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11 Things to Add to Your College Bucket List

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The weeks following spring break can mean a lot of different things to a college girl. Some of you might be getting a head start on studying for finals or writing term papers. Many of you are busy finding dates and getting pumped for various end-of-the-year date parties and mixers. (I know I definitely fell into this category.) But I know a large handful of you have your sights set a little further, and are thinking about the next steps ahead — graduation and the proverbial dive into the adult world.

Don’t be too concerned if you’ve felt a little panicked — it’s completely natural! The jump from college life to working adult life is a huge leap forward, and is going to take a bit of adjustment. Soon, midnight Sonic runs with your girlfriends will be replaced with hitting the sack before ten o’clock, and weekend road trips to other colleges will be replaced with getting your oil changed and deep cleaning your apartment. (Ah, adulthood.)

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Don’t freak out, though: The transition isn’t as scary as it seems — it’s nothing smart girls like CF readers won’t be able to handle, at least. My best advice for this time in your life is to “squeeze the juice” out of every single day you have left in college. Enjoy being with your friends, enjoy your unconventional sleep schedule, and enjoy being young. You’ll never get this time back!

I wrote a bucket list the last semester I was in college — a really fun to-do list for me and a friend. It gave us a sort of outline for how we wanted to spend our last few months in school, and was an awesome thing to bond over. I thought it would be neat to write a post with my bucket list suggestions, then get your feedback and find out what you want to accomplish before your time in college is over. Read my list, then comment and let us know yours after. Let’s get right to it!

(PS — Freshman, Sophomores, and Juniors: Be sure to read the list, too, and contribute your own suggestions!)

11 College Bucket List Suggestions:

Yale library
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1. Explore interesting buildings on campus you haven’t seen before.

Most colleges are rich in history and architecture. Before you start the next chapter of your life, take time to visit the auditoriums, concert halls, library stacks, science labs, or anything else significant on your campus. If the weather is really gorgeous, take time to stroll through the gardens and/or read informational plaques next to any statues. Ask your friends what their favorite places on campus are, and make a point to check them all out. Don’t forget to take photos, too!

2. Attend a lecture class that you’re genuinely interested in.

This one comes with a couple rules — it has to be a class that has nothing to do with your major, and it has to be a large lecture class (so you won’t get caught class-crashing!). If you love the lesson and still have a semester or two left, why not take the class as an elective? If you’re about to graduate, embrace the fantasy of what your college years would be like if you majored in something different.

3. Go to office hours purely to socialize.

I’ve always been a fan of office hours — they’re a great chance to get some one-on-one help in subjects that you might be struggling with. But you know what else is cool? Getting to know your college professors! A lot of college professors have incredibly rich histories, and I’m always interested to find out what ultimately led them down the path to teaching. For example, my elective linguistics professor lived in a tent and backpacked across South America for a couple years, and one of my history professors was a Holocaust survivor.

This is also a great way to make connections that could one day help you in your specific field of study. Plus, we all know how annoying borderline grades are. I’m not saying you should suck up for these kind of reasons, but hey, if you end up with an 89.5… well, a genuine friendship with your professor couldn’t hurt.

Girls night out
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4. Go out every night for a week.

This challenge isn’t about partying seven nights in a row. It’s about going on a streak of doing fun and special things with your friends! Grab frozen yogurt or coke floats, try out a new bar or restaurant, check out karaoke night, go to ladies night at a dance club, or form a team for a trivia competition. There’s always something fun and interesting to do in college towns — take advantage of it!

5 . Participate in big campus events.

My university hosted events like Relay For Life, Dance Marathon, The Big Event (which is kind of like “The Big Help” day circa 1997 Nickelodeon), trivia bowls, music festivals, and more. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and attend as many of these events as you can. Not only are they often for a good cause, but they’re a great way to meet other involved individuals that will one day turn into movers and shakers in your community.

6. Walk across campus on a Friday or Saturday night.

Grab your significant other (or a pack of friends, if you’re forever single like yours truly, haha!) and frollick around campus when it’s at its emptiest. It might be creepy. It might be romantic. It might be completely gorgeous! The only way to find out is to check it out for yourself.

EDIT: As CF reader Esther pointed out, you should always do your research and be safe! If you go to school in the middle of a city, for instance, this wouldn’t be a good idea unless you had a large, safe group to accompany you, and even then, it might still not be a safe idea. Know your campus, know the crime rates, and be smart!

