Five Tips to Mastering Drop/Add

Now that your celebratory winter season gift exchange event is over and 2010 is but a memory, it is time to get back into the swing of things here at PSU.  With so many courses to take and so little interest in any of them, what is a student to do? Luckily, the beginning of the semester starts with that magical time known as the drop/add period. Basically, you can drop and add classes without penalty. It’s like trying on shoes except the shoes are credits and they cost thousands of dollars. Still, don’t let that stop you from aimlessly meandering through various Gen Eds and electives. To help you, here are five hints to really get the most out of drop/add.

1. When in doubt, take the easy way out.
Obviously, the first thing to remember when deciding between classes is to figure out which ones will allow for the most time for alcohol drinking, video game playing, or engaging in a statewide crime spree. Keyphrases to look for include “no midterm/final” “there will be films shown throughout the semester” or “Welcome to BI SC 001, 002, or 004.” Having no required book of any kind should cement that class into your schedule.

2. Find a professor that works for you
These next two weeks will let you really shop around for that “cool professor.” Sometimes you really have to dig through multiple sections of the same class to get the right one. Take the opportunity to find that professor that matches your needs, whether friendliness, a second job that will make them cancel class frequently, usage of hip young lingo, proper beard grooming, or resemblance to Christopher Walken. It’s just like dating: give them one hour to win you over before deciding on that one you’ll stick with for a couple months.

3. Stockpile Syllabi
While you’re out sampling all of these classes, make sure to grab syllabi every chance you get. If you miss the first class, most professors will give you one if you ask since they’ll have a ton of extras from those inconsiderate jerks that dropped the class. Most classes have syllabi online so don’t feel as if actually walking anywhere is required to get one. Once the stack is assembled, peruse the paperwork for expensive books or multiple page reports and throw those out immediately. The rest will make it much easier to compare and contrast the courses.

4. In the arms of an ANGEL
While ANGEL frequently shifts from “mild annoyance” to “Ke$ha” on the Bad Experience Spectrum, much can be said for online notes and project due dates. A professor/TA refusing to put either of these two things on ANGEL pretty much equals an automatic drop in my book. You’d hate to find out this bad news the day before the exam so pop on in during the early weeks to figure out if you’ll have to battle this particular dragon down the line.

5. I’m on the list!
If you already know which class you really, really want but it mocks you with its lack of open spots, you have the watch list. All you need to do is swagger on over to eLion and punch those course schedule digits from the registrar in there. Finally, pick which of your contact options you want eLion to spam with notifications and you’re good to go. You can put as many classes as you want in there so go crazy with the copying and the pasting. There’s a pretty good chance some dudes in the classes you want are reading these tips right now and will exit stage left and cause an opening for you to thrust yourself into.

Happy Scheduling!

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About the Author

John Dempsey

John is a Junior majoring in Journalism from Hazleton, PA. He is so awesome that sharks dedicate a week to him. Likes: Video games, vigilante justice, irony, talking bears, Burt Reynolds, El Chupacabra, coloring books, chainsaws, and Australians. Dislikes: Zombies, clowns, zombie clowns, turtleneck sweaters, Apple, poor mustache grooming, nuclear winter, Roman architecture, guacamole, robots, LCD TVs, the color yellow, Velcro, ceiling fans, sprinklers, tornadoes, Belgians, squat thrusts, and romantic comedies.

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