It is pretty clear that it’s that time of year again when students are stressing about the upcoming finals. But is anyone else stressing about registering for classes like I am? I am a sophomore, undecided in what I would like to major in but I know that I want to minor in Crime and Justice. The problem is that most of the classes required for this minor are not offered this semester and the ones that are offered are already full. Because most of my AP credits did not transfer from high school I have fewer credit hours then most sophomores and I have one of the last registration dates. There is a very small chance that the classes I need or want to take will still be open when I am allowed to register. Does anyone else feel the same anxiety that I get every time I check the LSA Course Guide prior to my registration date to see if the classes that I backpacked are still available? Sure I can be added to the waitlist for those classes, but what happens when next semester rolls around and no one dropped the class? I will be stuck franticly trying to get into any available class. This happened to me second semester last year and I was stuck taking a couple classes that did not benefit my minor or my requirements; they were pretty much pointless classes I resorted to taking to remain a full time student. Sure I learned something from these classes, but the information was not beneficial for my future.
Maybe I am being dramatic about the difficulty in registering for classes but I can’t help referring back to the reading we had earlier in the semester, “Live and Learn” by Louis Menand. Menand covers two theories as to why students attend college and the purpose of it. His first theory is that college is simply a tool that society uses to sort out the more intelligent members. In this theory, Menand referred to college as a “four-year intelligence test”. The members of society that can achieve the higher GPAs will be offered the most opportunities after college. In this theory, it does not matter what classes students are taking or how much they are actually learning, as long as they are getting good grades in them. In his second theory, Menand refers to college as a place where members of society go to pursue specific career paths and they will focus on learning only what they need to know for success. In this theory, it is more important for the students to actually learn, not achieve the highest grades.
Personally, I agree with Menand’s second theory about college. Obviously I want to get good grades, but I think that what I learn in the class is more important. However, with the horrible luck I have had in the past while registering for classes, I haven’t exactly gotten the opportunity to study what I think would be successful for my future. Obviously the university is doing the best job they can to allow students to take the classes that they want or need to, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
What does everyone else think about the registration process at the University of Michigan? What reasons are you here for? Are you here more because of Menand’s theory one or theory two?