At exactly 3:04 p.m. on March 25, I raced to my laptop, logged on to GUXpress, and methodically hit “Register” for each of my classes. As my finger quivered over the “Submit” button, I thought to myself, “Finally! My schedule for next year is going to be so awesome! I’ll have no classes on Fridays!” My joy was quelled once a new window popped up bearing the harsh, unfeeling text: maximum availability. Darn! Foiled again! Looks like my Fridays will be occupied by an 8 a.m. biology lecture.

Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one who got locked out of an important class. Many Gannon students lament about the hardships of scheduling week. It seems to always follow a similar pattern. We spend hours flipping through the overwhelming course catalog, meticulously planning our perfect schedules for the following semester. Then, after approval from our advisers, we anxiously await our registration time. Even though we scrupulously check the availability of our classes for hours before our registration time, once the moment for registration comes, we inevitably get closed out of one or two lectures. Following a brief mumbling of profanities, we reluctantly begin the whole process again. Alas, one of the many plights of the college student.

Perhaps there is a way to avoid the dreaded “maximum availability” message. A possible solution might be to follow the Boy Scouts’ motto of “Be prepared” – create an alternate schedule. This way, if you get closed out of Schedule A, you can still fall back on Schedule B. You save yourself a lot of hassle if you make a backup schedule. It’s also a good idea to frequently check the availability of your classes an hour before your registration time. This way you can see which classes are filling up and can try to locate an alternate class. If you do end up closed out of a lecture – you poor, unfortunate soul – you can always try to beg your way into a class. Professors who are sympathetic and hold a “the more the merrier” attitude might squeeze you in.

Be prepared, and you won’t wind up like me and countless Gannon students who were in a scheduling jam. I wish you all a schedule free of night labs and 8 a.m. lectures, with ample time for afternoon napping. Best of luck and happy scheduling!