A senior bucket list

Decide now what you’d like to accomplish before you graduate.

Bronwyn Miller

Seeing more than a few brave souls sporting shorts this week tells me spring fever must be setting in early. February winding down means that just over two months remain in seniors’ college careers — and it’s time to prepare.

Don’t get me wrong — talking about the end of college is one of my least favorite activities. Ask me what my plans are for next year, and I instinctively undergo a Hulk-style transformation; my hands clench up, and I suddenly can’t form words. All it takes is thinking about the Vitamin C song “Graduation,” and I tear up a bit. But whether we deny or accept it, the end will come, so we might as well live it up until the bitter end. Let these ideas serve as inspiration for your own list of unofficial grad requirements.

Thank someone who deserves it.

If you’re lucky, someone in your college career has had a profound impact on your life. Maybe it was a professor who unknowingly inspired you to change your major or the fling who showed you a side of yourself that you didn’t know existed. Even if you haven’t talked in a while, it’s worth reaching out to express your appreciation. It might be too late someday.

Take a break from Dinkytown.

Many of you come from outside the area and plan to move back home or elsewhere once you graduate. I love Dinkytown as much as the next girl, but exploring what the rest of the Twin Cities has to offer is a necessity. Branch out beyond the Campus Connector route: discover Eat Street, explore dive bars in Northeast or catch a show downtown, for starters.

Take a class that scares you.

I’m pursuing journalism and psychology, yet I’ve taken classes in everything from addiction studies and horticulture to physiology and youth studies. I’ve had to pack a lot of classes into this semester, and my APAS report looks a bit schizophrenic, but I don’t regret a single deviation from my majors’ coursework. In fact, these were the classes that inspired the most introspection and curiosity. Sign up for a class that will teach you to look at the world in a different way. For an especially eye-opening experience, the gender, women and sexuality studies department is a great place to start.

Lose the “Freshman 15.”

These extra pounds have gotten me through three cold winters and many a lonely night, but it’s time to say goodbye. The countdown to graduation means the time when I will actually have to pay for a gym membership is fast approaching. Plus, from what I hear, the weight gain associated with post-grad-job-hunting-from-your-parents’-basement puts the “Freshman 15” to shame. It’s wise to get a head start now.

Do something taboo (YOLO).

There is really no better excuse than being young and dumb, so use this to your advantage as long as possible. Think about how you’d like to end the line, “I remember this crazy night in college …” 10 years from now when you’re commiserating with other stressed-out parents about how you used to have lives. Streak through a 300-person lecture. Invite a professor to have a drink with you. Get it on in as many on-campus locales as possible — think of your options like a Dr. Seuss novel (Would you like it here? Would you like it there? Would you like it everywhere?).

Be open to experiences, and embrace those that humble you. Learn about people who aren’t like you. Recognize your privilege, and think before you judge. Look beyond your textbooks, and don’t let any opportunity for personal growth pass you by.