My final term at Caltech is quickly approaching, but...I'm already done. By the end of this term (assuming that I'll pass all of the classes I'm currently taking), I'll have fulfilled all of my graduation requirements. I won't be graduating early because of Caltech's new "12-term" policy (you must pay for 12 terms at Caltech even if you graduate early), so I have a full term left at the end of this year and zero rules about what classes I have to take. That's a ton of freedom for a student who's been dutifully crossing items off of a list of requirements for four years. What's a girl to do?
Well for starters, I have a few "bucket list" items to complete before I graduate. I want to take Tom Mannion's cooking class, for one, and an art class definitely. I also wanted to take Tennis as a gym class, but it isn't being offered next term (I should've taken advantage of that particular Caltech benefit earlier on in my career!). I also have wanted to continue French classes ever since I graduated from high school, and I've left it 'till the absolute last minute.
I'm also going to take the second term of the Supreme Court History class that I liked so much this term. You probably won't hear this from most Techers, but it's a privilege to be able to take humanities courses in fields that you're interested in (to be honest, Caltech's range of humanities offerings is pretty shallow- for more information, check out the course catalog on the registrar's website). I definitely want to spend my extra time next term (and I will have a lot of extra time) learning about something that interests me, but might not have been required for my option. And, I no longer have to worry about my grades!
In addition, I'll also be taking a project class in the Databases track for my option. I don't need the units anymore, but the opportunity to work on a completely self-designed project, with guidance from an expert (the class' instructor), is something that I probably won't get in industry, at least until I'm a senior-level engineer. It's probably a good idea to explore my engineering creativity while I still can :P
Anyway, course selection is next week, and besides the courses I've mentioned, I don't think I'll be taking anything else. 33 units is definitely the fewest I've been on while at Caltech...maybe I'll finally get that "easy" senior year everyone's been talking about. Or maybe I've severely underestimated the amount of work I'll have to do, like I've done for the past six terms in a row. Stay tuned!