An Uneasy Start

A well-planned schedule will allow a student’s semester go smoothly and accomplishing everything needed on time. However, this did not happen to me at the beginning of my first semester at UC Berkeley.
There were two phases for Cal students to sign up for classes, Telebears Phase 1 and Phase 2, and the first phase for freshman happened during new student orientation, CalSO. Before the student orientation, there were assignments for students to research for classes that satisfy requirements for their intended majors, individual colleges, and the university, and make up a list of classes they want to take. I felt excited at first, feeling that I was finally entering college with a diversity of classes to choose from. After a long research, I chose Theater R1A (Reading and Composition course that is required by the College of Letter and Science), Math 10A, Chem 1A/1AL, Psych 2, and a seminar. As an ignorant freshman, I signed up for my chemistry and math class during phase 1 without considering the class size limitation for other smaller classes, making any back-up plans, and doing enough research on classes, which then led to a total disaster at the beginning of the new semester.
The reading and composition course that I signed up for was already full because there were only 17 spots in the class. I also dropped Psych 2 for I found out that it would not fulfill the requirements for any upper-division psychology courses, which I was interested in. I dropped out the seminar once I found out that there were prerequisites for the class. Without these classes, I became a part-time student.
I felt panic and anxious. I went over the course searcher over and over again looking for courses that would satisfy any of the college or major requirements. In such a big school as UC Berkeley, it was almost impossible for one to find desired classes once the semester started because almost all classes were already full, leaving the less interesting and demanding courses the only ones open. I tried out different classes, modifying my schedule repeatedly, and finally got enrolled in an American Culture course (satisfied University requirement) that I was originally on the waitlist.
My schedule was finally complete, and I learned an important lesson in the hard way: it is essential to sign up for classes with less spots, make back-up plans, and have complete understanding on classes you are choosing. Now, it is already time to sign up for classes for next semester, and I have applied these techniques to class enrollments. I hope it will work out fine this time.