Today 42 new Lincoln Memorial University students visited campus for New Student Registration (NSR). They came with parents and family for the next step in their journey to college. The LMU Admissions team hosts several of these events throughout the summer to prepare for the start of the fall semester and the influx of roughly 600 new students.
What exactly happens at New Student Registration, and why is it important for you to attend if you are new student? Quite simply, NSR is when the groundwork of your first year of college, and possibly all four years, will be laid. During this day-long event you’ll hear multiple presentations about student activities, residence life and student success. But make no mistake; the most important thing that will happen at NSR will be your advising and registration session.
During this time you will meet with a faculty advisor within your major. They will ask you several questions about your career and educational goals and help draw you a road map to meet them. You’ll have a list of required courses and electives that will make up your degree. The next step is to put together the puzzle of how to balance your course load on your way to your degree program. It is not as simple as high school may have been, when your guidance counselor scheduled your classes and then checked and double checked to make sure you had all the requirements for graduation. The classes you took in high school were available on a regular schedule, so if you missed chemistry as a junior you could still pick it up as a senior. In college there are a lot more options and a lot more forces influencing the availability of a course.
Let me share a personal anecdote on the topic of course selection and scheduling. I went to a private Catholic liberal arts college and one of the core/general education requirements was a three-class/9 credit hour cluster of sociology or psychology courses. I had no problem scheduling the first two classes in the cluster but put off the third until the first semester of my senior year because that was when they were offering a sports psychology class as an elective. I was excited about the class when I registered on my way out of town the last semester of my junior year. So you can imagine my surprise when I went to buy my books when I got back to campus that fall and instead of Psychology of Sports the title on my schedule appeared as the Psychology of Human Sex. While I was working my summer away, the faculty of the psychology department changed and the professor who was teaching the sports course left. The new faculty member got to pick her elective based on her area of research. And because I was a senior I couldn’t opt out of the course without delaying my graduation.
Now, it was a fascinating course and I fulfilled that requirement and graduated on time, but I never would have picked that course title out on my own. So keep an open mind and be flexible, but also it is important to not procrastinate with the requirements that are outside your major.
Another thing to keep in mind while attending your NSR is the schedule you set in your first semester will color your first experiences at LMU and shape your overall college experience. If you overload yourself with tough classes, you may struggle and wonder if college was the right path for you. Conversely, if you take a lot of less challenging classes you may find yourself lulled into a false sense of brain drain. Like most things in life, the key is balance. Listen to your advisor but don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something that you are not sure about.
If you are a newly minted high school graduate maybe you are looking forward to one more summer of fun before packing up and heading off to college, or maybe you are working hard to save the money that will fund your higher education. Either way it would be easy to say ‘I don’t need to attend NSR until the semester is closer,’ or ‘I’ll just go to the next one.’ Classes fill up quickly, especially the ones not scheduled at 8 a.m. If you truly want to control your own destiny in terms of class schedule, the earlier you register the better. Nobody wants the 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday class when there is a 10 a.m. option; so the early bird will get the worm, or in this case the later class.
If you haven’t attended a NSR, there are still three more opportunities. There will be two in July, on the 11th and 25th and the final one will take place on Friday, August 15, 2014, just before the start of the semester on August 18. You can register to attend by visiting www.LMUnet.edu/admissions and selecting the events calendar.