunteer positions.
To address the rising stress level, a new workshop series will be offered during the first two weeks of April. Titled “Surviving Registration,” the series will address issues such as how to avoid spending hours on the course catalog, how to put together a manageable schedule, how to find your academic adviser and how to stay calm when you are waitlisted for a class.
The registrar will also host a weekly reception for students with questions. The Class Deans office, counseling service and reslife will also participate in the workshop series. The counseling service will open a new hotline for registration-related emergencies.
The organizers said that there is a high demand for a workshop like this, and they have received support from students. “We need to acknowledge that registration-related stress is a real issue on campus. Through the workshop series, we want to offer tools and support for students going through this difficult time,” Melissa Strong, a staff member at OSE, said.
If the workshop series becomes successful, the OSE expects to offer it again in the fall during the add/drop period. “We expect the demand to be even higher, because we will be working with new first-year students who will have no experience dealing with such stress,” said Strong.
Many faculty members have also expressed their support for this workshop series. “Each year we get so many franctic emails asking questions or expressing frustration during the registration period. It is the most stressful time of the semester for us, dealing with these intense emotions. Hopefully the workshop series will help students stay calm this time,” an anonymous professor from the government department said.