Class Registration: A Horror Story

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor


It was a brisk day in April. Not a high school senior and not yet a college freshmen, 18-year-old Allison Borthwick scampered into a computer lab in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business to register for her very first semester of classes at Murray State. It was Summer Orientation and anything was possible.

I’m going to stop talking in third person now because it’s making me nauseous. I’m also going to stop writing this column like it’s a fairytale, because class registration is ANYTHING but; it’s a full-blown nightmare.

I’m typically a pretty oblivious person – not much has changed in three years. Put me, a deer in college’s headlights, in a new place, hand me a piece of paper with letters and numbers on it and tell me those are the classes I need to take? I’ll believe anything you say, esteemed college professor I just met. Point me to the nearest computer and I’ll register for these scary classes – no problem.

Problem. Nobody told me to be checking my Murray State email before said classes started in August. I didn’t even know what RacerMail was. So, when the Bursar’s Office kept sending me emails about my “unpaid bill” and its consequences, I remained blissfully unaware of the horror to come. Turns out, my mom was convinced she paid the bill, but forgot to click some obscure button on the online payment page.

Turns out, if you don’t pay your bill, Murray State purges your class schedule – a week before freshman move-in day.

I was still young and spry back then, so the news that I had to re-register for a bunch of classes I knew nothing about and which were mostly full by that point didn’t send me into cardiac arrest. However, every class registration since then I have had 911 on speed dial and a Life Alert bracelet strapped to my shaking wrist.

Because class registration week is where hope goes to die.

Who’s going to crash first – me or MyGate? Hint: it’s MyGate. It’s always MyGate. I don’t get the pleasure of crashing because every poor soul with a last name starting with A-L is trying to log in to MyGate at the same time because our graduation requirements aren’t going to fulfill themselves.

MyGate? More like MyHate, am I right?

But good news: after franticly reloading the page for 30 minutes, you finally get to successfully register for all the classes you and your adviser carefully selected!

Just kidding.

Need to take this one class that’s only offered in the spring semester? TOO BAD – it’s full and you’ll never be able to take it ever again … ever. This class looks like a fun elective and it’s on a topic you’re genuinely interested in? SUCKS TO BE YOU – you don’t have the seven (unnecessary) prerequisites for it. Ooh – here’s a class you need and it isn’t full yet! You’re OK with a seven-hour biology lecture on Saturdays, right? That’s a rhetorical question because LOL you don’t have a choice.

If you looked up “class registration” in a thesaurus, “gladiatorial combat” would be the first suggestion.

I just registered for my last semester of college classes and, needless to say, I couldn’t be happier.

1 Comment on "Class Registration: A Horror Story"

  1. This article is so funny but true. My daughter is just in her first semester of classes but she was quite overwhelmed by the "cattle call" that took place at summer O. She was expecting to sit down and talk one on one with her advisor and register for classes and that was the complete opposite of what happened. This experience has all been new to us as she is our first child to attend college. It would've been nice to have been more informed with move in, campus events and bookstore policies prior to arriving on campus rather than finding out after the fact. Instead I'm always having to surf the school's webpage to find out and have found on numerous occasions the information posted is incorrect. I'm assuming just not be updates from year to year. For example the tutoring hours posted on the webpage were incorrect and racer mania was posted as Nov 2nd in another link on the site. I think it would be great for them to establish an app with all events including organizations and information regarding MSU. I have seen an app available but it doesn't have this info either. My daughter missed out on the gold rush and winner circle membership at beginning of the year because we did not know about it.

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