Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week Recap: Registration, Ben and Jerry's, Stress and Sanity

It's interesting that sometimes the shortest weeks are not only the busiest, but sometimes seem like the longest.

I started off the week slowly, like I normally do, since I don't have class on Mondays this semester. Being the procrastinator that I am, Monday is a HUGE laundry/homework day for me, and I try to get everything done while my friends are in class. BAD HABIT. I shouldn't wait for the last minute. No more days off for me!

Luckily, it seems I'll be able to avoid that and force myself to organize this coming semester. Tuesday was my registration day, and with the way my schedule worked out, I'll have class every day. However, my day didn't run so smoothly, and it left me in a bad mood for most of the week until my friends came to the rescue and got me out of my slump.

Registration isn't always an easy process, so it's important to be prepared. Before our given registration date, all students must meet with their academic advisors--this would be a professor who works within the department of our majors, who works with us one-on-one to help figure out schedules, study abroad options, internships, and anything we might need advice for. After discussing the classes we want to take, advisors clear students for registration on Knightvision, the web program we use for class registration.

Then, on the assigned registration day, students log on to Knightvision and select their classes. I woke up on Tuesday morning and tried to register, and on my first try I was only able to get into one class.

This was when I panicked a little. Unlike previous semesters, I didn't have a Plan B--I really only wanted to take these four classes, and I hadn't properly prepared myself for getting into another class if my first choices didn't work out. I looked into the reasons why I didn't get some of my classes...for Environmental Studies, it said that it was open to majors and minors only. Knightvision also told me that I had already taken the Religious Studies course I tried to enroll into. And the third class had simply filled up before my registration was submitted (this happens sometimes because so many students press "submit" at the same time--exactly 7 AM when registration opens--and since there are only so many spaces, students' requests can be turned down).

All I wanted to do that morning was yell at my computer screen!

Not to worry though! Once I stopped freaking out, I got my bearings together. First, I emailed the registrar's office, telling them about the problems I was having with my first two classes. Next, I sent an email to the professor whose class I didn't get into, asking if I could stop by her office so we could meet and possibly see about petitioning into her class. This is how some people get into full classes--you get a petition form from the registrar's office and write down why you want to take the course, and then the professor signs it, allowing you into the class even though the spaces are full.

I heard back from the registrar's office almost immediately--they are really on top of their work, even on Registration Day! Apparently, my Knightvision account didn't recognize that I had declared my minor, even though the process had been completed (the "process" is simply to have your advisor and the head of the department you want to minor in sign a form and give it to the registrar, where they fix your account). I couldn't get into the Religious Studies course because I had enrolled in one my first semester, and even though I dropped it to take another class, my account never recognized that I ended up not taking it. The people that I spoke to from the registrar were so nice--I've never had to deal with fixing my schedule like this before, so I thought I was going to have to go to the office to straighten everything out, but they did everything for me right then and there!

At the end of the day, I heard back from the professor I had emailed. In my frenzy that morning, I had completely forgotten that there would be Open Registration the next day. This is when anyone from the my registration group, Monday and Tuesday, can log back on and try to get into classes they may not have gotten into the first time around. She reminded me to try that, and said that if I still couldn't get in, she would sign my petition form. So, I woke up early the next morning and pressed that "submit" button at exactly 7 AM. There was only one spot left in the class, and I got in! I was SO happy!

So, everything worked out perfectly in the end. However, Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty stressful. Not only was there registration to worry about, but I had class papers and projects to work on as well, and I had to prepare myself for a run-through for my MOVE presentation (more on that in a post next week!). I was running on low energy and lack of sleep, and my room was a mess. I'll admit Tuesday afternoon, I was pretty cranky.

I definitely needed a pick-me-up, and on Tuesday afternoon it was (literally) delivered to my doorstep!

It was Free Ice Cream Day at Ben and Jerry's. I had completely forgotten about it, what with all the craziness going on. Then, I heard some friends talking about it, and they asked if I'd go with them. Since I was busy with work for my classes the next day and feeling pretty irritable, I told them I probably wouldn't be able to go. So I was working on homework when suddenly my friend Nate called me and told me to come outside. I told him I was busy...why was it so important for me to come outside this very second? He kept insisting, so I finally took the trek down four flights of stairs and into the quad...and boy, was I surprised!

Right there, pulled up between two buildings, was a Ben and Jerry's ice cream truck! There were handing out free ice cream to everyone!

Quick happiness fix!

I tried a new flavor--Peanut Butter and Banana Greek Yogurt. It was delicious! Best of all, it lightened my mood right up. I ran into a bunch of friends at the ice cream truck, and they persuaded me to go into Burlington for more freebies!

I had such a great time with my friends Nate and Liz. They lifted my spirits a bit, and I tried another new flavor, this time Chocolate Nougat. By the time I got back to campus, I was in a jovial mood again.

Even though I had a pile of homework to return to, I was feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle it. The hour or so that it took to clear my head was well worth it, and I was able to get a refreshing perspective of things. Sometimes, the best thing to do when you're stressed is to just walk away from it and come back once you regain your sanity.

After my rough patch on Tuesday, Wednesday was still stressful but I was able to keep my cool. Especially after my whole schedule was fixed, I could feel the stress melting away. It felt good to get things accomplished, especially since Wednesdays are by far the longest day of the week for me--I have to get up early for a class, then I have a 3-hour class in the afternoon, and then normally I have something going on in the evenings. But each thing was like a check off of my to-do list, and before I knew it I could relax! I had one more day of classes left, and then I was going home for break. No class on Friday meant an even shorter, 3-day week for me!

This gave me cause for celebration, so that night I went to my friend Shawn's room where a bunch of us got together to watch Finding Nemo. We are all such kids at heart...we love that movie! We were quoting every line and speaking in whale to each other. Over all, it was a tremendously fun night. It was the perfect ending to a stressful couple of days.

I thought of how happy I was to be going home the next day. But as I looked around the room, I also thought of how I wouldn't be able to see any of these people over the long weekend. Suddenly, that made me sad! I realized how much I was going to miss our ritual of getting together for nightly homework groups or just hanging out on the weekends, and this was only for four days...imagine what the summer would be like!

That's when I realized that so many people at Saint Mike's have truly become like family to me. Sometimes, I can't even believe that I had no idea who they were only a year ago. I think it's amazing that these people know what I need when I'm having an off day, whether it's Ben and Jerry's, a hug, a fun movie, or even just a smile. They remind me why I'm so lucky to be where I am, in an environment where I'm supported in everything I do and there are always people to help when I need it.

 I'm sure this is not the last time you'll hear something like this from me--my friends and I talk about how we're a family all of the time! But I think that's really the true beauty of it. Here, a bad day never turns into a terrible day...nobody ever lets it.


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