There you are, hanging out and enjoying your favorite movie, when a scene like The Breakfast Club’s dance montage or The Hangover’s ridiculous picture slideshow comes on and it hits you — that tinge of guilt you feel for failing to live life to its fullest, seize the day or whatever you choose to call it. The movies have a certain ability to make your youth and your precious college years seem like one non-stop celebration, but Her Campus has found a better, guilt-free way to make sure you’re taking full advantage of college. We’ve compiled the 50 things you’ve got to do before graduation day.
1. Visit your best friend on his or her campus. It’s like the first weekend of freshman year, except you won’t have to worry about seeing anyone again.
2. Take a class in a subject you’ve never studied. If you’re worried about managing your time and keeping your grades up, try auditing a course or taking one pass/fail.
3. Attend a student-run campus theater production.
4. Audition for a role in a campus theater production. Bonus points for trying out for musicals, singing in a cappella groups, or beat-boxing like JT.
5. Have a picnic on the football field in the off-season.
6. Surprise your parents for their birthdays by driving home for the weekend. As contradictory as this may seem to the purpose of a college bucket list, one of the keys to enjoying college is to take breaks once in a while. Besides, mom and dad will appreciate the gesture.
7. Retake the SAT just to see if you can top yourself after a few years of college. #nerdlife
8. If you go to a smaller school, try out for a varsity sports team. If you go to a larger school, try out for a club team or form your own intramural team.
9. Dye your hair purple while you still can.
10. Or chalk your hair blue just for a day.
11. Meet your school’s mascot, even if it’s a weird one like University of California Santa Cruz’s beloved Sammy the Banana Slug.
12. Audition to be your school’s mascot, unless they’ve already offered you the position; since you did number 5, you’re probably pretty famous.
13. Eat wings like a bro, in front of a bro.
14. Quit smoking now, before you find yourself worrying about the long-term health effects.
15. Go vegetarian or vegan for a week.
16. Have lunch with your favorite professor or TA. Chances are he or she will have interesting life stories, brilliant advice, and helpful connections.
17. Go on a weekend road trip with your favorite people to an unspecified destination.
18. Ask your professor to teach seminar outside on a sunny day. He or she might not say yes, but it’s worth that marginal risk — better to try it in college while you’re asking your professor to move the class, and not your boss to move the office.
19. Create your own signature drink.
20. Mix up your weekend routine and take advantage of the culinary options on campus. Try sushi, caviar, calamari, spinach, or whatever else you’ve been avoiding since you switched to solid foods 20 years ago.
21. Go mountain-climbing for a week with your campus’s hiking or outdoors club.
… or just go rock-climbing for an afternoon at the campus gym.
22. Rush a sorority. If your campus doesn’t have Greek life, check out service societies and organizations that hold open meetings.
23. Reach out to that awkward teen or nervous freshman you once were by participating in a mentorship program — sign up to be a tutor, counselor, big sister, teacher’s assistant, orientation leader or RA.
24. Enter a business competition with a couple friends and see where it takes you.
25. On a completely unrelated note, start a Her Campus chapter on your campus.
26. Teach a friend how to dougie, before that joke gets old.
27. Run a 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon.
28. Go streaking. After all, Penn’s Under the Button reports that the first guy ever recorded streaking was a senior at Washington and Lee University, and he went on to be elected to Congress. It’s obviously the recipe for success.
29. Don’t actually go streaking. Public indecency is illegal.
30. Organize a day of Free Hugs on your campus.
31. DJ a party — for your friends, your sorority or your whole campus.
32. Apply to your dream internship, even if it feels out of reach.
33. Steal a sign. After all, this is probably the last time in your life that it’s even marginally acceptable for you to get Animal House rowdy. If you’re (sigh) a law-abiding citizen, just grab a paper flier or put the sign back in the morning.
34. Do your middle school self a favor and finally pass a note to the cute kid who sits in front of you in class.
35. Write for the campus newspaper. Even if staffing is competitive, most college papers accept letters to the editor and opinions submissions regularly.
36. Participate in a campus-wide tradition.
37. Start your own campus-wide tradition.
38. Sign up for a painting or ceramics class at the local craft center. Student discounts and no grades make for a less stressful educational environment.
39. Tweet at your favorite celebrity actor, singer, author or Kardashian.
40. Donate blood at a local or campus blood drive. The Red Cross reports that one donation can help save as many as three lives.
41. Go to office hours! No matter the size of your school, this is one huge perk of college. Consider it free academic counseling and a wee bit of extra credit, bundled into one.
42. Pull an all-nighter in support of a super-busy friend who doesn’t want to stick it out alone.
43. Sleep all day to compensate for the aforementioned all-nighter.
44. If you’re of age, throw your own pregame. Good thing you’ve already done number 13, right?
45. Resist hook-up culture and go on a real date. You’re such a classy lady.
46. Take advantage of that free campus gym membership; there’s no such thing in the real world.
47. Step out of your comfort zone and sign up for workouts like Zumba® or boxing.
48. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
49. Study abroad, learn another language or join a cultural club to gain exposure to other cultures and broaden your world perspective. Sorry, eating Pad Thai once a week doesn’t count.
50. Stock up on disposable cameras that you won’t be scared of breaking or losing. Take good pictures of all your great memories.
What did we miss? Leave a comment!