On Thursday, I woke up at 7:55am for the mad-REGIS-rush for the final time. It was awesome- not even bitter-sweet (course registration at Caltech is a mess- always has been, and probably always will be). But as a third-term senior, it was pretty easy. I was able to enroll in all of the classes I was hoping to get a spot in, and was able to go back to sleep by 8:05.
I don't actually need any of more classes to graduate after this term. I am staying for my 12th term because of the "12 term policy" that was instituted the year before I arrived at Caltech- even if you can graduate in less than 12 terms, you must pay 12 terms' worth of tuition (except in the case of an exemption from the Deans). So I have a lot of leeway with my final term-- I don't actually have to take anything!
I chose to spend this term the way I always told myself I would spend my entire senior year, and take only classes I am interested in. That goal sort of fell away during the first two terms of my senior year because I was overambitious and decided to enroll in classes I was only moderately interested in, and then because I have a hard time quitting things after I start them, I didn't drop those classes and ended up overworked in courses I didn't care as much about. Next term, though, since I actually don't have any requirements, I will really only take courses that will hold my interest. I've enrolled in CS123 (projects in databases), Law148b (Supreme Court History part 2, focusing on civil liberties), L163 (Intermediate French), Cooking, and Ceramics.
I have to say, I'm looking forward to only taking three academic classes! French will not have much homework, either, and I'm very excited about taking a language class again (my study-abroad weekend trip to Paris last Fall, while amazing, reminded me how much grammar I've forgotten since my high school French classes ended). I'm equally excited about Law148b, because I loved the first part of the course this term, and next semester's focus is particularly topical these days. Cooking and ceramics are both night classes (three hours each), so I won't have much to do during the day, but it'll be fun to hang out with other people in the classes and learn and be creative.
As ready as I am to graduate and move on from Caltech, it will certainly be nice to actually enjoy everything I'm doing during my final term!