Senior Year Bucket List
College Life |  Source: @nicbelisabeth

Senior Year Bucket List

It's time to stop and smell the roses.

It's your senior year and you're panicking because THIS IS IT. Alright, calm down, you'll be fine. The most important thing about senior year is to be as present in every moment as possible. So put down your phone. It's time to stop and smell the roses.

Source: WaffleGif.com

Here's your ultimate senior year bucket list.

1. Check out the campus spots you haven't seen yet.
There's definitely a bar, a hangout, legendary house party, dining hall, or a study lounge you haven't taken the time to get to. This is your last chance to check it out. Make an event out of it, or fly solo.

2. See a show.
Chances are your school has an improv troupe, dance teams, or a fantastic musical or play. Buy tickets to something. Go see it. It'll give you new perspective - and hey, maybe you'll even get to say you saw a future star before they "made it big" in 10 years.

3. Take a fun class.
By "fun" I mean something you've been dying to take. Maybe it's a professor you've heard is outstanding. Maybe it's something you don't know anything about so you want to give it a shot. Worst case scenario, you can always drop it...

4. Go to a game for a sport you've never watched.
Find out what sport your school is great at - or not! - and go watch a game with some friends. Tickets are usually super cheap, and it's a great way to discover some school pride you may not have known existed. You'll witness new cheers, meet new people, and maybe even learn a thing or two.

5. Don't forget about your grades.
I know people that lost potential jobs out of school because they stopped giving AF about their grades in their last two semesters. Have fun, cut loose, it's senior year! Yeah, well all that partying and all those C's may have you losing big time. Have fun, but stay focused.

6. Sell your books.
SERIOUSLY. Do it while you're still on campus and make some extra bucks. (see No. 8.) There are lots of FB groups and library sales around campus. Do a little digging and don't get stuck with $200 text books collecting dust.

7. Don't FOMO.
You won't make it to every party, show, pregame, or meeting. Don't dwell on it. I know you're trying to soak up every last moment of your youth, but stressing about being somewhere else will spoil whatever you chose to do instead.

8. Spend money (but not too much).
There's something to be said about saving up for that post-grad time, but don't miss out on seeing your favorite band with your best friends because you're worried about spending a couple extra dollars. Spending money on the right experiences is TOTALLY worth it, plus get some final usage out of those student ID discounts...

9. Fill your days with friend dates.
Set up one-on-one time with your favorite people. Plan an ice cream movie date or catch a game together. Show them you care and want to keep them around. You'll be so glad you had that time together once the year is over.

10. Take pictures.
Pick up a few disposable cameras at the beginning of the year. The beautiful thing about these is they capture real candid moments. You can't double check them, which is scary, but also freeing. They're easy to pass around at parties, and getting the film developed gives you a really gratifying satisfaction.



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The Evolution of Drinking

...from freshman to senior year.

What's college without a little alcohol now and then? Over the span of four (or so) years, drinking habits change just as much as we do. Below, a short gif chronology.

Freshmen

The typical freshman drinker probably didn't do much of it in high school. They come to college maybe never even having a sip. Drinking is usually done in unfinished basements of that one friend from Ochem. The first of getting a "minor consumption" is a real and imminent threat. Some of your friends might be brave enough to get a fake I.D.

Sophomores

The novelty has worn off and an overconfident sophomore has taken its place. It is the year of underage purgatory. You're so close to 21, you can almost taste it. (Literally. You can taste the countless, legally-ordered, risk-free g&ts at the bar. But I digress.) Sophomore year is the year of the frathouse. The consumption of alcohol is usually provided in a shot glass, or a used solo cup, given away by an overly generous frat bro. Don't forget those trendy X's in Sharpie on your hands that won't come off for a week.

Juniors

This is usually the year of turning 21, unless you're a genius. Something happens this year. It's like we completely forgot how to drink all over again. If you pay for any of your drinks on your birthday, you are doing something wrong. The bars are the greatest thing to ever happen. How did we ever go to parties? Bars are so much better.

Senior

Year four, and the drinking has finally slowed down. The preferred method usually involves a glass (or two, let's be real) of wine and Netflix. On the rare night of heavy drinking, the next morning is followed by "Oh god I'm so old" and "I can't drink like I use to". The bars become the worst place on campus. They take all your money and good judgement.

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Grade Level: Fifth-Year Senior

It's not the time it takes to get somewhere, it's the direction you're going.

Graduating from college in the traditional four years isn't always a given. Whether it's due to switching schools or majors, constant curriculum changes, or completing prerequisites for graduate school, four years to graduation doesn't always seem doable. As a fifth-year senior, here are a few things you'll realize as you attempt to make it through that final stretch.

Everyone around you will seem like babies. Newsflash: They are babies. Every freshman around you was still in middle school when you were graduating high school. Don't allow yourself to feel old. I prefer the term "seasoned".

