The UMS: A Series of Unfortunate Enrollments

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January 9th, 3:25 pm

“Oopsie doodle” pops up on the screen for the billionth time. Amidst the endless pinging of the IBA group chats, and messages of “Is UMS working for anyone?”, the loading screen drains me of my patience, and I wait. I’m sure I’ve run out of coffee for these coffee breaks. The day blurs into a haze of desperate attempts to make peace with the loading wheel. I found myself questioning not only the functionality of UMS but also my sanity. The UMS seemed to have taken suspense a bit too seriously, leaving me on the edge of my seat.

We’ve all been here. Suffering at the hands of the IBA enrollment before every new semester. However, this time, as a cherry on top of the enrollment procedure, IBA introduced a new platform called the UMS. I wish I could shed light on the features of this new portal. I am still stuck on the login page though, with my 14th cup of coffee.

January 9th, 5 pm

As I stared at the screen, hoping for a miracle, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I packed up my laptop, and headed to the campus library, thinking maybe the UMS gods would be kinder within those hallowed walls. Spoiler alert: they weren’t.

Usually a haven of quiet study sessions, the library had transformed into a mayhem of students on their laptops, determined to get enrolled. As I clicked on the UMS link, a familiar “Oopsie doodle” greeted me mockingly. My friends were scattered across the tables, each with the same look of desperation and confusion while the library buzzed with frustration.

UMS memes on IBA's groupchats
The group chats, now filled with memes and memes only, painted a picture of our shared struggle. (Picture from Facebook group: The Real People of IBA)

January 9th, 6:30 pm

Time seemed to stretch into an eternity as I waited for the portal to make up its mind. I pondered over the mysteries of the universe during each loading screen, questioning the very fabric of reality and whether the UMS portal was some sort of cosmic joke made to test my patience. I clicked on courses only to be met, yet again, with virtual roadblocks. No matter how many times I tried, UMS denied me the courses I desperately sought.

The Program Office, in light of the chaos, kept extending the enrollment dates. As the library hours passed, we marched to the program office, hoping to find answers and maybe a secret password to unlock the portal’s benevolence.

long lines outside the Program Office
Students, faculty, and even stray cats that seemed to have lost their way joined the line, outside the Program Office, joining the course hunt. (Picture credits: Nida Nizar)

January 9th, 8:30pm

And so, as the day turned into night, the frustration lingered. I closed my laptop with a mix of exhaustion and determination. The UMS, a puzzle we couldn’t solve, left us in a constant loop of loading screens and error messages. Nevertheless, tomorrow with fresh determination and perhaps a bit more coffee, I would once again face the UMS, ready for whatever challenges it had in store.

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