As registration kicks into gear, many freshmen wonder, “Why is there a specific time for registration? Don’t I just sign up for whatever I want to take whenever I want to take it?”
Well… kind of. That’s the beauty of the New Curriculum, but there’s still some more structure to course selection than what meets the eye. Navigating Banner is similar to the art of surviving the Fantasy Football draft. We’re here to step in as your very own MeikleBlog; put on your lifejacket because BlogDH is here to help you stay afloat during the registration process. Here are some of the key nuggets of registration wisdom:
Know your capped courses. Plenty of awesome courses have caps (a.k.a. a limit to how many students can take the course). This becomes a problem when 100 students want to take Intro to Creative Nonfiction with Michael Stewart and there are only 17 seats in the class. Caps vary, and plenty of great courses are lectures without caps. A lot of the time, though, a course you may want to take will be capped; this is why you need to take a look at the courses that interest you and how many people students can be in each of those classes.
Make sure you get your pin. This is everything. You won’t be able to register without it, and you can definitely wave goodbye to a seat in a capped seat if you’re pin-less. You need this ahead of time—if your first-year advisor doesn’t give this to you before you leave his/her office, you’re going to have to beg for it before registration begins at 7 p.m. on September 3rd, and that’s probably the last thing you’re going to want to do.
Have a game plan. You can talk to your Meik about this, but here’s our advice: Make sure your capped courses in your cart first. You can always register for courses without caps after you ensure that you’ve gotten into your capped classes. You should register for five classes, even though you don’t intend to take five. (The courses you register for are likely to change during Shopping Period, but that’s a whole other shindig. Just know that you’re not absolutely bound to the courses you choose in this go-around.)
Use your Ethernet cable. Bring your game plan to life and make sure you’re connected to the Internet. You’re going to type in your pin at 6:50, and you want to make sure you’re connected to Banner. and then it will give you the option to register for the courses in your shopping cart.
- A note about WiFi: While Brown has magical WiFi that lets you check your Facebook on the Main Green(!), that internet connection is only good for non-time sensitive web use. ‘Cause it sucks. For registration, you want to be using your Ethernet cable.
- A note for MacBook Air users: You’ll need a special USB attachment to use your Ethernet cable, otherwise you’re screwed. Luckily for you, you can either buy this attachment ahead of time online for a couple of bucks, or pay for the overpriced clone in the campus bookstore.
Be ready to register on September 3rd at 7 p.m. In fact, you should actually be there at 6:45! Seriously, you want to be one button-push away from the classes you want to be in. Relish this registration time, because now is the only time you won’t have registration at 8 a.m.
You’ll wait like good freshman for 10 minutes, and at 7:00 on the dot, you will press that previously deceitful button and… you may get nothing.
Don’t be disappointed if Banner doesn’t work. Often with so many people trying to register at once, the system crashes. Some years it works, others it doesn’t. Even if you have your fantastical Ethernet cord, there will be hundreds of kids trying to log on to banner to register at the same moment, so there’s going to be traffic. You’ll watch that rainbow pinwheel of death spin for what will probably be another 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, when it goes through, you and your roommate/friend/alternate personality will shout excitedly about who got through first and whatnot.
Have a strategy if things don’t go your way. Sometimes you get fucked. You try to grab the last seat in that FYS, but the Internet gods were not with you, and you didn’t get it. Now you must head back to your shopping cart and register for a new class. If that course you want is filled…
Don’t be afraid to reach out to professors. Sometimes you can’t register for that class that has 1 of 20 seats filled, because other Brunonians are on your wavelength and want to be in that same class. Or because there’s an instructor override required. This means you need the professor of said course to give you an override code, or put you on a waiting list (which means you must show up for the beginning of that first class). This requires *GASP* actually communicating with him/her via email. The sooner you contact him/her, the better. That way, if someone drops or doesn’t show up in the first few classes, you’re x number in line to fill that seat! On the flip side…
You should absolutely show up to your capped classes during Shopping Period. If you’re in a capped class already—such as a First-Year Seminar—you better show up to that class if you intend on taking it. Otherwise some lucky bastard is snagging your seat in Arnold Weinstein’s Rites of Passage. And no, murder and kidnapping are not appropriate ways to “thin out” the waitlist for the classes you want.
Good luck, maggots freshmen. We think you’re ready.