Dealing with course registration anxiety

Each semester students face a similar feeling of insecurity and anxiety. For some, the feeling is more intense, while for others, it can be a passing thought. That time of discomfort is upon us, and while it may have something to do with midterms, it is primarily due to the focus on the future. Starting Oct. 22, class registration commences, but even before that begins the questions and regrets.

For seniors, this is their final class registration, and with it comes questions about the future outside of college. How can they properly finish their undergraduate experience? What is that one class they need or want to take? The sense of finality may not even be entirely palpable.

For the juniors and sophomores, there is the weight of more classes to come. The finish line is not yet in sight, and it grows increasingly difficult to see it. The anxieties are centralized in questions of getting into the right class to stay on track, focusing on the pace of your education. Meanwhile, with the planning comes the sophomore slump, which is a very real thing when school gets to be tedious and it feels as if it never ends. While for freshman, this feeling can be an anxious excitement of what’s to come. The opportunities seem endless, to the point where it may seem daunting.

No matter the class year, there is an overwhelming emphasis on any time but the present. This seems counterproductive because it is midterms and everyone should be entirely focused on the now. But with the seemingly insignificant event of class registration, we become entirely focused on the future, the past, or both. You may be wishing you had worked for a better grade so your GPA would be higher, or be wondering if you summer job or your major was a mistake. As for the future, we consider what the classes we take will do. Will this professor load me with work? If I take classes on Fridays, am I going to hate myself? Should I do an internship? Am I behind because I have yet to do one? The previous you and the future you are full of regrets and questions that cannot be answered just simply by choosing courses.

If you are feeling regretful, you are not alone. The anxiety and stresses of this time bring to mind some of the more painful choices we have made. Instead of considering the paper due next Wednesday, you are wondering about that English class last semester that you got a B- in, or that test in Econ you wish you had studied for, because now your GPA is slightly wounded. The regrets from previous semesters are swelling to the surface as students comb through their degree audits. The past of our academic careers seems to be uncomfortably present at this point in time, as students cruise course catalogues and consider their next move.

The questions of the future are to be expected. The recent updates to Rate My Professor’s website have prompted groans across campus, and that has yet to scratch the surface of discomfort that comes with choosing courses. These small decisions will be setting the course for your next semester at Loyola, or elsewhere. The internship you were planning on may require you to be flexible, or you may finally take the leap and schedule only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This emphasis on choice brings the future to the forefront of your present mind. How much time will I have? Am I really going to want to learn about images of God in scripture for four months? The choices we make now seem insignificant, but these times force us to confront that our future suffering was entirely our own choice.

Course registration is important, but do not let it overwhelm you. The internship, whether you did it or not, will not ruin your life, and that C in Financial Accounting does not define you. The stresses of this time are innumerable, but it will be over soon. This simple task will be something you love or kick yourself for, but it is going to happen, then it is going to be over. Choose wisely..