Last First Day of College: A Senior Year Bucket List
By Megan Kenslea
This is it.
Today is my last first day of school, and I couldn’t be more petrified.
I’ve been enrolled in some form of school since I was in diapers, but for me there’s always been something magical about the first day of school, with new books, new clothes, and new classes. It’s hard to believe this is the last year I’ll go school supply shopping, worry about my first day outfit, or fret over which teacher I have. I spent my whole childhood racing to grow up, but now, as adulthood looms before me, all I want to do is go back.
Trivial freak-outs aside, I do worry that I’ll get too caught up in the race to graduation to focus on having fun. About a month ago, I started making a list of friends I want to visit this year, and by last week, the list evolved into a thirty-item bucket list of things I needed to do before graduating college.
Here are the top items on my senior year bucket list:
1. Have a beer with a professor.
I have friends who used to grab a drink with their professors at the Boston University campus pub, and I was always jealous of them. Not because they were drinking with a professor (although, let’s face it – that’s pretty cool), but because they knew their professors well enough to do so. This year, my goal is to get to know at least one professor that well. Whether you're looking for a stellar recommendation, career advice, or just someone to grab a coffee with after class, having a professor on your side can benefit you now and for years to come
2. Befriend a freshman.
Weren’t you always jealous of that kid in your freshman class who seemed to know all the upperclassmen? I know I was. A cool older friend to offer some sage senior wisdom? Sign me up! Now that we’re seniors, we might not have anyone to look up to, but freshman that you don’t even know probably look up to you. Even just a recommendation for a professor could mean a lot. As a senior, we’ve been through it all, and paying it back is a nice gesture.
3. Visit friends at other schools.
After high school, my friends scattered to colleges across the country, but I’ve only visited a few of them. Judging from their stories, their college experiences seem a lot different from mine. So, because it’s my last chance to do so, I’m taking some road trips this year. From tailgates in the South to small liberal arts colleges in New England, I’m excited to see what college is like for my friends.
4. Go on Spring Break.
Maybe not a “girls gone wild” spring break, but I definitely don’t want to spend my last college vacation watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns in my basement, either. Whether it’s a week at the beach, Alternative Spring Break, or even just a visit to a friend, a change of scenery would do anyone good before the final countdown to graduation begins.
5. Dress to impress.
That means I’m calling for a moratorium on the leggings/UGG boots/oversize sweater uniform. Yes, it’s easy (and so, so comfortable), but jeans and flats are, too. And I don’t know about you, but I feel ten times prettier, more confident, and even smarter when I look nice than when I’m wearing a ratty sweatshirt. Shallow? Maybe, but your professors should be able to recognize you when you’re not wearing gym clothes.
6. Get out of the apartment.
After a long week of classes, work, and extracurricular activities, sometimes the last thing I want to do on a Friday night is go out. But it’s my last year of college, so this year, I pledge to rally. Even if it’s just a quiet game night with friends, there will be no more Saturday nights at home in my pajamas with the Golden Girls. You can sleep when you graduate.
7. Talk to your classmates.
Most of us have mastered that perfectly timed cell phone glance every time we walk past someone we only sort of know. This year, I vow to look up from my cell phone and say hello to my classmates. What’s the worst that could happen? They’ll think you’re a little overzealous. But you could also get to know someone pretty cool.
8. Update your resume.
It’s time. I’ve had internships and leadership roles in college, yet I still have high school activities and awards on my resume. Before you begin the job hunt in earnest this year, take out the high school accomplishments, add your college ones, and bring it to your career service center to get it looked over’s. Spelling errors or grammatical mistakes might be excusable for college freshmen, but they’re definitely not okay for a soon-to-be college grad.
9. Enjoy the surroundings.
I’ve lived in Boston my whole life, and I’m pretty sure that once I graduate, I’m not going to stay here. There’s so much to do in the city, yet I’ve never taken advantage of it. This year, I’m going to venture out into the city and beyond. From country fairs to Red Sox games, my last year here will be the busiest – and best – yet.
Not everyone will have the same senior goals as me – so tell us, what’s on your senior year bucket list?