As students register for spring semester, they should heed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s advice — don’t panic. (Also, don’t forget a towel.)

Knowing offhand what classes fill the specific requirements your major needs isn’t exactly ingrained knowledge for every student. Registration can be a stressful situation, but it doesn’t have to be. Using the resources offered and allowing enough time to be prepared can make all the difference.

Weber State University offers some helpful tools to all students. CatTracks and the academic advisers are two of the best places to start. Using these resources offered can help students get off on the right foot for any semester.

When registering online for your classes, have another tab open with your CatTracks analysis to refer to. CatTracks can be a student’s best friend. It lays out exactly what is required for the upcoming semesters to get to graduation more efficiently and quickly.

One of the best parts about CatTracks is the big bars at the top that tell you how close you are to the end. (Here’s hoping you’re past 50 percent soon.) Another useful feature is that it accounts for the classes students are currently registered for.

For those students who are torn between choosing a major, there is a “what if” feature that will show students what is required and where they stand with any major and minor combination. So, if students want to change majors or have a few to choose from, they can know what they’re in for way before they are elbow-deep in their senior year.

One more thing about CatTracks — clicking on the class will bring up a pop-up that tells a student the class description and also what time next semester it will be taught. This feature can make registration even simpler. All a student has to do after that is type the class number in the registration field and click on the check box to register.

Spend a little time with Cat Tracks. Play around with it and get the hang of it. Students can make a tentative plan for their entire degree track. The planner feature will help students map out future semesters and save it so that the student can refer back to it later.

If CatTracks is confusing or students still have questions about what they need to fill in their requirements, now is the time to meet with your academic adviser. The beginning and the end of semester can be especially busy for academic advisers, so make sure to get those appointments made as soon as possible.

Taking a little extra time in those appointments to lay out future semesters could also be beneficial. As many students know, some required classes are only offered in the spring and some only in the fall semester. Planning ahead can help students finish up their time at WSU quicker.

Oh, and after registration is squared away, don’t hesitate too long to start ordering books for the first week of spring semester. The earlier you’re registered, the more time you have to start comparing prices for textbooks.

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