It recently dawned on me that I have made it through nearly two months of study abroad blogging without mentioning academics.
I’ve had my reasons, first and foremost being that registration at Trinity is an unholy pain from which I’m still recovering. I thought I was prepared for it, having been thoroughly warned by IES officials and Wash U advisors, usually with the optimistic spin that “It’s not like the US, but you came here to experience new things!”
The “new thing” in this case was having a physical sheet of paper to turn in, rather than an online form to complete. It also meant spending two weeks trotting from department to department trying to figure out which classes were still available, finding a course listing on two different websites and two separate sheets of paper with four different schedules, hunting down executive officers to badger for signatures, and explaining my situation to administrators who listened very kindly before referring me to three other people.
Every evening, my roommates and I collapsed onto the couch and compared notes.
“I turned my schedule in to the registrar’s office, but they said they need a week to enter it.”
“My professor finally believes that I’m supposed to be in his class, but I still don’t have Blackboard access to any of the readings.”
“They changed the time and location of my class, and the only notice they gave was scribbling it on the schedule in the office in red pen.”
It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. If you take it too seriously, you will subside into a heap of tears and rage, convinced that Trinity itself is rejecting you like an unwanted organ. Instead, accept the creakiness of the system and realize that everyone (students, faculty, staff) openly loathes it, so you’re in good company.
Eventually, the dust will settle. Your Blackboard account will grow steadily more functional, you will begin to have faith in the reliability of your schedule, and your name will one day show up on the class roster. Until then, take a deep breath, don’t be shy about asking for help, and don’t panic.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Bea Gantzer, and I am a junior English major at Washington University in St. Louis. I'm a distance runner, baker, and Minnesotan. This will be my first time out of the United States, and I look forward to experiencing a new culture, soaking up Dublin's rich history, and getting little-kid excited over seeing buildings older than the U.S. itself.</span></p>