Whether you’re a full-time or international student at HKU, you’ll know add-drop period is a roller coaster of emotions. Some semesters it’s more downs than ups, more sitting in front of a computer and tearing your hair out than actually going to lectures; other times you may get lucky and have even a relatively stress-free add-drop period. Regardless of what it was like for you the second semester of academic year 2015-16, you’ll probably be able to relate.
It’s two days till the end of add-drop period, nine days since you moved that course from your temporary list to your enrolment schedule, and HKU Portal has the nerve to tell you it’s still pending. Wow. Very helpful, HKU. If I find out it’s disapproved the morning of the last day of add-drop, I’ll have a full six hours before the system closes to find a new course to take, check that the content is at least mildly interesting and that it fits to my timetable. Not stressful at all.
Okay, I’ve emailed the faculty which offers the course, the teaching professor and all three teaching assistants. The TAs tell me to talk to the professor, the professor says it’s all down to the all-powerful faculty, and the faculty responds that they’re overloaded with requests and are doing all they can to accommodate everyone. I’ve run out of people to bombard and tears to cry – now to carry on my day and accept there’s nothing I can do to speed up the process.
Good God. Breath, but let’s look at the facts: This course is a pre-requisite of three courses I want to take next year. If I don’t get approved, I can’t take ABCD2004, ABCD2011 and ABCD2034. Or I’ll have to push everything back by a semester, which means I won’t graduate on time. Or I’ll have to pick a different major. Either way, my entire course plan, university career and life from here on out will henceforth be derailed.
Panicking won’t change anything. If I get disapproved, I’ll enrol in this course that’s still open. But wait – it seems that only two tutorial slots are still open – the Monday 8:30 and Thursday 1:30. There’s no way in hell I’m dragging my ass every Monday at the ungodly hour of 8:30, and joining the Thursday tutorial would clash with another course’s lecture, which means I’m back to square one. I give up. I don’t know anything anymore.
Wait. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Or have I actually been approved?! The faculty gods do not hate me after all! There is light and good and hope in this world again! The relief that comes with seeing that beautiful word – approved – is hard pressed to be paralleled with any other joys. YESSS. (Proceeds to take a day off school and skip all lectures because this overwhelming happiness is to much to handle)