#CollegeProblems: The Pain of Choosing Classes at the “Last Minute”

For the past two months, I’ve been dealing with the death of my grandfather, working on my first novel, studying for my driving learner’s permit exam, visiting New York with my stepdad, and trying to catch all 720 Pokémon–that’s basically nearly 20 years worth of those creatures, including their Evolved forms–in both Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Pokémon X, the latter which I got most recently. Unfortunately, there was one thing I forgot to do before I did anything else–register for classes for the fall semester at Broward College.

Last night, I asked my brother what Science class is best for me. My academic adviser told me that I have 12 credits left before I earn my Associate of Arts degree–I need three electives and a Science–and transfer to Florida International University. “When did registration for the fall semester open, Cristina?” my brother asked.
“April 29th,” I replied hesitantly.
I wished I hadn’t opened my big mouth because my brother got really upset at me for picking my classes at the “last minute”, even though the semester doesn’t start until August 24th. He told me for future reference that as soon as class registration opens I have to get on the ball and pick the classes I need immediately because the classes with the best teachers fill up in a heartbeat, especially in vast universities such as FIU. It’s not the selection of classes that I have a problem with, but rather the campuses I should go to and when I could attend such classes.

Two classes I picked–Intro to Mass Communications and Journalism–are at South Campus, which is close to home, and the other two–Intro to Oceanography and Ethics, are online. The only problem with Intro to Oceanography is that everything will be online except for the tests, which will be proctored at a campus half an hour from my place. That is something I don’t want to do because, unless I earn my driver’s license by the time school starts, my brother or my stepdad will have to chauffeur me there or I will have to take the bus. However, they said alternate testing options will be available (at additional costs), so I will have to talk to an adviser and ask them if I could take the tests either at the campus of my choosing or online. Another issue is whether or not I should take a lab for Oceanography. Each class I chose is three credits, which adds up to 12 credits, but the Oceanography lab is only one credit, making it 13 credits overall. Because I already took a lab for General Biology, I don’t want to overload myself by taking yet another lab for another science class, so I’m gonna talk to my adviser about that as well.

In the two years that I’ve been in college, I’ve never heard anyone tell me that “last minute” means “a month before the start of the semester” when it comes to class registration. Last night’s experience made me feel like I’m the most irresponsible college student in my family when that was NEVER the case. I may have chosen classes a month prior to the start of a semester before, but I excelled in all my classes just the same. This is my last semester in a community college, so choosing classes in a big university, according to my brother, will be a whole different ball game due to the fierce competition of getting the most hotshot professors for the classes required for my major.

AUTHOR’S UPDATE: I decided not to risk taking my exams for Intro to Oceanography at a campus farthest from my home due to transportation issues, so I switched to Geology since that class is held on the same campus as my other classes.

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