Spring is a time for renewal and growth. Like the buds on branches, we often find new people, projects, and possibilities around this time. Perhaps it’s the spring air, warm sunshine, cool breeze, and impending future approaching that has prompted everyone to open their doors and welcome in new opportunities and perspectives. Perhaps it’s a yearning desire for new changes. Since college is often a time of uncertainty, chaos, and drastic changes, we often find ourselves at crossroads asking ourselves if the path we are on and the goals we want to achieve are actually true reflections of our desires. As a sophomore rounding up her first half of her college career, I found myself at that crossroad late February. Trying to figure out who I wanted in my life to what internship I wanted this summer to what GPA I needed to aim for became a tough challenge . Then, a friend asked me one day “What’s on your bucket list?” Suddenly, I realized I didn’t have one.

At first glance, creating a bucket list seems like a fun but insignificant activity. But after I made one, I realized it is so much more than just a checklist. Before I sat down and gave my list a thought, I didn’t have a checklist of dreams to chase after, adventures to embark on, insane things to try. Instead, I had a I didn’t even realize that half the things I claim I wanted were not actually things I wanted; it was just the idea of those things that seemed appealing. What I thought I wanted was a corporate internship, picture perfect relationship, and leadership positions in organizations on campus. What I found myself writing down on my list were places I wanted to live or travel to, fun CMU traditions I wanted to try (such as buggy), specific industries I wanted my careers to be in, and even things like star in a musical production or join an acapella group. Not only did I find that my list tapped into my more adventurous and creative side, I felt this bubbly happiness rise. I became excited to check these things off! More importantly, I also felt peaceful and calm, because I found the things I really wanted to accomplish with my time in school and after.

So next time you’re feeling lost and out of control, sit down and write your bucket list, to-do list, or a short term/long term goal list. Maybe you’ll find the path you actually are looking for. And if not, you’ll at least know which path you want to leave.

Find those dreams and turn them into goals. Good luck, lady Tartans!