Take a trip down memory lane to your first day of high school – whether you rode the bus or had your cool, older sister drive you to school, you were probably mentally planning the next four years of your life. Maybe you didn’t write them down like Britney Spears did in Crossroads, but you were creating a high school bucket list. In your mind, you would be the Homecoming Queen, lead Student Council meetings every week, oh, and date the captain of the lacrosse team. As your four years of high school come to a close (can you believe you’re already heading off to college?), your goals are hopeless, right? Absolutely not! With a few months until graduation, there are so many things on your high school bucket list that you can still accomplish. As always, we’re here to give you the low-down on how to make the most out of the rest of your senior year.
1. Bond with Your Favorite Teacher
No, we’re not condoning an Ezra and Aria type of relationship, Pretty Little Liars fans. Take this time to get to know a teacher that you respect in an appropriate way. “It’s a nice way of combining a role model and a friend,” says Catherine Sourbis, a sophomore at Tufts University who befriended her high school English teacher. Instead of maintaining your Pinterest boards during your free periods, stop into their classroom for a quick visit when they’re not teaching a class. Start the conversation by asking your teacher about their college experience. Not only is it a great way to break the ice, it’s also cool to hear about teachers when they were collegiettes. Just because you’re leaving high school doesn’t mean that you have to leave your favorite teacher behind. Email her once in awhile to keep her updated on what you’re up to.
2. Take a Road Trip
Before you graduate, have your first rush of freedom by planning a road trip. What could be more liberating than you and the road? Since traveling across the country is a little time-consuming, plan a weekend getaway for you and some of your girlfriends. Give your excursion that road trip feel by jamming out to mix CDs and posing with quirky landmarks along the way.
3. Befriend the Quiet Kid in Your Homeroom
While you and your friends can barely stop talking during the ever-so-pointless homeroom period, you may notice that there’s one person who quietly sits by him or herself. Before you graduate, embrace your inner social butterfly and strike up a conversation with the quiet kid in your homeroom. “It’s almost a universal truth that the quiet kids are some of the most interesting people once you get to know them,” says Kristen Pye, a sophomore at McGill University and HC Contributing Writer. There’s no downside to checking this off your bucket list: you’ll be broadening your social horizons, practicing getting to know someone new just in time for college, and possibly making someone’s day! Start off the conversation by asking him or her what school they’re going to next fall or cut to the chase and include him or her in your friends’ conversation. If you’re genuinely interested in the conversation and they’re receptive to your social gestures, you’ll have a new friend in no time!
4. Give Your Mental Health the TLC it Deserves
Whether you’re daring enough to skip a whole day of school a la Ferris Bueller or are looking for a way to relax after school, you’re in desperate need of a little R&R after worrying about college for most of the year. Get a few friends together and hit the beach or get lost in a strange, new town. Not only will this give you a much-needed break from high school, you’ll also create great memories with your friends. Just don’t make this a habit: let’s not forget that Ferris Bueller almost doesn’t graduate from high school!
5. Say Goodbye to High School Drama
Whether it was a childhood friendship that faded or a girl who claims you stole her boyfriend (three months after they broke up), you probably have one girl at school who you’re happy to say goodbye to. But before you say goodbye and good riddance, clear the air with this (fr)enemy. Do you really want a high school grudge weighing you down? We didn’t think so. Tell her – via Facebook, text, or even in person – that you’d love to end high school on good terms. But as any pre-collegiette knows, actions speak louder than words. Whether it’s liking her “I’ve decided what school I’m going to” status or inviting her to your graduation party, the key to crossing this act off your bucket list is making a conscious effort to stay true to your word. Even if your enemy shoots you down, you get major kudos for being the bigger person.
6. Show Off Your High School Pride (Before It’s Too Late)
Sure, you go to the annual homecoming dance and participate in spirit week, but besides that, you’re not very school-spirited. Before you have to trade in your school mascot for another one, show off your school spirit with pride! “It’s fun to see so much school spirit,” says Erica Avesian, a junior at University of Michigan and HC Contributing Writer. “The seniors at my high school go all out and decorate t-shirts with fun sayings and memories from our high school experience.” To show some spirit, cheer for your lacrosse team at semifinals or see if there’s anything you can do to help with prom. Since a lot of colleges are super spirited, consider this practice before you pack your bags and head off to school.