7. Eat at the freshman cafeteria.

I simply did not appreciate my meal plan like I should have when I was a freshman. Luckily, when I was a senior I had a freshman sister who would take me as her guest sometimes when she went to the “caf.” I sure do miss the days of delicious, unlimited food! If your college has a 24-hour restaurant, be sure to go by there very late at night at least once — trust me, it’s some great entertainment!

Outdoor film
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8. Enjoy the free weekly entertainment on campus.

Many colleges show free films, host free video game tournaments, and throw dance bashes and foam parties and more every weekend. These events are a fun way to mix up the pace if you’re sick of the bar or fraternity house scenes. Even if you can’t imagine getting tired of partying, these are just fun to go to for the sake of going. Once you graduate, the world is a lot less enthused about giving away free things — make the most of being a college student by enjoying these small perks.

9. Make friends with a foreign exchange student.

If you haven’t already done this, make a point to get to know a few foreign students. Find out how their home college campus differed, what they miss most about home, and what they love most about America. Not only will this be interesting for both of you, but it never hurts to have a friend or two that live in potential vacation spots!

I became close with a girl who lived in France my sophomore year of college, and during my post-senior year European backpacking extravaganza, she met up with me and my friends in Munich. It was cool having someone who spoke the language and felt comfortable in that setting to travel with and show us the ropes.

10. Visit another college.

Not only will you get to see friends who live far away, but checking out another college campus is a great way to meet new people and experience a totally different college culture. Try to pick a weekend that something special is happening on their campus — think a big game, music festival, etc.

11. Experience the unique perks about your college town.

OU (my alma mater) is in Norman, which is right outside of Oklahoma City, so there’s no way you can get the full experience of living in Norman without going to at least one OKC Thunder game. Also, there’s a 100-year-old restaurant about an hour away that’s been featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives and is known nationally for their fried chicken — it’s a must-visit! Be sure to check out everything special to your community before you move back to your hometown. It’s adventures like these that will remain clear in your memory for years to come.

What’s On Your List?

Now that I’ve shared some things I completed before graduating, we want to know about you! What are some things you want to do? Does your campus offer a lot of free entertainment and activities, too? What unique things about your college town do you love? Have you made a college bucket list yet? Keep the conversation going — tell us what’s on your list by leaving a comment!

Posted on on April 4, 2013 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , , , , ,

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9 Responses to “11 Things to Add to Your College Bucket List”

  1. 1
    April 4th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I was just planning on doing number 11! Also, my college town is pretty small so I wanna try and eat at every restaurant before i go!

  2. 2
    April 4th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Be careful with 6. Do your research, and don’t do this if your campus is potentially dangerous. It might be easier and safer if you live in a college town, but I go to school in Atlanta, and that is the last thing anyone would ever want to do here!

  3. 3
    April 4th, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Mine is a combination of #1 and 11 – there’s an art museum that gives free admission to students, and I keep planning to visit it!

  4. 4
    April 4th, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Being friends (not in a sucky way!) with your profs can help you later on, like with career recommendations. But more than that, if it’s genuine, it’s the friendship part that you will cherish. My mom’s former students in college still looks her up until now!

  5. 5
    April 4th, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Love these! Its always easy to forget all the opportunities you have while in college.

  6. 6
    April 5th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Aryn – Good idea! If you plan it out, it’s totally doable and you won’t regret it! You should get their most famous items, too – if they do anything really well, it’d be worth it to try that dish!

    Esther – Good call – I’ll update the post to remind readers of that. Definitely want everyone to be safe!

    Marian – Ooh, love that idea! You don’t realize how many awesome free opportunities exist for students until you graduate. Definitely take advantage now!

    Raisz – True, true, true. You only have this one chance to really make these kinds of connections and they truly will last you for years!

    Tori – Glad you like!

  7. 7
    April 5th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I’m going to have to argue with number 3 – most of the professors I’ve had have stressed not wasting their time with you if you don’t actually have a question or need help, because it’s time they could be spending with another student who actually does. So no, going to office hours purely to socialize would not be appropriate.

    Also, you’re lucky if your school has delicious food in the cafeterias! I wasted SO much money on that mandatory first year meal plan. The food was awful!

  8. 8
    April 6th, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Elle, totally agree with you. I feel large distance between professors and students and I don’t think they want to socialize. Professors are mostly older and most of them think they are better than other people.

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