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.)
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 make the most 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 college 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 college bucket list suggestions, then get your feedback and find out what you want to accomplish before your time in college is over.
What are the things everyone should do in college? 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 Ideas:
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.
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 attendas 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!
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!