If you’re a high school senior, it’s likely that you already have more than enough responsibilities on your plate right now. You’ve got to apply to college, for one. Decorate your parking spot so you’re the envy of everyone at school. You’ve also got to deal with all of your classes, and, in this endeavor, deal with the teachers who think it’s okay to invoke Harambe memes, of all things, in their lesson plans. Plus, there’s that crushing weight–the one that tends to set in right around September and only increases as the year goes on–for you to have the greatest, happiest, most movie montage-worthy senior year ever. You know, to accomplish everything on your senior year bucket list.
Now, I’ve always been a little leery about the term “bucket list” when it’s used in reference to things like high school graduation, since, by definition, a bucket list technically means that it contains things you want to do before you die. Graduating high school, while it can serve as an excellent mortality metaphor, is not the same thing as dying! Still, all technicalities aside, we’ve put together a list of things to do before you graduate this year–that, sure, constitutes as a bucket list. Check it out here:
1. Vote in the 2016 election.
Your civics teacher is probably already all up on you about this, so I won’t push it too much–but, if you’re eighteen, you definitely need to vote this year. Be proactive and get registered now!
2. Befriend that one person you’ve wanted to be friends with for all of high school.
You know there’s one.
3. Actually talk to the crush you’ve had for all of high school.
Again–you definitely have one. Talk to them! You’ll always think about what could have been if you didn’t.
4. Go to a school-related event that you’ve never been to before.
Haven’t been to a school play? Check one out! Never set foot in the football arena? Do it now! You don’t have to love it (or even stay that long) but it’s important to see everything hat your high school has to offer
5. Go to the school dances.
Okay, maybe not all of the dances–but pick one and see how it treats you. You might be surprised! You don’t have to have a date. You don’t have to stay for the whole time. But, like the school events, you should check them out, especially if you’ve never really been before.
6. Ask someone to a dance.
Hey, it’s 2016. (And it will be 2017 soon enough.) There’s no need to wait around for someone to ask you to a dance–take matters into your own hands!
7. Start a viral meme.
Don’t, like, wreck your senior year (or anyone else’s senior year, for that matter) trying to craft that one viral tweet or Vine, obviously. But we are in the age of memes–might as well do it now.
8. Watch some classic high school movies.
You know–The Breakfast Club, Grease, Can’t Hardly Wait. These will make you feel preemptively weepy and nostalgic, it’s true, but they’ll also inspire you to make the most of your senior year.
9. Talk to your teachers.
Most of them are actually pretty cool. I promise. Even better, write thank you notes to all of the teachers who have helped you over the years (especially the ones who wrote your letters of recommendation for college applications)–it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, even, just a quick not telling them how much it means to you that they helped you out.
10. Thank your parents.
Your parents have done a lot for you. As stressful as high school has been for you, it’s likely been equally stressful for them to help you get through it. Tell them thanks!
11. Say sorry.
If there’s anything you need to atone for over your high school career (and, let’s face it, most people have some sort of high school skeleton in their closet), now’s the time to do it. It won’t be easy, but if you pull a Justin and say a (genuine, heartfelt) “sorry” to anyone you’ve wronged over the years, you’ll have a clear conscience by the time the year is over.
12. Take a spring break road trip with your besties.
This is your last high school spring break and, possibly, the last time you and your high school friends will all be in the same town. See if you can take a vacation together (parents permitting/accompanying, of course) to commemorate your final high school spring break.
13. Or, do a “staycation” with your besties.
If a road trip is out of the question, see if you can take a more domestic trip–AKA right in your living room. You can camp out in your backyard, host a movie marathon. What’s important here is that you’re spending time with people you care about. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
14. Learn how to cook.
Okay, so, it’s probably going to be a while until you actually have to cook a ton of stuff on your own. (Even if you’re going to college next year, you’ll most likely have a dining hall and a meal plan. Still, this might be the final year that you’re actually living with the people who have been cooking for you your whole life, so you can see if your mom (or dad, or grandma, or grandpa) has any lifechanging cooking wisdom they’d like to impart. (Same goes for other household chores–cleaning, laundry, etc. You’ll need to know how to do them yourself in college.)
15. Do something that you’re proud of academically.
This could literally be anything–maybe it’s scoring well on the SAT, acing a test in a class that’s been really challenging for you, or crushing (in a good way) the big research paper you have to do. It might be hard, but you’ll feel great about yourself once you do it. Plus, it’s nice to have something to pin on the fridge.
16. Go to a party.
Obviously, you need to use good judgment here. Don’t go anywhere where people are doing things that makes you feel uncomfortable. Don’t do anything illegal. Don’t get photographed holding something that could get your college acceptance rescinded. But you should try to go to at least one quintessentially “high school” party at some point during the school year–it’s no biggie if you don’t, of course, but it’s fun to see your classmates (even the ones you might not necessarily consider your friends) in a context outside of school, especially since people tend to be a little more open to people during senior year.
17. Don’t take it too seriously.
So, here’s the thing–no matter what you do during your senior year, it’s not going to be perfect. Your classes will be hard, people around you might change, and things that you thought you could take for granted, like landing a spot on a sports team or school play, may not happen for you. But if you don’t expect all of your senior year to be flawless, it’ll turn out being pretty cool. It sounds corny, but even the things that technically suck during your senior year will all contribute to make it that much more memorable when you look back on it.
Are you graduating this year? Do you have any good bucket list tips? Let us know in the comments!