Due to Trinity’s smaller size, each Trinity student is fortunate enough to meet one-on-one with an advisor before registering for classes.

While this is probably your first time registering for college courses—and no one expects you to figure it out on your own—there are some helpful ways to prepare yourself for your advisor’s assistance.

If you are interested in a field of study that has a recommended four-year plan, like engineering or pre-med, get in touch with a professor from that program. The Trinity website provides contact information and professors are often quick to answer emails.

Arrive at your advisor meeting prepared to ask specific questions. The advisor’s job is to help you, but he or she cannot decide your courses for you. You will benefit more from the meeting if you arrive after looking at the available courses and compiling a list of the ones you would be interested in taking.

Common curriculum courses will make up the bulk of your schedule for the first semester. Keep in mind that every other first year will be registering for these courses as well. Many of these courses, such as Classical Mythology and Music Cultures of the World, fill up quickly. If courses that sound super interesting and unique are at the top of your list, assume they’re also at the top of everyone else’s.

To search for classes, log into your account at tigerpaws.trinity.edu. Once you click on the “TigerPaws for Students” link, you will be able to search and register for sections. You can define your search in multiple ways, but searching by department is usually the most efficient.

Once you search for a specific department, the courses available for the upcoming semester will be listed with information about times and instructors, as well as one of three statuses: open, closed or waitlisted. If the course that you absolutely must register for or else your entire college career will be ruined has a waitlist, don’t panic! Professors often control their own waitlist, and it is possible to still be allowed into the class.

Instead of panicking,

1. Add your name to the waitlist when your registration time rolls around.

2. Contact the professor and (calmly) let them know why you want to register for their course. They might ask you to attend the first couple of classes while they make a decision.

3. Register for another open course while you wait to hear back about your waitlist status. It will be much easier to drop your back-up course than it will be to add a course at the last minute.

The important thing to remember is that this is only your first semester at Trinity; there will be plenty of time in future semesters to take the courses you weren’t able to register for.