07/18/2012 06:09 pm ET | Updated Sep 17, 2012

Getting the Classes You Want

Registration for the fall semester just opened back up on July 16 here at Florida State University. Like most of you out there, I have been obsessively checking course offerings, section openings, and degree requirements hoping to emerge with my dream schedule. All of the stress, advisor visits, and viewings I have endured in the last few days have inspired me to put together a few tips to help others avoid these pains. Hopefully following these guidelines will help reduce stress and get you into those coveted courses.

Check constantly

It seems so obvious and easy, and that's because it is. But it can be the key to getting into that desired class. I have been trying to get a better time for my senior seminar since registration opened last spring. I have checked every few hours since registration re-opened, and I finally snagged a spot late night on the second day of registration, after refreshing about five times. People are dropping and adding classes constantly, just like you. You never know when a spot will open for their perfect class, leaving you a spot in yours.

Join Facebook groups

The Florida State University on Facebook has multiple groups for students to join, based on their major, minor, interests, etc. People with similar majors or interests will likely be taking the same classes as you, so pleading your case or offering a trade on these pages can reap surprising benefits. There are even class trading groups, which would obviously be a fantastic option to explore.

Contact the professor

If there is one specific class you desperately want or need, you can always get in touch with the professor and let them know you're interested. You can shoot them an e-mail or visit their office hours. Sometimes they are able to go over the cap, especially if you have special circumstances. If they can't do anything about the cap, they can at least put you on a waiting list in case there are any drops. I visited a professor during the fall for a class I needed in the spring, and he had me written down first, so when students did not show up on the first day, he immediately added me.

Show up on the first day

There is a first-day attendance policy for a reason, and people will be dropped if they don't show up. If you are sitting in that classroom after that professor has removed those names from the roll, most of the time they will be more than happy to give you a spot.

Don't bother your advisor

Advisors are there to tell what you should and shouldn't take, and for the most part they are fabulous at it. What they cannot do is make spots for you in a full class. They can try to contact the professor for you, but you'd be better off showing the initiative and doing it yourself.

Hopefully with these suggestions, finding classes will be less of a nail-biter and more of a breeze. It's doubtful that this experience will ever be fun or stress-free, but at least now it's more likely you will get the end result you want.