Where’s all the sections?

I am very thankful that I will only have to register for classes one more time in my college career. Aside from the last week of classes and finals week, the days of registration are arguably the most stressful ones of the year.

Initially, I always thought it would get easier when I got older and earned more credits. Sadly, in a way, it has only gotten worse. This is because a lot of times, there is only one section offered for an advanced course. The nervous tics, sweaty hands, and constantly refreshing the class availability page has continued into my senior year.

A few weeks ago, I signed up for four classes for next semester. I was feeling confident that I would be able to get into all of them. Two days before I was supposed to register, the class that I wanted most only had three seats left. This is because the capacity limit for this class is 19 students. The year that I came into college, there were 116 undergraduates enrolled in my major at Oswego State. I’m going to assume about a quarter of those were freshmen so that’s about 30 students. Those aren’t counting students who declared my major as their second major or who declared my major as a minor, so that leaves a good number of students who might want to take that one class.

Seniors also want to take 400-level courses, the level of the course that I wanted. This semester, there are only two 400-level courses in my major being offered, both of which have 19-seat capacities. I did get into the class I wanted, though I got one of the last two seats. The remainder of my upper division classes all have 19 seat capacities as well.

I’m OK with small classes. I prefer them, especially at the advanced level where you want to work closely with each other and with the instructor. I would just like to not have to worry about getting into classes that might not be offered again before I graduate. I know there is only so much that professors can do and that some teach a large number of classes. I give teachers and professors a lot of credit. I know how many hours they put into their work and how much they put in to make their students better at their field.

I wish the school could do more to make these upper division classes more student-friendly. Hiring new professors to offer more sections is difficult and current professors are busy themselves. I just wish I didn’t have to worry about taking an advanced course that is required for graduation during my senior year, a time when you should not have to worry about getting into classes during registration.