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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What I Wish I Knew Going Into Senior Year

What do you mean college ends?

For a few weeks, I was convinced I counted the years wrong. That contrary to what everyone was telling me, I couldn't be entering my senior year of college. How had the past three years gone by so blindingly fast and furious? Wasn't I just a freshman?

I had so many more things I wanted to accomplish, classes I wanted to take (like "Women in Hip Hop"), friends I wanted to make, and activities to check off on my school's list of "161 Things to Do Before You Graduate." And, I was supposed to just accept that I had just two semesters left?

On top of this denial, I felt out of place. I was coming back from my semester abroad in Prague, and that beautiful experience brought a bit of an existential crisis. What did I want to do after college? How was I spending my precious time? Where did I want to go? God, who am I?

I had a lot to ponder.


Thus, I embarked upon senior year as more than just a SWUG* (senior washed up girl), but as someone trying to redefine my motivations, purpose, and self.

In a way, I wanted to start over, but I thought it was too late. I realized, though, that I had 25 percent of my college career left; and although I struggled in Introduction to Statistics, I was going to damn well try. It was difficult at first, but, ultimately, one of the best decisions I made in college.

I think all seniors go through this stage of confusion, anxiety, and denial, just in varying degrees. Know that you're not alone, and consider these pieces of advice. Here is what I wish I knew going into my senior year of college.

1. It's not too late to start anew.

You can pursue classes that are totally outside of your major, but that you suddenly feel interested in. You can join a new club or start a new organization on campus. It's not too late.

2. Make new friends and join new social circles.

You are not defined by or confined to your Greek affiliation or GDI status. You can even befriend professors, deans, and graduate students.

3. You shouldn't feel pressured to find a certain job by a certain time.

Even if everyone around you is signing contracts in September or set on a certain graduate school, it doesn't mean that is the right move for you.

4. Don't spend time doing things you don't want to be doing (if you can do otherwise).

Don't go to a party just because everyone else is going if you don't want to go. Listen to your own desires.

5. Choose your company wisely.

Don't spend time with people who you don't like, cannot relate to, do not share similar values with, or simply don't want to be around. It's also OK to let go of people who do not positively impact your life.

6. Be open with yourself and others.

Be vulnerable and put yourself out there. Tell people if you are upset, tell a special someone that you love them, or admit the truth to someone you've hurt. This mantra, to be open and vulnerable, is the key to personal growth, but it is nerve-wracking. Do it now in the relatively safe college bubble.


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50 Things to do Before You Graduate College

If you're a senior reading this, it might be too late.

College is unlike any other time in your life: you have all the advantages of being an adult with almost none of the responsibilities. It's also probably the last time you'll have this much free time to do hoodrat shit with your friends. Here's a list of things to do now, before you get to the real world.

1. Pull an all nighter.
2. Take a course pass/fall.
3. Spend hours in the dining hall.
4. Streak an exam.
5. Streak a campus tour.
6. Take a roadtrip with your friends.
7. Skip class the first warm day of each year.
8. Stay the night in a frat.
9. Stay the night in a sorority.
10. Spend a weekend completely sober.
11. Watch an entire season in one day.
12. Have a threesome.
13. Study outside on the quad.
14. Fall in love.
15. Take naps in the middle of the day.
16. Steal a sign.
17. Show up to class drunk.
18. Change your major at least three times.
19. Go to a music festival.
20. Wake up outside.
21. Learn to cook yourself a meal.
22. Make a walk of pride.
23. Go to the gym.
24. Get a citation.
25. Hook up with someone of the same sex
26. Abuse your student ID discounts.
27. Visit a high school friend at a different school.
28. Confess your love for your hot professor
29. Study abroad.
30. Go on a fancy date.
31. Learn how to do your own laundry.
32. Learn to balance a checkbook.
33. Have sex in the library.
34. Have sex in the laundry room.
35. Have sex outside.
36. Take pictures.
37. Fail a test.
38. Get 100 on a test.
39. Beg for an internship.
40. Take a class completely outside of your major.
41. Dye your hair a color you couldn't get away with in the real world.
42. Make friends with campus security.
43. Make friends with the dining hall staff.
44. Make dinner for your housemates.
45. Learn how to dance.
46. Be a spring breaker.
47. Thank your friends for being themselves.
48. Dance on a table.
49. Dance on a roof.
50. Make a playlist of your favorite songs from college.

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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.

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College Life | 

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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College Life | 

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.