The emotional stages of course selection

It’s like the Hunger Games but the odds are never in your favor

Course selection is simultaneously one of my favorite times of the semester and one of the times I most dread.

Look familiar?

Throughout the several week period leading up to my selection date, I’ll go from bragging to my suite mates about the great classes I want to take to complaining about all the gen eds I still have to fulfil, to full-on freaking out and trying to plan out every semester until graduation.

(Somehow this semester-by-semester plan still manages to change by the time the next course selection rolls around.)

In addition, double majors such as myself know how important it is to stay on top of the classes we need to take to graduate on time, but sometimes course selection can just feel so much harder than it needs to be. While I’m no expert on picking the perfect classes, I definitely know exactly how the process will go from an emotional stand-point.

Stage 1: Excitement

The courses are up! I can see what classes I can take! There are so many options and life is full of possibilities! I can’t wait for my registration date!

Stage 2: Getting pulled back down to Earth but retaining hope

Oh wow, half these classes have conflicting times. Guess I won’t be signing up for those. And it looks like my Tuesday-Thursdays are going to be absolutely terrible. But I’m sure that I’ll manage something, I mean, I can totally pull together a solid schedule in a few weeks. Right?


Stage 3: Reality check

What do you mean I still have to fulfil that gen ed? I definitely served my time in science class in high school, and now I need to take a Bio-Science just to graduate?

Stage 4: Random burst of excitement

It might be a pain but at least spending an hour and a half organizing my class schedule makes me feel better about not writing my essay that’s due tomorrow.

Stage 5: Reality check, part 2

Maybe I can double dip with this one course…

Stage 6: It’s the day before registration and I don’t know what I’m doing


Stage 7: One hour before registration

Of course my time is during my midterm. Or playoff game. Or tech week. Whenever it is, you can be sure it’ll be the most inconvenient and stressful time possible.

Stage 8: Five minutes after registration

Wow, that’s it? I’m actually registered? That wasn’t so bad, I can’t wait to see the courses for next semester!

UMass Amherst amherst class class selection registration spring spring semester umass umass amherst