UC Berkeley enrollment tips for greater happiness and success

Class Enrollment
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When it comes to enrolling in classes, you may feel stressed about getting the ones you want next semester. It seems like classes are always snatched from you, and you end up eternally on a waitlist. Or worse yet, you end up enrolled in classes you don’t need to take or don’t enjoy.

Though enrollment can be stressful, take a step back and breathe! There are plenty of ways to end up with classes that work for your schedule, even if your Phase 1 enrollment doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d hoped. Check out these tips to ease your enrollment anxiety and hopefully get the classes you want.

Don’t be scared of waitlists

It can be really frustrating to be put on a waitlist, but don’t give up on a class just because it’s full. After Phase 1, there are a ton of schedule changes. Sometimes, during or right before Phase 2, people will move off the waitlist because they realize they don’t want to take the class or it doesn’t work with their schedule. Obviously, there’s no guarantee of this happening, but in general, give waitlists a chance. Especially for spring 2021, many people are enrolling in classes but considering withdrawal to take a gap year. This population may be the boost you need to get off the waitlist!

Be OK with not getting your major classes and use breadth requirements 

We know what you’re thinking. Worst advice ever. But seriously, don’t get set on taking every one of the classes you need for your major. It’s actually very common not to get in classes that you need for your major (especially prerequisite classes that many students need). While that fact doesn’t sound good, take comfort in knowing that many people who don’t manage to get in their lab or major requirement do end up taking the class eventually and do end up graduating. We promise this one class is not the end of your college career. That being said, if you end up with a gap in your schedule because a class you were counting on is full, take a breadth requirement class! You have to take these requirements eventually, and using them as schedule fillers is a great way to have a productive schedule even if you didn’t enroll in your desired class.

Don’t obsess over your enrollment time

Seriously, we could not emphasize this one more. Sometimes you’re going to have an earlier enrollment time, and sometimes you’re going to have a later one. Maybe your friend has enrolled after you every year, but they are enrolling the day before you this year. It’s not a mistake or a glitch, and it didn’t happen because you briefly had a hold on your account or because your transfer units aren’t counting yet. Though enrollment appointments are determined by how many semesters you’ve completed at UC Berkeley, actual dates and times are randomly generated within that time frame. Rather than agonizing over why your enrollment is later or earlier this year, accept it for what it is and do the best you can with classes that are open when you’re enrolling.

Take advantage of Phase 2 and the adjustment period

Don’t ignore the opportunities you have to make schedule changes. Many classes open reserved seats to everyone during the adjustment period, which may open up a seat for you. Some classes aren’t even available or viewable on the Academic Guide until Phase 2. If you enrolled in all your classes during Phase 1 but still feel a little unhappy with your schedule, take a look during Phase 2. If you’re really determined to take a class, try reaching out to the professor for a Zoom link in case you get off the waitlist!

Watch out for time conflicts

If you’re trying to add a class that takes place at the same time as another class you’re enrolled in, don’t assume you can take the class even if the lectures are recorded. The classes may have finals or midterms at the same time, and professors have no obligation to make an exception for you. If you’re really determined, reach out to the professor or department adviser for each class to ask if time conflict enrollment is allowed.

Even though picking classes can be stressful and disappointing, don’t give up hope. Almost every student at this school has felt what you’re feeling. At the very least, take comfort in knowing that every year, your enrollment appointment moves a little earlier, making your enrollment potentially super smooth by the time you’re a senior. Take advantage of resources such as your college or major advising hours, and learn to be OK with not getting what you hoped for. Good luck with your enrollment!

Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].