Make Your College Years Count With These 23 Bucket-List Experiences

Make Your College Years Count With These 23 Bucket-List Experiences

College is a time of growth, discovery and a chance to figure out how exactly you fit into the world. But by your senior year, you don’t want to look back and suddenly realize all you can remember are countless biology terms, expensive textbooks and constant migraines. Of course, you should study hard and do your best to get good grades—you are there to graduate and land a job, after all—but don’t let your entire college experience be solely defined by how hard you hit the books! Keep reading for the ultimate college bucket list that will make any student’s journey to the graduation stage just a little bit more interesting.

  • Start a chant at a sporting event: Whether you’re at a baseball game or a track meet, athletic competitions are the perfect place to spread school pride and get pumped up. But don’t let the players on the team be the only stars of the show—show your support by coming up with some clever chants. School pride is a huge aspect of college life as it sets the tone for any student’s experience. When you look back at your college years it will feel less like school and more like a fun place where you learned so much and also did amazing things.
  • Join a club related to a small interest of yours: College is a time to jump out of your comfort zone. Putting yourself in new situations can help you learn about yourself in an entirely different way, and that deserves to be on a college bucket list—doesn’t it? While it may be out of your comfort zone, joining a new club can help you broaden your horizons and meet all kinds of people.
  • Pull an all-nighter: There’s nothing like cramming for that last exam or trying to reach that last paragraph on your final paper while the clock ticks past midnight. Round up your friends and make it a group activity. Fun memories and finished papers are guaranteed.
  • Protest for a cause: In this day and age, it’s our time to fight for what we believe in. What better way to express how you feel than through a protest? Mark your college experience by sparking change within the world, no matter how small that change might be.
  • Try out for a sport: Whether it be the soccer team or the Ultimate Frisbee team, sports can help you make amazing friendships and become a stellar representation of your school. Years from now when you put on that old jersey or glance at an old trophy, it’ll remind you of the people you met and all of your hard work.
  • Send a response letter to an article in the school newspaper: Read an article that especially sparked your interest? Send a response letter back! Writers are all about constructive feedback—publishing your work is a feat on its own—so words of encouragement or little tips go a long way. Whether it’s praise or the start of a heated discussion, that kind of passion for written art belongs on a college bucket list.
  • Go to a rave: There’s nothing quite like the beat of a song specifically engineered to get your blood pumping. Raves are a chance to dance with your friends, wear crazy outfits, and discover an amazing music genre. When you look back at all the videos and pictures you took, your older self will laugh at the crazy time you had.
  • Throw a fancy party: House parties and your average bonfire can get repetitive after a while, so why not throw a fancy party just for the fun of it? It’s a chance to dust off a pair of killer shoes, immerse yourself in the ultimate glam, and twirl in your favorite party outfit. Your friends will thank you for the chance to dress up and a party to remember for the years to come.
  • Attend a music festival:  When I attended Governor’s Ball in New York City last year, I not only got to dance the night away but I also happened to discover some spectacular new musical gems. Since most festivals occur in the hotter months, think of it as a last hurrah with your friends before crossing that graduation stage.
  • Make a playlist of your favorite songs from the past year: Music has the potential to bring back even the smallest of memories. Make a “musical scrapbook” of all the songs you loved from each school year and listen as the memories come flooding back when you play it years later.
  • Try a new type of food: Expanding your food palate is just another step in the ladder we call adulthood. It’s time to drop the instant-ramen and discover a new favorite food. Grab a couple of friends and try a new cuisine once a week, by graduation your refined food tastes will be Michelin starred.
  • Spend your spring break out of the country: Explore the world and the different cultures it has to offer by taking a holiday beyond the borders of your home country. You’ll meet new people, see new surroundings and come back with a refreshed take on life after college.
  • Spend a full day on the campus quad: During school, it often feels like we’re too busy or too tired to spend any free time on campus. Even if you’re bogged down with homework, grab a group of friends and enjoy what your school quad has to offer with a picnic study session. Spend some time on your campus so that you’re not stuck realizing all the things you took for granted come graduation.
  • Go on a road trip: Planes are cool and all, but when was the last time you got in a car with your friends and drove for hours to nowhere? Road trips are a great way to spend time with your friends, see fun monuments and make memories to last a lifetime. No college bucket list is complete without this.
  • Sing karaoke with your floormates: Get to know your floormates by belting out your favorite songs and debating who would get the farthest on American Idol. It’s an alternative to eating out and a new way to get to know the people you live with—you may find you have more in common with them than you realize.
  • Become a mentor to an underclassman: I think it’s safe to say that we were all a little lost when we first came to college. Help an underclassman and show them tips and tricks to help them get better acquainted. Having a mentor to help you navigate the craziness that comes with college is a huge help and reminder that we’re not alone in our struggles.
  • Visit a high school friend at a different college:  Feeling a little homesick? Visit a high school friend’s college and compare and contrast the different schools while also catching up on where life has taken you. When I visited my best friend at her college, I got to see how a more traditional college operates as opposed to my school (which is in the heart of Manhattan). I was incredibly grateful to have kept in contact with her despite the hundreds of miles between us, because sometimes a familiar face is all it takes to shoo away the homesick blues.
  • Start a club: Starting your own club not only looks great on paper, but it also feels great. There’s nothing like bringing a group of people together because of a common hobby or trait. The people you bring together may end up being friends for life, and if that doesn’t deserve to be on your college bucket list, then what does?
  • Go on a service trip: Has your school ever offered you a chance to visit other countries to help others in need? Service trips serve as a great opportunity to see how diverse the world is and they show what you can do to make it a better place—it’s a rewarding experience that you will not regret. When you reflect on your trip in the years to come you’ll be proud of how you empowered a community and remember the culture you experienced.
  • Apply for your dream internship: Internships are a crucial aspect of college that allows you to get a glimpse into your future career. You gain experience and real-world knowledge of your field—something incredibly valuable to future employers. Walk across that graduation stage knowing you’re prepared and ready to face the real world.
  • Take a picture with your school mascot: Shine your school pride on your sleeve by taking a quick selfie with your school mascot. Years from now you’ll thank yourself for commemorating the place that shaped you during your young adulthood.
  • Take a night out on the town, on a weeknight: Ever get tired of the same old same old? Instead of going out on a Friday night, go out on a Tuesday night! You’ll find that places you would usually frequent are much less crowded (and sometimes cheaper, too). The weekends shouldn’t be the only time to have fun—every day should be an opportunity to make more memories.
  • Revisit your freshman dorm: Columnist Doug Larson once said: “Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good ‘ole days.” Take a step into your freshman shoes and visit the room where you spent many firsts. It’s a great way to look back at all the memories you made and measure how much you’ve grown since your freshman year. Although four years may sound like a long time, it can go by in the blink of an eye.

What have you added to your ultimate college bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!

Opening image by Vi Luong.

One Comment
  1. I love this piece because it challenges so many kids to “go out on a ledge.” Whether one is successful or no with his or her endeavors, it still requires one to test one’s courage. In this day and age, so many do not want to risk embarrassment, which is what this piece does. Yes, love for the moment & for the fun of it all! And with that being said, I’m going to come up with my own team chant! Nice job, Sam!

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