Ming DeMers/Sun Staff Photographer

Seniors participated in their last pre-enroll at Cornell, reflecting on their academic journeys at the school.

November 9, 2022

Priority Pre-Enrollment Brings Bittersweet Closure to Seniors’ Final Semester

Print More

While every pre-enrollment period can be stressful for Cornell students, many seniors graduating next spring found the process effortless and exciting.

Pre-enrollment allows students to register for the following semester’s classes months in advance. Each class year is assigned a three-day period in which they can enroll in classes and adjust their schedule. 

The first undergraduate enrollment period is usually allotted to seniors, followed by juniors, sophomores and first-year students. Priority enrollment allows seniors to secure spots in the classes needed to fulfill their graduation requirements and those that appeal to their personal interests. This year, pre-enrollment for seniors took place from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4.

Nika Colley ’23 is double majoring in animal science and environment and sustainability. She found the enrollment process much easier than in her first year at Cornell.

“I knew exactly what [classes] I needed and had friends who recommended the best classes when I had to make choices,” Colley said. “I also got all of the classes I wanted during pre-enroll, which never happened in my [first year].”

Some seniors, like Cullen O’Hara ’23, find that they have more flexibility regarding their course load compared to earlier semesters that prioritized the fulfillment of major requirements. 

“As a senior, I now know what I want to take and am much more excited about enrolling for classes and finding what is interesting,” O’Hara said.

For his final semester, O’Hara specifically chose classes that would expand his political and philosophical perspective.

“[The] two classes I am most excited about [are] GOVT 4021: American Conservative Thought with Professor Bensel [because I am] looking to hear some differing viewpoints among the faculty [and] PHIL 4570: Chinese Philosophy with Professor Lin [because] I want to have a stronger background in some non-western thought,” said O’Hara.

Like O’Hara, Chris Yeung ’23 was able to choose classes that fulfilled the requirements for his communication major and leadership, media studies and education minors, while also taking classes relating to his personal identity.

“One class I am taking next semester is COMM 4292: Sexual Identities and the Media,” Yeung wrote in a statement to the Sun. “I chose this class because it is the final class I need to complete the Communication major, and it is an important topic of interest to me as someone who is part of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Samantha Krevolin ’23 explained that she also enjoyed choosing from a larger selection of classes.

“I also think I was able to consider a wider variety of classes since I can take upper-level ones, which freshmen cannot always do,” Krevolin said.

For her final semester, Krevolin selected classes that she has been wanting to enroll in throughout her time at Cornell.

“I enrolled in COMM 4360: Communication Networks and Social Capital [because] my advisor teaches it and I’ve always wanted to take one of his courses,” said Krevolin. “I also enrolled in HD 3620: Human Bonding, as I was told this was a must-take class before I graduate.”

Some seniors also found that they have clearer academic goals than when they were first-years.

Emily St. John ’23 is majoring in biological sciences with minors in nutrition and health and health equity.

“I always planned to study biology in college, yet I picked up my two minors based on interests sparked by the classes I took,” St. John said.

Similarly, Yeung never anticipated that he would graduate with three minors when he was a first-year student.

“I did not know [my minors] existed [as a first-year] and did not plan on minoring in anything,” Yeung said. “I heard about the leadership and media studies minors from the peer-mentorship program I was part of during my first year. I picked up the education minor at the end of my sophomore year after realizing I loved working with kids and teaching.”

Seniors also anticipate making the most of Cornell’s opportunities outside of the classroom.

Lauren Pappas ’23, communications, who serves as the vice president of the Communications Student Advisory Board and co-chair of the Senior Class Campaign, found campus involvement more rewarding as a senior.

“[As a senior], people actually look up to you, you see the school in a whole new light too – as if you really just want to give back to it because it has given you so much over the years,” Pappas said. “I am excited to experience all of the fun traditions Cornell seniors have, wrap up my time in academia, and see what my next chapter is in terms of a job.”

St. John was especially excited about the free time she would have throughout her first semester without varsity athletics.

“My friends and I are already planning excursions into Ithaca and the surrounding areas that we haven’t had time to explore because of the demand of playing college soccer,” St. John said. “We want to spend as much time together as possible and take advantage of Ithaca.”

O’Hara said that entering his final semester feels unreal.

“I still feel like I’m going to be here forever, and I’m loving every minute of it,” O’Hara said. “Cornell is so easy to love, and there are so many things to engage in that I don’t have to worry about what’s next.”

Similarly, the transition is bittersweet for Colley.

“I feel like I will have a hard time getting ready to say goodbye to my friends, the safety of the college experience, and Ithaca, but I also feel ready to move on and have a little less stress that comes with juggling all of the things that students do at Cornell,” Colley said.