University Preregistration

Today was that time of year again: preregistering for courses from the coming year. Now, anyone from Queen’s will tell you that this can be a dreadful time, not only because you have to figure out what you courses you want to commit to for next school year, but also because of the outdated and awful QCARD system you must use in order to select courses.

QCARD is the Queen’s system for students to view their timetable, select courses, view marks, and generally carry out boring administrative stuff. (As opposed to the boring work that is school.) It’s generally considered by anyone with a brain to be horribly designed, difficult to use, and lacking a modern look. It surely does not inspire confidence in this institution after you have just plopped down quite a bit of cash to attend what some call, “The Harvard of the North”.

Like most other universities’ registration systems, it suffers from huge traffic and slowdowns right when the preregistration period begins. This causes headaches for the many students who must get into certain courses in order to fulfill their degree requirements and graduate; having your future dictated by the limitations of a computer system is about as pleasant as being audited.

In response to this, Queen’s developed a new preregistration system this time, creating the concept of “Time Tickets”. Basically, each student would be assigned a certain time that they could begin added courses, with precedence given to upper years. Thus, students entering fourth year would be given earlier starting times than those entering third, second, or first year. It sounded like a good idea, but as with anything from Queen’s, I reserved judgment until I saw it.

Preregistration rolls around

My time ticket was for June 28th at 3 pm; I signed on near this time and found the system to be free of slow downs. I was able to add all the courses I had planned to add, all without experiencing any of the previously-ubiquitous “THAT COURSE/SECTION IS FULL AND CANNOT BE ADDED” error messages that seem to always slap you back into reality. A few of my courses conflicted, specifically the complementary studies that every engineering student must take, but I think I should be able to work around it. (Complementary studies are “extra” courses that you are required to take, and they are all non-engineering related, which means the courses can’t be focused on math or science.)

So far, my timetable and course load is looking pretty tough, at least for the fall semester. I’m signed up for the following Electrical Engineering courses.

The top five are during the fall, and the lower three are for the winter semester. Additionally, I’m also taking MUSC 052, or “Musical Rudiments”, during the fall, and either ECON 112, ” Introductory Macroeconomics” or CLST 201, “Roman History” during the winter semester, as complementary studies. A project/design course, ELEC 490, also runs full year for me.

So, in short, it’s going to be a tough year, and I’m not really looking forward to it. I’d better get as much relaxing in this summer as is possible, seeing as how I won’t have much time for it once the school year starts.

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