Me last year "shopping" for coats

Me last year “shopping” for coats

Even though school has been in session for a couple of days, there are some things that we still aren’t certain of—which meal plan we would actually benefit from,  which clubs we will actually be active in, and even which classes we’re actually going to take. Most of our schedules are loaded with classes, some we know damn well that we’re not going to take. Bwogger Sarah defends this habit, disagreeing with Ross’s post supporting the idea of committing to your schedule from day one.

What’s so morally wrong about shopping for classes?

Almost every university/college has a “shopping” period. Some even tout the concept in their guidebooks for prospective students. “Shopping week” is the best time of my life.

It’s a time to try things out. See if you like a professor. See if you like a syllabus. See if there are any cuties in the class.

I purchased eight potential winter coats last semester from, all with free shipping and free returns. From the pictures online I couldn’t tell which would fit the best. I needed to try them on. Local stores didn’t have all of them. Was it wrong to order eight coats? The shipping hurt the environment, and created one more heavy box for the handlers to carry (and Barnard Mail Room to deal with). The inventory on the coats temporarily sank, potentially robbing a customer of a specific style or size (but if they “watched” the coat online, they’d be able to see when it was back in stock). Ordering those coats was essential for me to figure out which one fit the best, felt the warmest, and looked the stylish. Now, if I were a Platonian I wouldn’t care so much about material items, but I do. All things considered, I don’t think it was that wrong to order these eight coats. Selfish, but not wrong.

Shopping for classes is similar. The concept centers on what you want and what most helps you. Which is kind of like, college in general. It seems natural to shop for classes, and it’s one of the few things Columbia makes *relatively* easy (even though they’re apparently getting rid of Courseworks next semester).

So, shopping may be inherently selfish, but is it inherently wrong? No. We do lots of things that are inherently selfish. Plus, we (/our parents/kind bank that gave us a loan) are paying so much money to be here, we might as well make the most of it. And that means shopping for classes. So we can get the best one.

Good luck, friends! Keep adding, dropping, and praying. If you don’t get what you want, there’s always next semester…be sure to get to your computer early.