Ready for Registration: Tips and Tricks


Student fills out a high school planning form. Using this sheet can be a great tool to ensure your schedule gets properly planned. Photo by Christine Stricker.

Trey Williams, Op/Ed Editor

Registration season is one of the most overwhelming times of the year for students, both for high schoolers and for middle school students coming to this scary building for the first time.

One of the most exciting prospects of high school is the ability for students to finally have a significant amount of control over their schedule. There are so many different combinations of classes it can make any inexperienced student’s head spin.

Have no fear! I have interviewed counselors and students that have all gone through this process many times. This is everything you need to know for choosing your schedule for the next school year.

Take your alternates seriously. There are going to be classes, whether you like it or not, that are going to be available for only one class period. Stack many of those in your schedule and you are soon going to be forced into choosing between two classes you might really want to take. If you don’t want this to happen, either avoid taking niche classes, or have realistic expectations. Many students assume they will get everything they want and put classes they would never actually want to take as alternates. This is a bad idea. Have a solid list of classes you would be okay with taking as alternates, or you’ll regret it come August.

Plan out your entire high school as soon as possible The list of classes can be overwhelming, especially to someone that has literally no clue what they want to take. For better or for worse, there aren’t as many choices as it seems. With a simple planning sheet, you can fill out what classes you have to take, and from there you can look at where you can make your schedule your own.

Use summer school to your advantage. Hey, I love sleeping in the whole month of June as much as the next guy, but I can’t deny that summer school can be extremely useful for fitting everything in. If you find yourself running out of space, I highly recommend using the summer to knock out gym, personal finance, and health credits. This can allow you to get head starts in electives that require semesters of prerequisites.

Talk to people who have taken the classes you want. If you identify as a Troy Bolton and find you want to do too many things, there are multiple ways to deal with this. The best way is to talk to people who take the classes you want. While a class might seem like something fun, interesting, or even necessary, people taking the class might have an entirely different opinion. As a younger student, it’s important to take advantage of the mistakes older students have made.

If you’re younger and concerned, you need to ask for more time. In January, the rising seniors get the most time with their counselor regarding their schedule. Each one is called in individually to talk about what their schedule is going to look like for their final year of high school. Rising sophomores and juniors do not get this same treatment. There will be a brief meeting, but there isn’t enough time to have a lengthy conversation about your schedule for the future. In this situation, it is entirely possible things will get overlooked in your earlier years. When January as a junior comes, you might realize that you forgot to take a certain class you need for graduation. This could mean cutting your favorite  class your senior year, or even unplanned summer school. If you want to avoid massive mistakes like this, schedule an appointment with your counselor early.