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5 Bucket List Ideas for Your First Post-Grad Summer

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

As the semester comes to an end, many of us at Florida State University are also reaching the end of our time in college. Once we graduate, summers are no longer breaks in between school. Instead, they end up being reduced to another season you still have to work through. However, that’s no reason to ignore the bright rays, warm weather, and chill vibes of summer! In fact, this should be the time to embrace all of it after the years you’ve spent working hard in college.

If you want to make the most out of your first post-graduation summer but don’t know where to start, look no further! While we may not have every day of the season to relax, this list is perfect to complete in between your jobs, internships, or whatever your post-grad plans are! If you’re thinking of putting together a bucket list of your own, here are some ideas that are perfect for maximizing your first summer as a new graduate. 

Reconnect with Old Friends 

If you’re returning to your hometown after graduation, it’s the perfect time to reach out to some friends you haven’t seen in a while! Whether you haven’t spoken since high school or the long distance of college made you drift apart, what better time is there to reconnect than your return home? You may find that you’re not the same people you were before college, and it can be so much fun getting to know the new yous! 

Commit to a Summer Reading/Movie List 

If you’re at all like me, you like to have something to track your progress over any given break or season. This makes the summer an ideal time to start — and actually commit to — a summer movie or reading list! I know I’ve had trouble finding time to watch movies or read books between a college workload and a part-time job, so this newfound free time should definitely be taken advantage of.

If you’re thinking you want to lean more into film, Letterboxd is great for keeping track of the movies you watch. You can even give your own reviews of them and add your friends’ accounts to compare their reviews to yours. It’s a fantastic way to stay connected if you’re moving away from each other! 

If you want to commit to reading more this summer, both Goodreads and The StoryGraph are amazing apps for keeping track of and reviewing any books of your choice! Goodreads comes highly recommended and has been beloved for years, but The StoryGraph goes into specifics when it comes to your statistics (thouh you do have to pay if you want the advanced stats). Both apps allow you to set your own reading goals, rate each book you read, and add friends to compare reviews and share recommendations!

If you want to keep track of little accomplishments over the summer, I think committing to either a movie or reading list gives you a better sense of fulfillment. 

Learn a New Skill 

Having the goal of learning one new skill over the course of a summer is 100 percent something that can be achieved. Think about a skill or a trade that you’re interested in but haven’t had the time to learn. It could be learning an instrument, sign language, crocheting, painting, knitting, or anything else you can think of! Set a goal at the start of the summer and try to devote some time to learning the skill every week.

You could also try recording yourself as you’re doing it! Even if you find that you can’t master the skill by the end of summer, the recordings can serve as proof of the progress you’ve made since you began learning. 

Go Somewhere Else

While you may not have the budget to go on an epic summer vacation out of the country, that doesn’t mean traveling should be completely out of the question. If you have a weekend or even just a day, try finding a new city or town to discover! There are more hidden haunts around us than we think, and it would be so fun to take a day exploring them! In past summers, I’ve explored different springs, towns, hideaways, and so much more. 

If you’re staying in Florida, this article has some great ideas for traveling to new spots within the state. It can make a Florida staycation a summer destination to remember, even if you’ve lived here all your life.

You can even turn this idea into going on a road trip with your friends! Take a million pictures, keep every little token that reminds you of the trip, and create lasting memories that can be tied to the same epic summer. If you keep going back to the new places you discover this summer, the memory of first exploring it with your friends will never leave your mind. 

Have a Summer Romance With Yourself

Of course, the ultimate summer bucket list item is to have a summer romance, so why not have one with yourself? I wasted my summer last year because I couldn’t get over not having my friends there. I didn’t give myself the chance to be the friend I needed. So, why not take this summer to reconnect with yourself? There’s something so beautiful about the ultimate summer romance being with yourself.  

The first summer after graduation is the perfect time to connect with yourself again. Figure out who you are outside of the environment you’ve been in for years. You can take yourself on solo dates, start journaling, collaging, meditating, creating new playlists (like this one), and overall, just caring for yourself! After all, you’re the main character in your life.  

Life after graduation can be scary, and we don’t know what’s in store for the future. This summer may be about working at a new job, internships, or setting up your future career. However, we’re still young! Just because summer isn’t a break for us anymore doesn’t mean we can’t give ourselves a break. These bucket list ideas are perfect for accomplishing during a busy summer. Completing them means getting to look back at this summer feeling like you didn’t waste it — you embraced it!  

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Cheyenne Cruz is a staff writer for the FSU chapter of HerCampus. Her work involves writing for personal experiences, entertainment and pop culture, and campus life at FSU. She is a Senior at Florida State University, majoring in Humanities and minoring in Hospitality Management. She also serves as the Event Planning Coordinator for the Themed Entertainment Association at FSU. In her free time, she loves reading and video chatting with her family just to check up on her dogs. She has a love for pop culture and a passion for discovering a myriad of films and tv shows, both old and new. Any song in her playlist is easily located from a movie soundtrack, and she loves bringing her new discoveries to so many different people.