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Back from Bama Bound

beth's mombeth's mom Registered User Posts: 3,366 Senior Member
edited June 2012 in University of Alabama
D and I just got back from Bama Bound, and it was overall a great experience. We both had fun and learned a lot (well, she learned and I got confirmation of what I already know from this forum) and she's incredibly excited to be going back in August. I was underwhelmed by the advising, but D ended up with a schedule she's happy with and at this point feels no need to tweak over the summer. Not all of her times are ideal - they're a bit later in the day than she wanted - she has only one class (a 1 credit class one day a week) prior to noon, but she was choosing based on professors and she got the professors she wanted. We were very worried about registration and classes not being available and the few seats that were released being taken before she could get them, but ended up being pleasantly surprised. I think registering as soon as the holds were lifted, rather than when all of the students were taken into the computer lab for registration, helped. Anyway, I hope everyone who is at Bama Bound or is going soon has as good a time as we did.
Post edited by beth's mom on

Replies to: Back from Bama Bound

  • malanaimalanai Registered User Posts: 2,161 Senior Member
    Getting through that first registration can be a rite of passage. Glad y'all navigated your way without undue drama. Let the good times begin!
  • casinoexeccasinoexec - Posts: 320 Member
    Glad to hear you had a successful trip and that your daughter is excited to get started at UA!!

    And though she might not feel the need, it can never hurt to look during the upcoming sessions to possibly get better times if she so desires. But to me nothing before noon sounds like Heaven :-)

    Roll Tide!!
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    Yep, I can document a few additional comments from May 29-30 Honors BB session, from an eng'g perspective.
    YES, the advising is underwhelming. There are not 'several opportunities' to meet/talk w/ advisor, as I had been led to believe. Also, not one of the Avanti students who led the smaller groups was an engineering student themselves (from what I could tell) - they were all communications majors and various other majors, so this was somewhat disappointing. Arts & Sci and other students will probably get more info out of their student guides than Eng'g students will. This is not a problem - just want to be clear that there are not a lot of engineering types around to talk to, so you are not disappointed.

    The Eng'g college has hired 4 BRAND NEW academic advisors (yeah!), and they are very helpful, BUT, in some cases, parents (and students) who have delved into this forum and have done a substantial amount of pre-reg homework will find them 'underwhelming' (to use BethMom's phrase). Over time, I am 100% certain that they will be critical to the success of first year engineering students, so this change in the way Eng'g students are advised is in flux at the moment. They will get more and more knowledgeable and more and more helpful, I am positive of this!

    At our particular BB session, the Eng'g students represented about 1/2 of the students there, so ~120-150? Do NOT expect a lot of 1-on-1 academic advising. BB was a GREAT (!) time for these kids to get together and meet each other, but it appeared to me that advising took a back seat. Not sure if that was by design, or if they were under-resourced for all of these students or what....

    Whoever said that this was a P-R-O-C-E-S-S was 100% correct. Those who have done their homework -either delving very deeply into this forum, or getting personal help on their own prior to BB - will have the better experiences. It is difficult to be convinced that everything will work out...but it will...for those of you who are still having a tough time with scheduling and so forth.

    I was MOST impressed w/ David Coardes (sp?) - once the Eng'g parents and students (at the end of Day 1) split off from the big group and completely filled the UA Theater in Ferg Center, it became apparent that UA was no longer 'selling' itself to all of us: we were finally here. His comments and suggestions were VERY HELPFUL. The 'advising' after that group session was very lame, however. It was a free-for-all, with anyone with questions asked to approach 1 of the 4 advisors (which were standing down near the stage) - it was difficult to move in the theater due to seats/aisles, so this was not well thought out. While we got our questions answered (so why am I complaining?!), it could have been planned better and with better organisation. Because there are so many Eng'g students, it would have been beneficial to have each advisor (they are broken down alphabetically) take his/her small group of students away somewhere so everyone heard every question...OR, break them up by eng'g discipline would be another way to organise the chaos of advising ~150 students at once!

    My comments are aimed at IMPROVING things, not a blanket criticism of BB or UA. Hopefully, also, my comments are aimed at helping folks attending future BB sessions to be prepared.

