Life or death or waitlist: How to register for classes


If college had a version of “The Hunger Games,” registration would definitely be the actual games. Numbers are drawn and we are listed for the slaughter, except no one else can volunteer as tribute. First years and sophomores have it the worst. They’re like the districts that have no weapons training and can barely lift a sword. Comparatively the juniors have a bit more training, but they still are worse off than the seniors, who pick off the classes one-by-one, leaving nothing for the others and dooming them to die miserable deaths. That may be an exaggeration, but it’s basically the same idea. There are some ways to trick the system so that even the untrained first year can claim some victory in “The Registration Games.” May the odds be ever in your favor.


If you really want to be in a class and you don’t want to risk waiting until your actual registration time to secure a spot, it’s time to put on your humble hat and groveling glasses. Email the professors immediately and ask if you can come by their office hours. You could ask them about taking the class over email, but it’s a lot less personable and they have a better chance to tell you “tough luck kid, wait until next year” than if you went to them in person and made sad puppy-dog eyes. When you go to their office hours, be sure to have a list of reasons why you want to take their class. It will make you seem passionate, and professors love it when students are passionate about learning. But, if their hands are tied and they can’t guarantee you a spot, don’t be a jerk about it. They are doing their best and the Registrar is a cruel mistress they have no control over.

Independent Study

This is an insanely underused resource that Trinity offers its students. Say you are passionate about something very specific in your major, but there are no classes that deal with that topic exclusively or at all. You can always ask a professor within the department whose specialty is somewhere in that realm if they would be willing to do an independent study with you. It gets you credits, and you can fine-tune a specialty that will look good for future jobs/graduate school applications. Also, don’t be afraid to ask professors you don’t know that well or at all. If you come into their office with a clear idea of what you want to study/work on, then they will be more likely to agree to work with you. Independent studies also take up less time since they should meet about once a week because it’s a one-on-one study. That doesn’t mean less work though. Be prepared to work your tuchus off.

Have Backups

Seriously, have at least two for each class you want to take. It’s rough when it’s about an hour before you register and you realize that two of the classes you REALLY wanted to take are full or being waitlisted. If you have backups, you won’t have that terrifying moment where your heart is clenching in your chest as you scramble to find an alternative.

Ask Professor to Register in Class

This one’s a biggie. Chances are that you have a class during your assigned registration time. Kindly ask your professor if you can pull out your computer or phone so you can register. Most will be cool with it because they realize we are dying on the inside. If they say no, don’t throw a fit. Just excuse yourself about 1 minute before your time to go to the restroom and quickly register while you are sitting fully clothed on the toilet. They may suspect what you’re doing, but just act cool, man.


It’s okay. Just let it out. We’ve all been there. And you can have a candy bar courtesy of the Trinitonian! (My editor Maddie Smith would like me to clearly state that there will be no candy bars. But you can use our paper to wipe your tears!)