Don't get upset at the babies (aka freshman) turning the library into a social event. Remember, you once did the same thing. As a fifth-year senior, you'll find that getting your work done in cozy coffee shops is much more appropriate, and fun.

You might feel lonelier. As a fifth year, you'll do more things alone, like studying, eating, grocery shopping, and even working out. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. When the day comes for you to move to a new city and start a new career, you'll already feel comfortable enough to dine by yourself or try out a new workout class alone. To be honest, the time alone I've had in my fifth year has given me more time to get in touch with myself. I've realized I needed this extra year to understand my passions and where they could take me next in the post-college chapter of my life.

Going out is different. When you do have time to go out, it will be a lot different than it was your first four years: Two-For-One weeknight specials at the bars will turn into a glass of red wine on the couch and bad reality TV. Your body will reject going out multiple nights in a row and you might be the oldest one at the campus bars. But this doesn't mean you can't have fun anymore, it just means it's time to mix it up. Find out which bars downtown are known for an older crowd of med students and young professionals and grace them with your presence.

Don't beat yourself up. Sure, some of your friends are living in cool places and working their new 9-5, but that doesn't automatically put them in a better place than you. I'm sure they get jealous that you still get winter breaks, Fridays off, and hot athletes in your group projects. Remember, time will pass, and you have the rest of your life to work. Enjoy where you are right now.

This extra time in school is happening for a reason. Maybe you need more time to understand where your career is going, more time to understand who you are, or more time to meet people who will make a difference in your life. Remember, it's not the time it takes to get somewhere, it's the direction you're going.

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Preparing For The End Of Senior Year

End it all with a bang.

Just like everyone assured me, my four years of college flew by. Each year went progressively faster, and then the final months of senior year came and went like Taylor Swift's love interests.

In particular, the last month of senior year, especially senior week, elapsed so swiftly that I felt like everything was out of my control.

There were faces of friends I didn't get to memorize and bid farewell to. I never got a chance to try that restaurant downtown I always told myself I would. I didn't get the opportunity to play in that state park I wanted to. I didn't consider logistics for moving out until the day I had to pack up and get out. I never got to tell that boy how special he was to me.

I had fun that last month, but I wish someone had warned me about its rush, or that I could better prepare for the craziness and mad dash of festivities.

Truthfully, some of the insanity cannot be prevented. Graduating from college is more than just an unbelievable feat -- it's a wild concept to grasp. It's a crossover into the adult world of work and self-sufficiency. There aren't set time frames for accomplishing things or anyone to hold your hand and tell you what to do. You could be saying goodbye to friends ready to spread out across the globe. It can be sad and difficult to fully grasp.

That being said, graduating is partly exciting, and the last month of school most certainly can be a stellar time. You just have to be ready for it all, and hopefully these tips with help you prepare for your last month in college.

Schedule your last week (or so) in advance.
Figure out what you want to do and who you want to do it with as far in advance as you can. If you are part of a few different social groups, try and make sure to set the agenda to get face time with them all. Plan on visiting places and doing things you've always wanted to do on or around campus, but never got around to.

Make a plan for graduation weekend with your family and friends' families. If there is anything you want to do that requires actual advanced planning and reservations, do it up A$AP Rocky. This way you can feel like you used your time wisely and got to have fun with all the people you found special.

But don't be afraid to abandon the schedule.
If you're having fun doing something or realize you want to make time to do something spur of the moment, do it. Don't let a plan stop you from living in the moment and feeling spontaneous. College is a lot about impromptu adventures, so soak it up.

Visit your favorite spots.
Around my campus and college town, there were unbelievable places to see, eat, and be. Start visiting up your favorite spots before you run out of time.

Make a plan for moving out.
My roommates and I never really talked about or considered the logistics for packing up and getting out. Trust me though, it's a lot more than moving your stuff into your car and leaving.

Figure out with your landlord any procedures you have to take. You might consider coordinating your physical move-out with your roommates, so there aren't five families all trying to lug stuff through one door, hallway and elevator.

It might also be a good idea to begin packing up in advance to avoid the huge process when you want to be focusing on the moment (and not stressing about leaving on a deadline).

Start saying goodbye early.
I absolutely made sure to bid my very best college friends a farewell before my departure. However, there were a lot of good friends I never got to say goodbye to. I just always felt like it was too soon and that I would get the chance later.

Those last few days of school are a whirlwind of activities, so time with friends who aren't in your best best friend circle take a back seat. Begin the process of parting ways by having sentimental moments and saying bye "just in case we don't get the chance later."

Tell special people how you feel about them.
If you have crushes or love interests, now's the time to tell them before you go. Tell people you think are cute, "Hey, you're really cute! I've always thought that, and want to let you know before we graduate." Muster up the courage to let someone know how special they were/are to you, or how much you'll miss them.

Go in for the kiss. You might never say these people again and even if nothing comes from it, I think you'll be happy you did.

Be careful.
The end of senior year and senior week is definitely a time to have fun and celebrate, but please be smart. We've all heard sad stories of seniors who never got the chance to make it to graduation because of a careless incident or mistake.

