The end of your senior year of high school is pretty much guaranteed to be a little scary. Thanks to the many renderings of senior year in pop culture–Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Superbad, and, uh, High School Musical 3–the whole year has managed to gain a sort of mythic allure that makes it feel like if you aren’t having a blast the entire year, you’re doing something wrong.
But, of course, your senior year is never going to be quite like the way it appears in movies and TV shows. Unlike the way it’s portrayed in most movies, you probably have homework, college applications, and, most of all, parents who care about you, so you’re not going to spend your entire year going to parties and skipping school to go on road trips. Still, by the time the year begins to draw to a close, you might be feeling some more pressure to turn it into something a little more…picturesque. Fortunately, there are some things to help you do that. All you need to do is follow a bucket list. So, check out these things that you need to do before graduating in 2017:
1. Reconnect with an old friend:
You don’t have to do anything big–just send a quick text to someone you used to be close with but lost contact with over the years.
2. Do something that you really loved doing as a little kid again:
You know, like re-watching one of your old favorite movies, going to your favorite theme park, or even just looking through old pictures. Nostalgia is fun!
3. Do something nice for your teachers:
Especially if they did something nice for you–write them a thank you note, get them some flowers, or get a gift card to a store you know they’ll like. It might feel like a hassle, but they’ll appreciate it and remember you fondly because of it.
4. Participate in something at your school that you’ve always been too shy to do:
Maybe your school has an open mic night, or a powderpuff football game, or a spring musical that you’ve always wanted to do, but always chickened out at the last second. Give it a shot now! You don’t have anything to lose, and you’ll always wonder what would have happened if you didn’t at least try.
5. Go to prom:
Yeah, it’s lame. Yeah, tickets are expensive. Yeah, you’ll probably only stay for, like, an hour, tops. But unless you have a really good reason not to go–and you might!–do your best to get to prom. You might not love it, but you’ll always think about it and regret it if you don’t.
6. Go on a road trip with your friends:
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, or even anything overnight if you have strict parents–simply taking a day trip to the cute town a few hours away will be a good way to bond with your friends.
7. Go to some sort of sporting event:
It doesn’t have to be, like, a popular one. It can be the bowling team or the girls’ tennis team for all I care. Just do it! It’ll be fun.
8. Do a (harmless) senior prank:
Like, nothing that will get you suspended and have your college acceptance rescinded. (In fact, maybe talk to a teacher about it so you know you won’t have any negative repercussions.) But senior pranks are fun! Talk it over with your friends and see what you all can come up with.
9. Try to get an A in a class you’ve always struggled in:
Obviously, don’t kill yourself over this. But try to work super hard hard in a class that you’ve never done well in and see what happens. Even if you don’t come out with an A, you’ll know that you tried as hard as you possibly could and gotten a much better grade than you would have without trying as hard.
10. Go to a party:
I mean, only if you want to. I won’t peer pressure you. And, like, don’t drink. But if you haven’t been to a lot of parties over the course of your high school career, it can’t hurt to go to one if you get the chance–it’s a good way to connect with people that you’ve sort of known all throughout high school and see them in a new light.
11. See a midnight showing of a movie:
Go in your pajamas to really make it an event. (I did this. It’s fun.)
12. Learn to play an instrument:
Guitar? Piano? Ukulele? Up to you! Whatever you choose, it’s a good skill to have when you go to college.
13. Have a classic high school movie marathon with your friends:
Build a fort to watch them in for good measure,
14. Pull an all-nighter sleepover:
All-nighters aren’t great to do all the time, but they definitely are fun every now and then–particularly if you’re with your friends.
15. Have a graduation party:
You’ve worked hard! You deserve it.
16. Leave a nice note in your favorite book in your school library for someone to find next year:
Is this corny? You bet. But, let’s be real–you’d be excited about finding a cute note in a copy of a Jodi Picoult book, wouldn’t you?
17. Keep a journal:
You know–to remember all the cool things you’ve done.
Are you graduating this year? Do you have any bucket list items I forgot? Let us know in the comments!