    Staying in the dorms was great - met tons of nice parents and was wonderful to share experiences with them - I can highly recommend this experience over a hotel. It is bare bones, tho - there is NOTHING in the dorm room, so you forget about how to drink water (no cup!) or slice some fruit (no knife!), etc. Re-read other threads about what to bring to BB - that would help you.

    Overall, great time; son is so happy (!) - and isn't that the main thing?! :) PM me if you want specific info on anything related to Eng'g or Aero. Remember to take Eng'g 142, EN 103, and upper Calc's, if you qualify. Good luck, everyone!
  • slippy2000slippy2000 Registered User Posts: 546 Member
    Somebody tell me exactly when during BB the holds get lifted. If I wanted to jump on some classes before my son gets taken to the computers, when during the BB process would I first be able to do that?
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    And, an additional note: for Eng'g, anyway, NO CELL PHONES were allowed during the registration process, so do NOT expect to be in contact w/ your son/daughter while they are registering.

    Slippy (and others): the kids are taken in small groups (for Eng'g this was a very LARGE group!) by college, to a specific computer lab to register. At 9.15 am, they were given some specific tips/hints on how to register - they are walked through how to add/drop, etc....At ~10.15, they actually register themselves. The lifting of the holds is really a 2-step process: the student's hold is lifted...and then seats/sessions are lifted later. So, you might go on at 9 or so, and be able to get into the student's account...but the seats have not been lifted (or that's how it became apparent to me), and all the classes appear still full. DO NOT PANIC AT 9 AM!!!! (or even at 9.30 am!)

    I can highly recommend that you do not do the registration for your son/daughter without them being with you (i.e. do not send them away and you do it all for them). There is a reason they do not want parents involved, and did not allow cell phones in the registration rooms. This 1st semester process is the hardest for everyone.

    For Eng'G, anyway, I am 100% confident that students get seats in every class they need (notice I did not say 'want'). For other colleges/majors, your student will need to have a couple (or even several) alternative courses that they can take, because your majors are perhaps not as specific and 'tailored' to a track as engineering is. Eng'g registration is (looking back) a piece of cake, and I am ashamed that I was so stressed about it for my son.

    Also, want to add that I was told that Honors College students get priority registration (in the future) over ANY other students on campus, so truly - TRULY! - this 1st semester reg process is the hardest and most nerve wracking. It will NEVER be this stressful again.
  • mombama2012mombama2012 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    It appeared to me that the UH and English classes were the last ones to lift holds on seats. They opened up after Chemistry, math and others.
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    Yes, ditto on this comment: it is important to keep trying throughout the time you're given to register, to try entering CRS's again and again. This is because the different departments do not release at the same time. DO NOT PANIC! Honest...it will all work out. Stick to your original plan of what you need 1st, 2nd, 3rd. What you need 1st will not necessarily be the 1st section to 'release', and it is hard to wait, but wait you must!
  • slippy2000slippy2000 Registered User Posts: 546 Member
    Thanks, aeromom. This is comforting.
  • Dad2ILDDad2ILD Registered User Posts: 612 Member
    ^^^ I would concur with all those that have counseled that parents should allow the students to work through this process at BB on their own, and not try to circumvent the rules, etc. Remembering a year back, it was VERY frustrating sitting in the upper deck at the Culverhouse sessions and not being able to "advise" or help our daughter. She came out with questions and marched across the quad to meet with Dr. Sharpe to get his opinion, and he advised her to make 2 or 3 changes, which she did and ultimately arrived at he best schedule herself by playing with degreeworks over the next 10 days or so to shuffle class sections / times, etc. You can be sure that seats DO in fact open up in most sections. For those students like my D who came in with significant AP credits (30+) many of the Core Requirements were already satisfied, so it forced her to be creative. This is HARD, but they WILL get through it, and I would recommend allowing them to do it themselves. After my D's first year she is now squarely into her upper division classes and she maintains a spreadsheet of how her classes need to be taken and in what order to fill all 8 semesters ... she certainly has no need for us any longer in that regard! She's on schedule to attain her Masters in 4 years, and it has nothing to do with any advice we could have provided her at BB. :-) Good Luck and Roll Tide!!!
  • randomparentrandomparent Registered User Posts: 440 Member
    I agree with not circumventing the rules, and I also think that each parent knows their student the best and that no single approach to BB is the best approach for every student. Some students may be able to very successfully navigate BB registration with no input from their parents, and others may not. We worked with our son a fair bit prior to registration at BB, which I think was the best approach for him to navigate the actual registration. It didn't result in him getting the exact classes/sections that he would have preferred, but did result in him getting a good schedule of classes. As others have indicated classes open up during the summer all the way up to the start of the fall semester, and one of his preferred classes/sections opended up sometime during the summer, but I can't recall if he took advantage of it or stuck with his original schedule from BB.
  • lovemykids2lovemykids2 Registered User Posts: 373 Member
    This is all good information. I thought that some of the previous advice that I had read, such as logging on to MyBama and registering for your kid, to be a little too much. I can pilot the helicopter with the best of them but if I'm sending my son away to college I think that it's time for him to pilot his own chopper. If he doesn't get the "perfect" schedule and has to play around with it this summer then that's what he'll have to do, that's part of college life.

