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Class registration can be a stressful undertaking. Luckily, our next registrations are still a ways away, but it’s good to be prepared. Not only that, but we figured our incoming freshmen, class of 2019, would benefit from a couple tips and tricks to navigate the confusing time of the year that is class registration! We’re not here to guide you on every step of the process, JMU’s Academic Advising has that locked down for you. We’re just here to give a couple of pointers and best-practices so that you can make the most out of your registration experience. Here we go:

  •  Get Informed

One of the first things that you should do is brush up on the technical aspects of how registration will play out. Open up your MyMadison page and start exploring. There are a lot of tabs and functions, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them, especially the ones you’d see yourself using the most often. Play around with how the search function and see how the enrollment shopping cart works, as these might be the most critical tools for registration. Take a look at some of the classes that are offered to you and make note of the Gen Ed requirements. Do your research!

  • Plan Ahead

Pay special attention to your registration date, class requirements and any tests or assessments that you might need to do for your major. Develop a schedule ahead of time so these things don’t build up and boil over. I’d recommend picking a schedule and a set of classes a good bit ahead of your actual enrollment day. With a full complement of classes in your shopping cart, when others are stressing about enrollment all you will have to do is log in and click “Enroll.”  Keep in mind that you’ll want to have a backup plan in case classes fill up. Even after you’ve prepared your ideal schedule, be sure to keep checking back on MyMadison while you wait for your enrollment date to make sure your classes are still available.

  •  Pay Attention to Distance and Time

I think it goes without saying that you want to find classes that fit your schedule both time-wise and location-wise, but I’ll bring it up anyway because it’s SUPER important. Make sure you are signing yourself up for a class schedule that you can realistically handle: If you don’t function well in the mornings, avoid morning classes; if you get really grumpy without a lunch break, plan a lunch break into your day; if you want to stagger your classes by subject so that you don’t get burned out on one thing, then make it so. Whether you like to take all of your classes in a block, or if you’d rather have breaks between them, you have the power to craft what your semester looks like. Make sure the time it takes to get to class is on your radar. It may be oversimplified, but familiarize yourself with this chart: http://www.jmu.edu/registrar/wm_library/classlocations.pdf You’ll want to make sure you’re not rushing everywhere, sometimes the travel time can be a deal breaker.

  •  Explore Your Options

Be daring and adventurous with your class choices. Be aware that even if a class is full, wait-listed, or can’t be taken without a prerequisite or a declared major or minor, if you are persistent and actively it is possible in many cases to get an override and take the class. JMU offers Repeat Forgiveness as well as  the opportunity to take classes on a trial basis in order to encourage students to check out all of the options on the class roster. Take that as an opportunity to explore your personal interests and new disciplines. Try out some of the interesting, off-the-wall class choices at JMU!

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