It’s over before you know it. Suddenly, the four (or more) years you spent as a college student have come to an end, and you have walked across that stage, picked up your diploma, packed up your things, and are leaving permanently.
Within the next few weeks or months, you will probably still long for that campus life, and you will come to have some regrets about the things you could have done but didn’t.
If you are in college now, reduce that list of regrets by developing your own personal bucket list of the things you will definitely do before graduation.
Focus on personal development
College is definitely a time for new experiences and experimentation, and it should be much more than just about classes, grades, and parties. At some point, you have to enter the adult world with some values and beliefs about yourself. Here are some ways to develop you:
- Take the Gallup Strength Finder Test. It is online and not expensive. You will be asked to choose between pairs of descriptors, and your results will provide a list of five strengths. Typical results include whether you are a good communicator, whether you are a solid decision-maker, and whether you are short-term or long-term focused. This is good information to have as you think about your major and what areas you may still need to develop. Jullian Gordon, MBA graduate from Stanford, who left his career to become a work-life balance coach states that if he had “listened” to the results of this test, he would not have wasted the years he did pursuing money and work he disliked.
- Read at least four inspirational/personal development books. Check out such titles as: The Success Principles, The Greatest Salesman in the World, Rich Dad-Poor Dad; Fish; Stay Hungry-Stay Foolish, and Who Moved My Cheese?
- Go to a meeting or attend an event of a group that is very different from you. For example, one sponsored by Muslim or African students if you are a typical WASP American.
- Start a blog about an interest. Are you into physical fitness or diet? Are you an expert on ways to freelance and make money while in college? Pick your pleasure and just do it!
- Choose something you have never been able to do and master it. For me, of all silly things, it was juggling. I was such a klutz and never able to get the eye-hand coordination thing down. Once I mastered it, however, I felt like I could almost do anything if my will was strong enough!
- Sit in on a class just because it is interesting. There is an amazing freedom when you don’t have to take notes or study for a test–just sit and absorb. I sat in on an abnormal psychology class and was completely mesmerized by the professor and the content.
Start preparing for your intended career
- Join a club or two on campus and work to get a leadership position. This looks great on a resume, and you will learn a lot.
- Beg, beg, beg for an internship, even if it is only for a few hours a week and you are not doing it for any credit. Just getting the experience and being able to list it on your resume is worth it. I tried for a year to get a radio station to take me on. Finally, I volunteered to be their “go-for,” running little errands, getting coffee, taking lunch orders, etc. Eventually, I got to do some worthwhile things, and I learned a lot about the business.
- Start making notes about what you want on that resume, and develop a portfolio if it will be relevant to your job search.
- Think seriously about at least a semester abroad, even if you have to borrow to do it. This is a big plus when you begin a job search.
Have some fun
- Crash a party where you know no one and make at least one new friend.
- Abuse your student ID discounts as much as possible.
- Dance on a table somewhere, and make certain someone gets a picture!
- Cut classes the first really warm day of each year–-get some sun and your favorite beverages. Make it a tradition, and call it National F— Off Day.
- Sneak into someplace on campus that is restricted.
- Throw a party and give a prize to the person who can bring the most unique/crazy item.
- Dress in a costume even though it is not Halloween and attend classes.
Find a passion that does good
- Volunteer in some capacity. Do something that really tugs at your heart strings. Maybe it is working with abused animals or children; maybe it is building houses for Habitat for Humanity; perhaps it is tutoring inner-city kids or becoming a Big Brother or Sister. Experience that great feeling of making someone else’s life richer for you being in it.
This list is just a start. You will probably find many other things in each category to fill your bucket list. Go for it–every minute of it!
Featured photo credit: College of DuPage 2014 Commencement Ceremony 65/COD Newsroom via flickr.com