Required Reading 2018
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Ha Quoc Huy / Columbia Daily Spectator

Juggling between Vergil, the course bulletin and Student Services Online to register for courses can be a daunting process, but rest assured. We here at Spectrum have compiled a list of tips and tricks that will help you maximize your chances of getting into classes you want to take.

Give yourself enough options

As much as you would like to get every single class you want, as a first-year, it can be tough getting into some of the more popular classes. Therefore, it’s extremely important to browse the course catalog and make sure you have some back-up options in mind before going into course registration, so if you don’t get into your first choice, you won’t be completely disappointed and left empty-handed.

Don’t let the waitlist disappoint you

As disappointing and stressful as being on the waitlist of a class you really want to get in to can be, 10 to 20 percent of the people enrolled in the class will likely drop it even if the department in question doesn’t open another section, which means being on the waitlist is not the end of the world for you. If you can, we would encourage you to attend lectures even if you are on the waitlist and keep up with the class, especially if you are higher up on the waitlist. More often than not, if you email the professor individually or just show up to class consistently, you can make your way onto the roster.

Venture out of your comfort zone

No other time is better than the first semester of your first year to venture out and take classes that you haven’t even imagined before. Challenge and surprise yourself, and you will most likely walk out of the class with a new mindset and perspective! The shopping period also is designed so you can add and drop classes for a couple of weeks, so it’s perfect if you’re just curious or are unsure about what classes you actually want to take.

Find a balance

Between the required curriculum and classes you want to take, it can be easy to be swept away with stress and forget to pay attention to the time of the classes you are registering for. Remember to give yourself enough time to eat meals throughout the day so you don’t end up with a hectic schedule. Find the balance between finding the classes that work for your schedule and the classes that you want to take.

Download Vergil Plus

Vergil Plus is a Chrome extension that makes registration so much easier by upgrading Vergil. See 300+ course reviews, search for classes more easily, swap core classes, keep track of requirements, see live course enrollment numbers, and export your class schedule, all with Vergil+. Help yourself and close all those tabs that you will no longer need, and install Vergil+ now at!

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