The mess and distress of scheduling classes | The Triangle

The mess and distress of scheduling classes

When I was told I was able to create my own schedule for the next quarter, I was ecstatic. I was overjoyed to escape from the monotonous high school scene and finally be treated like an adult. I immediately sat down at my computer, eager to begin the selection process. Yet, as I thoroughly read through the course descriptions and the allotted times, I was overcome with disappointment. Frustration and disillusionment replaced my former enthusiasm and I slumped down in my desk chair as I slammed my computer shut. It was all an exaggeration: you don’t actually get to choose your classes. Well technically, you get to choose between the five leftover classes that do not spark your interest at all, but it is a clear overstatement to claim Drexel students get to construct their schedules.

Being a freshman who isn’t involved in athletics, the odds are definitely not in my favor, but considering I’m going to a school that promises me lifelong debt, I think I should be able to choose a class or two that I would like…or at least classes that could somehow benefit my life in the future. Come on, I am a communication major; do I really need a three-hour art class three times a week?

I was thrilled that I had extra room in my schedule to select free classes and the catalog of courses highlighted numerous classes that instantly sparked my interest. Yet, Drexel got my hopes up for nothing, because in the end, I was not eligible to choose any of these classes. I was already disappointed that I was unable to take them, but it made it a million times worse that these courses consistently reappeared on the term master schedule. It was exasperating to sort through them time after time and my expectations were consistently crushed.

Drexel needs to create a system of designing schedules that is more interactive for the students. Not only should they open more classes to the students to expand their repertoire, but the current program also needs revision since it is clearly faulty. The students should not have to dig through endless classes that they cannot even take to uncover the 1 percent of classes that they are qualified to enroll in. Instead, the website should include a sorting system that hides classes that have been closed or are considered ineligible for predetermined majors, so only suitable classes become visible to the student. Sifting through closed courses with unfulfilled prerequisites and limited spots becomes tiresome and exasperating.

I wouldn’t mind having to assemble the schedule once or twice, but five separate times is ridiculous. Each time I thought I finally completed the tedious task, I would go back through the system only to see that the courses I wanted had been closed for some undisclosed reason. Peers kept advising me not to do this ahead of time, but I longed to have jurisdiction over my future courses; after all, I was promised Drexel students were actively involved in this dreaded process.

On the morning that my time ticket was finally activated, I jumped awake and stared at the screen, waiting for 7:15 a.m. to appear across the top of my computer. I falsely believed that I could at last confirm the sixth version of my schedule, but again, my desired courses became unavailable to me. Drexel Central advises to “prepare to register by creating your own registration schedule prior to registration,” yet, this was all useless. The endless hours I spent trying to be a responsible student by planning ahead were wasted since I had to recreate another copy of my schedule on the day of my ticket.

There are multiple factors that classify the transition from childish high school days to the individualized college lifestyle. A key facet of this evolution lies in the possibility to design personalized schedules. Though I am a freshman, I should not be deprived of this opportunity simply because it is my first year on campus. I should be rewarded for my academic standing, desire to learn, and of course, the thousands of dollars I am contributing to the Drexel pot. A system that presents prime categorization would be far more beneficial to the student body and Drexel should work to produce this convenient system.