I’ve received several questions surrounding the graduation-freak-out. I’ve also had dozens of conversations about it these past few months. Most freakouts surround these themes:
1) How could my time be running out? 2) I don’t have any job prospects lined up. 3) I feel like all the emotional energy I have poured into friendships and relationships at college is going to waste. I’m tired of these people. Ready to leave them. And I’m really sad that is how I feel.
So, for the girl who is in a panic because she hates the feeling that the-best-4-years-of-her-life is wrapping up. This post’s for you.
I wrote about this in my very first post, but will say it again here: college is an incredible experience. It should not be the best 4 years of your life. It would be pathetic if by the age of 22 you’d lived the best life had to offer you. Will it be crazy different from here on out? Absolutely. But in some ways, my life has been richer and more meaningful over the past 6 years since I’ve graduated college. I know you won’t really believe me until you live it out, but take heart. It’s not all downhill from here.
However, I do want to encourage you to make the most of every minute you have left in this phase of life. I think every time we experience change and transition, we should try to do just that. Squeeze out every last ounce of an experience, then close that chapter, and open the next one with just as much fervor and excitement as we squeezed the last.
So, maybe you only have 2 weeks left, but it’s time you created your #bucketlist. [If you aren’t graduating this May, all the more reason to create your bucket list! It could be 99 items long and you could tackle them all!]
USA Today College posted this article yesterday as a graduating senior bucketlist. [Take a second to skim it.] While all of those things are good and practical, I was so disappointed when I read it. I wanted heart, passion, people, gratitude, risk… that’s what I wanted to see on a bucketlist.
So here’s my version of the “Five things every senior should do before graduation.” #bucklist
1. Do something, in the words of Barney Stinson, legendary. Seriously. Plan a night for you and your closest friends that you will never forget. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Be creative. Ask friends for input. Have your goal be to create an incredible out-of-the-box memory with people you really enjoy.
2. Write at least 3 hand-written thank you notes to faculty or staff that have really supported, encouraged, guided, challenged, and/or grown you. Those people almost never get thanked. If you had an advisor that saved your tooshie and waved a magic wand to help you graduate– buy them a present. Even if it’s $10 to the local coffee shop. A small gift will mean way more to them than you would imagine. Now is a great time to show gratitude and appreciation of others. Do it.
3. Go on a photo shoot excursion around campus. Grab your camera and take pictures of all your favorite spots & sights. Take a picture of that tree you always lean against on the quad. Your freshman residence hall. The scenic view of the fountain. Blah blah blah… it sounds stupid, but trust me, you’ll be so glad you have them a few years from now. Even better- add this to your “legendary night with friends” and do a photo shoot with all of them all over campus. Finally, buy a photo album and print off as many college pictures as you can (or do the fancy apple or snapfish books). I know that seems so outdated now, but trust me and just do it. You’ll thank me later.
4. Eat in the cafeteria one more time. Some of you still do this all the time and some of you haven’t stepped foot in there since the end of your sophomore year. Go be nostalgic. Grab a meal with some friends in the caf (or d-hall, or whatever you call it on your campus) and reminisce about what you were like as a little freshman. Talk about how you’ve changed, best memories on campus, etc.
5. View every day as a chance to make a memory. Use this time as an excuse to be warm and fuzzy. Tell your besties how much they mean to you, how grateful you are for your time with them. Take risks. Be random. DON’T let the stress of the end of the year overwhelm you. Finish your papers, projects, and take your exams. But don’t sweat it. Let these last few weeks be about people and enjoying the last part of this life chapter.
Edit my list and add your own. What’s on your college bucketlist? Leave a comment or tweet me a #bucketlist item to @hannaeseymour.