    He turned 18 today and immediately went online to register for the draft and is going to register to vote this afternoon. If he's responsible enough to do those things then I need to trust that he can navigate his first semester college schedule without me. :)
  • kjcphmomkjcphmom Registered User Posts: 1,103 Senior Member
    lovemykids2, on a totally different note, do you have to register for the draft when you are 18, or did the kids do this when they filled out their FAFSA? I need to know as my son is turning 18 in late August. Thanks.
  • lovemykids2lovemykids2 Registered User Posts: 373 Member
    kjcphmom-I'm not sure about the FAFSA form because we didn't fill one out for our son. We knew that we wouldn't qualify for a penny because we filled it out two years ago for DD. To be on the safe side I would suggest that you have your son go to the selective service system.gov and fill it out. It's short, takes only a few minutes, and then he'll know that it's done. I think he can do it now. The penalty for not registering is severe, that's why my son filled it out today. He always rolls his eyes at me because I'm a "rule follower." He has no idea how much like me he really is and I'm not telling him! :)
  • bamagirlsbamagirls Registered User Posts: 2,062 Senior Member
    For those coming to Bama Bound, I would suggest you bring the following items if you are planning to stay in the dorms. As mentioned above, it is a great experience, but you are renting a dorm room just as you will find it furnished in August when your student arrives. No biggie, there is a Publix right near RCS on the Strip, just stop by and pick up what you need or want if you don’t want to pack them.

    Case of water bottles
    Toilet paper
    Favorite snack
    Lysol and Lysol wipes
    A roll of paper towels
    If you plan to bring in food, you’ll need a box of plastic utensils and paper plates or bowls
    Save your plastic bags to dispose of trash because there are no trashcans in the suites but there are trash chutes down the halls for bagged trash or small boxes

    Bring anything else you will need for comfort or for getting ready.

    When you are staying in the dorms you should expect to find these items:

    Kitchen: fridge, microwave, sink
    Living area: sofa type seating, table and chairs
    Bedroom: twin XL bed, desk and chair, dresser, closet, small cabinet
    Bathroom: shower, toilet, separate vanity with sink and mirror
    Linens are provided for parents who are staying in the dorms and are available for an additional fee to students.

    You will have the ability to use the laundry room if you need to ($1.25 per load to wash or dry). You’ll need your own products if you need to use the laundry room, so pick that up, too.

    Have a great time! Roll Tide!
  • malanaimalanai Registered User Posts: 2,161 Senior Member
    Register for the draft online at:

    The law requires virtually all male U.S. citizens (regardless of where they live), and male immigrants residing in the U.S. (permanent resident aliens), to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Therefore, to be in full compliance with the law, a man turning 18 is required to register during the period of time beginning 30 days before, until 30 days after his 18th birthday...a 60-day window.

    Source: https://www.sss.gov/when.htm
This discussion has been closed.