English and Literature
Submitted By roneller
Ronelle Professor Benas
September 23, 2014 Registration Frustration On July 13, I decided to return to Merced College after not attending school for some time. Going back to school was a big decision that I thought about for the last two semesters. I always seem to have a lot going on and it was just something that crossed through my mind from time to time. I never imagined I could find a way to make it happen until the day I decided that I needed to go back to college. Upon enrolling in school, I have experienced college-related stress while registering, financing my education, and enrolling in classes.
In the summer of 2014, I was looking at the college website attempting to figure out the process for registering at Merced College. While looking at the website, I could not find the assessment testing schedule. I knew previously I had seen the schedule online, but I couldn’t find it this time. It was a mistake to assume that the college was not offering assessment testing during the summer. A professor from Merced College checked into the motel where I work. She stated she needed time away from home to grade papers. I started to talk to her and mentioned to her I wanted to attend college, but I could not find the assessment dates. She advised me to start the registration process then go to the college and I could find out the dates from there. She then encouraged me by saying I was making an excellent decision to return to school and wished me the best of luck. That night I registered for Merced College through the website. I was notified upon completion I would receive three emails however, I only received the first email. The following day I ended up calling the college and told them about what was going on. They were able to give me my student ID number and my login information. I went online and completed the orientation required without problems. The next step was to take the assessment test.
Walking onto the college campus for the first time in 15 years, I was shocked about how much it had changed. I wasn’t sure what to do or where to go. I asked many students for help and I realized that the other students were very helpful. The students were happy to help me and I was grateful for their help. I assumed everyone was in this position before. I quickly made my way over to the assessment center, where I walked up to a table where a college employee stood. She quickly took my identification and sent me to a computer to take this assessment test for reading, writing, and math. I saw a bunch of computers in the room. The last row of computers had five students taking the assessment test and the college employee told me to sit in the next row over. The test was very frustrating because it was hard to concentrate on my assessment. Two out of the four of the staff members sitting at the front desk were being disruptive. It got to the stage where I was only putting in answers because I could not comprehend what I was reading with all the distractions. Once the test was over, I had a headache from concentrating so hard.
My next appointment was in the same room as the assessment testing and it was for planning my schedule. I looked at all the different classes available, but I didn’t make any decisions. A college employee came to help me and had informed me that it shows I did not do the orientation. I explained to her I did do the orientation the previous night and that registration stated it would take 24 hours for it to update. She told me that I should be okay. I was then sent to the Lesher building where all the registration took place and was told to go upstairs to speak with a counselor. There are three floors in the Lesher building: The ground level, the second floor, and the third floor. I was told to go to the second floor where Registration, EOPS, and the Guidance Counselors was located. When I arrived on the second floor, there were about then 30 people waiting ahead of me. I had asked the person working at the counter if all these people were here for a counselor. She confirmed they were and to have a seat. Because it was too busy, I asked if I could come back at a later date. She confirmed to me it was probably best to come back in the morning.
The next morning I arrive at 7:45 am to meet with an academic advisor. I thought to myself this should be quick and easy. I learned I should not assume too quickly. I met with a counselor, whom I thought was great, until she told me she did not have time to help me. I was bothered by this for two reasons: First, I wondered what she was doing as a counselor if she did not have time to help me, and secondly, did she do this to everyone? So without the aid of a counselor, I decided to do the registration myself and find classes around my schedule. When I found classes that fit my schedule and finished with registration, it was time to deal with the financial part of the school.
Financial Aid and EOPS (Extended Opportunity Programs and Services) were the two programs that I needed help with. I ran into roadblocks trying to obtain assistance with both programs. There were times I just wanted to give up and stop because I wasn’t sure I could handle the hassle of getting ready for school. I had attended the University of Phoenix a few years ago, but I had dropped out before a new set of classes had started. I soon realized attending that school was a big mistake because it is now haunting me at Merced College. The University of Phoenix says I owe them $1600.00 and I need to pay this amount in order to get my official transcripts. Financial Aid is awaiting the transcripts from University of Phoenix to approve my financial aid. My next appointment was at EOPS with a guidance counselor named Isabel. She was very helpful. She helped me with an academic plan. When she finished with my academic plan, she informed me to go over to the EOPS front desk so they can make me an appointment with the bookstore. Once I was up there, I felt that I received the runaround about my transcripts. I didn’t know what to do that I just wanted to cry. I left feeling so discouraged from the college, and I was so ready to give up on everything. I received a phone call from EOPS stating that they wanted me to have a meeting with Mr. Cordova. Mr. Cardova is the director of EOPS which means he could override the decision of my transcripts being present. I felt overwhelmed, but finally, I felt that there was hope. The next day I went back down to the EOPS office where I met with the director Mr. Cordova. He took me back to his office, and while looking around his office, I noticed that he had papers everywhere. This showed he was a very busy man and made me happy to know he took the time out of his day to talk with me about my situation. He listened to my story for over an hour. He seemed to have felt sorry for me. Mr. Cardova overrode my transcripts and I was able to receive help with my books after he sent me to talk to financial aid. Thankfully this was still in the Leasher building because I just had to go upstairs to the third floor and I’m right there. He informed me if I could not get any help to come back down and he will see what he can do to assist me. Here I was standing at the financial aid office for over one hour to talk to someone, who had finally agreed to fund me for this semester but again stated I needed my transcripts for next semester. Without the transcripts, I would not receive any funds for next semester. This process had me very overwhelmed.
Finally, I registered for school and was put on a waiting list for my English 85. My EOPS counselor Isabel skipped me up one class because, of my assessment test scores. She felt that I could handle the higher class. At that point, I realized I am now number 10 on the waiting list for this English class. Everyone I know told me not to worry about it that I will get signed into the class. I was still worried each time someone came in the class or someone came in late. I just knew I was the last one on the waiting list, but I also knew I needed this class in order to take most of my other classes. For the first three days, I sat in that class wondering and worrying to myself if I was going to get into this class. I wanted to go buy the book, but then if I bought it and were not accepted into the class I would have lost the money I spent. By the third day of class, I was signed on, and my stress had been released.
I have come to the conclusion when it comes to registering for college, a person may have more success and less stress if they start a few months ahead of time rather than to start the month before school. All the different steps to becoming registered and to get financial assistance can be very stressful and cause many headaches. In addition, that person needs to make sure that they get a counselor who is willing to help you succeed. Had the first guidance counselor helped me with skipping to English 85, I would not have been so high on the waiting list which would have brought me less stress. I was lucky that Isabell my counselor at EOPS made it possible to skip a class and get me registered on a waiting list why there was still room available. I know if I had started this process earlier, I would not have been so stressed out, and things would have gone smoother. I have learned from my mistakes when it comes to registering for school.