Like the boy a year older than me who went for a solo kayak ride in the middle of the night days before graduation, and went missing. Or the people who drink or smoke themselves into the hospital. Or people who go around having sex without condoms because they feel invincible.

Put your safety and healthy before anything else. The risk is not worth it.

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Study Abroad Bucket List: Asia Edition

Wanderlust but still Zen.

If you get to study abroad, you're pretty lucky. If you get to study abroad somewhere in Asia, you're even luckier.

Every country (and province and city) has unbelievable cuisine, vibrant cultural sights, charming people, unbelievable nature, and fun night life. Anywhere you go there is so much to do and see and eat and drink.

If you're studying in Asia for a semester, you're probably also kind of cool. If you chose your destination for something a little off the beaten path from typical study abroaders, you clearly value adventure and exploration. You might also have had language study in mind when applying to your study abroad program, which means your bold and diligent (hello new alphabets) and set on opening your world wider with the skill of foreign conversation. Either way, for any reason you chose Asia, you're lucky you did because it is awesome.

During your time on the Asian continent, take advantage of every opportunity you can to live. To help keep your wanderlust spirit excited and motivated, I've created a list of things to do before you leave. While neither an exhaustive list nor necessary items for experiencing the different cultures, the Asian study abroad bucket list will, nonetheless, keep you exploring.

  1. Get a Shanghai style foot massage in Shanghai
  2. Master eating with chopsticks
  3. Make like Michael Phelps and do Chinese Cupping
  4. Go to an ethical elephant sanctuary and play with the elephants
  5. Go to a Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan
  6. Get certified in scuba diving
  7. Climb the Great Wall in Beijing
  8. Celebrate Chinese New Year with locals (anywhere in Asia!)
  9. Wake up and watch the fish auction at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo (and then eat sushi for breakfast)
  10. Gamble (and eat egg tarts) in Macau
  11. Visit the Taj Mahal
  12. Explore Angkor Wat at sunrise
  13. Learn to make dumplings
  14. Swim in Luang Prabang in Laos
  15. Trek Mount Rinjani in Indonesia
  16. Take a cooking class to learn how to make curry
  17. Buy rolled ice cream
  18. Go to any and all of the Disneylands (Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai)
  19. Dress up and go to Harajuku in Tokyo
  20. Visit the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Bali
  21. Tour the Tea Terraces at Maokong in Taipei
  22. Master the Squatty Potty Situation
  23. Get custom clothes made
  24. Cruise the islands of Halong Bay by boat
  25. Attend a sumo wrestling tournament in Japan
  26. Buy and wear face masks in South Korea
  27. Ogle at pandas in Chengdu
  28. Explore the world's oldest rainforest, Taman Negara National Park, in Malaysia
  29. Take a tuk tuk ride
  30. Take pictures of the cherry blossoms in China or Japan
  31. Visit the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong
  32. Go to a music festival in the Mongolian desert
  33. Do a meditation or yoga retreat in India
  34. Visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Phillippines
  35. Trek part of the Himalayas
  36. Celebrate Holi in India
  37. Visit Bhutan
  38. Get full on street food for under $10
  39. Explore a Bamboo Forest in Kyoto
  40. Go on a hot air balloon ride in Myanmar
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College Life |  Source: @hannah.landman.1

Crying Through My Senior Year

Is college seriously almost over??

I did't realize that I was dreading my senior year until the day that it happened and it hit me pretty hard. My time in undergrad is coming to an end and it makes me want to curl into a ball and cry and wish that my tears could turn back time.

I realized I envied the little freshman, a thought I never thought I could have. They have four whole years left. They still enjoy staying up late, and the novelty of frat parties hasn't worn off for them. They are fresh from orientation and ice breakers and are so ready for the next chapter in their lives, while I on the other hand am reluctantly getting to the end of one. Serious bummer folks.

The worst part about it is that while I'm crying about leaving school, I simultaneously need to look for big-girl jobs and adjust to paying my own phone bill (yikes). After graduation I have to make new friends and I will have to seriously cut back on my Netflix binges (double yikes).

I have no idea how taxes work or how do something that isn't school. I need to start actually paying for my education, which means I will continue to be a broke human, but it isn't as acceptable as it is when you're a college student. I sincerely have no idea how to be an adult.

This year will of course be fun, but it will be a year full of lasts. My last first day, my last homecoming football game, my last Halloween that I can dress a little slutty while it's still appropriate.

I have nine months to live it up and do everything that I wish I had done in the past three years. I have this weird feeling that I want to go to more parties while also feeling like I'm a little too old for them. IF THIS IS WHAT BEING A SENIOR IS THEN I WANT NO PART OF IT.

But what can I do? Literally nothing. I guess if you need me you can find me in my bed crying until graduation. At which point I will put on a cap and gown, get my diploma, and then continue crying as I enter the workforce and (try to) become a functioning adult.