How to survive spring semester registration

Step one: don’t panic

It’s that time again – time to sign up for a new set of classes for the spring semester. We all know how difficult it can be to figure out what classes to take, when to take them, how difficult they are, how much is too much, etc.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as the time to click that “enroll” button is right around the corner.

Start by seeing an academic advisor


Seriously, don’t be afraid to head over to the Steele building or the Hardin Hub. It’s easy. You don’t even need an appointment if you go during drop-in hours. All of the advisors are extremely helpful and they want to keep you on track. They know what classes for you to take based on your major and can give you some great advice on how to keep your workload manageable.

Use Rate My Professors or Blinkness

Two good resources to use are Rate My Professors and Blinkness. Both sites give you a little bit of background on the professor and the course they are teaching based on reviews from other students who have already taken the class. The personal reviews are valuable and can help you find good professors. They’ll also help you steer clear of classes that threw some of the others for a loop.


Take things you’re interested in

Yeah yeah yeah, we are all here at this great university to get a great education. But in the whirlwind of trying to be on top and take the best classes we can, sometimes we forget to take some courses that are fun too.

College is a place to figure out what you like and what you don’t like. Taking some classes that are “outside the box” can be good. Who knows? You might come across a subject you never knew you liked before.

Fill your shopping cart ahead of time with more classes than you need

Stack your shopping cart with 2-3x more classes than you will be able to take in the spring. This will help give you a solid set of backup choices if things don’t go as planned. During fall registration, chances are you didn’t get into every class you wanted. Whether the class filled up too quickly, there was a timing conflict or you accidentally forgot to check the box next to the class, it probably didn’t work out that you got your ideal schedule.


Quite honestly, that’s OK. Put some of those oddball classes in there. Leaving yourself with options is the best thing you can do. There are tons of great classes offered here and filling your shopping cart with extras before your registration time is a really good way to be prepared for possible enrollment mishaps.

Don’t take on too much

You have to leave some time for yourself to have some fun. Everyone here knows how stressful classes, homework, group projects, papers and other assignments can be, so don’t take on too much. You have to leave some time to sleep, breathe and just relax. Chapel Hill is a beautiful campus, especially now during the fall, so leave some time to take it all in.’

Grab a coffee or a smoothie and be in front of your computer when the site goes live

Once you’ve done all your planning, get ready for the site to open so you can fight for those classes you really want to take. We are all too familiar with the frenzy that ensues, so be ready. Get to your computer 10-20 minutes ahead of time with your phone or watch and something good to drink.


Check the boxes next to the classes you want to try for on the first round and keep an eye on the time. When the time comes, click the enroll button and hope for the best.

Ask an upperclassman for advice

Upperclassmen have been there, done that. They can be good resources when planning for next semester.

Junior Kira Dalman gave students some helpful advice: “Be very cautious during registration week. During my first year, my friend fell asleep and missed her registration time and I didn’t wake her up.

“Needless to say, we no longer speak.”


Registration is nothing to fear. Hopefully the whole process can be much less stressful if you keep these tips in mind. Good luck, Tar Heels.