My registration appointment was at 10AM last Thursday. At Brooklyn College (and all CUNY schools I would imagine) the closer you are to graduating, the earlier, or later you can register for classes. This is to make sure those who need a class can get into a class before they fill up. A Freshman, for example, would have their pick of classes, while a Senior would not.
I face another challenge. I have full time job in digital marketing. The only time I can take classes are during evenings and weekends a time when Brooklyn College has very limited class offerings. It's bad every semester but this one is particularly worse. I spent a few hours pouring over the 165 page schedule trying to decide what to take. It was slim pickings.
I was only gone two semesters but there was a big change while I was gone. Students now have to use CUNY First to register. A cumbersome, and very slow interface to say the very least.
I had reapplied for admission in September. Brooklyn College does not allow you to do much in person. You can't make an appointment with student aid in person, you have to make your appointment online. Brooklyn College won't take a credit card payment in person, you have to do it online. The only thing you can't do online is reapply. You have to print out a PDF, fill it out with ink, and hand the form in to the admissions office, IN PERSON. There is no confirmation number, no COMPUTER RECORD to prove that you reapplied. Just some flimsy sheet of paper, sitting in an inbox in someone's office, that could easily blow away with the opening of a door to fly under a desk to be later swept up by a janitor. Oh, and I had to pay $20 (Cash mind you) for this.
I waited months to hear back. I was assured that I would get an email eventually, but in late November, and knowing that registration for Spring Semester would be coming soon, I called the registration office.
But the woman on the phone wouldn't answer me. I had to give her an empelm id, which I could not get without registering with CUNY First, which had the most aggravating and horribly entry screen I have ever seen. I would post a screenshot of it, but the site is down right now, so I can't.
My registration appointment was December 5 @ 10am. But there are thousands of students trying to register at once and the servers can't handle the load. Something that should have taken me 10 minutes ended up taking 90 minutes. At one point I called the registration office and I was told that coming into registration doesn't always help, because they use the same system as well.
I was afraid that my classes that I had painstakenly selected would be full before I could register. But after 90 minutes of angst and screaming into the phone that sent one of my co-workers running to my desk to make sure I was okay, I registered for my classes.
The experience prompted me to google "CUNY First Sucks" and I found this blog post.