We all know Columbia can be tough, but it’s important to not forget the small stuff. Last New Year’s Eve, one of my high school friends who had recently graduated told me that one of her biggest regrets from college was not having more fun while she was there. She said she’d spent too much of her time working or worrying. After our conversation, I made a pre-graduation bucket list of experiences I wanted to have before the end of the spring semester. The list was composed of new things I wanted to try and some things I felt like I wouldn’t be able to get away with once I’d graduated, even if I’d already done them.
My attempt to complete this pre-grad bucket list led to one of my most memorable semesters in college: I made new friends, got closer to my existing friends, and now have many more stories thanks to the experiences I sought out. During my time at Columbia, it was easy to get caught up in the stress of internship or job hunting, problem sets, essays, endless midterms, and then final exams. Pursuing this list and these experiences made me remember to enjoy college and take a break. Obviously, academics are important, but college is about figuring out who you are or want to be as much as it is about earning an academic degree.
1. Explore campus
2. Do something you’ve never done before, whether it’s performing at an open mic night or trying to go vegan (oat milk is better than it sounds)
3. Throw a party
4. Stay up all night and watch the sun rise on campus
5. Have dinner with a different friend every night for a week
6. Go to a wild party (read: attend Bacchanal)
7. Spend time out and about on campus, whether you’re studying outdoors or lounging on Low Steps
8. Skip a class and go on an adventure instead
9. Go to senior night
10. Have a picnic in Riverside
11. Spend as much time as possible with your closest friends because you won’t live in walking distance of each other for that much longer