You know that random moment when you get a sudden inspiration to do something crazy? We’ve all had it. Maybe not quite anything life changing but just something to make you feel alive. College does that to you pretty quickly, I’ve found. With college comes a lot of losing yourself just because of the hours and hours of signing your life away to homework and essays. But when it’s all over and you have made it out alive (barely) isn’t there this part of you that feels like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders? Like you have more room to actually be who you are again? There is nothing like submitting that mid-term essay after staying up until 3 a.m. the night before to finish it. And afterwards this moment occurs in which you ask yourself, now what? Maybe it is just spur of the moment lust for an adrenaline high but why not do something crazy? You’re young and you’re not about to get any younger. So, put that pencil down, close the laptop, and let’s kick it.
1. Wake Up Early and Go See the Sunrise
Before you brush it off, yes, I am aware of the fact that the sun rises quite early in the morning. I am also aware that as a college student, sleep is greatly valuable, even cherished. But wake up and smell the roses honey, sleep is for the weak. That sunrise could be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen (probably not but also why not find out??) and you could be sleeping through it. Get out of bed, get a group of friends, and you find the highest point in the city to drive and see that sunset at 6am. I did this the summer before college started, and while all of my friends did indeed hate me at 5:20 a.m. that morning when we met in my driveway, afterwards, they all told me that it was well worth it. Grab yourself some coffee, go watch that damn sunrise, and live a little.
2. Plan a Weekend Road Trip
It could be an hour or 4. Why not play the “close your eyes and pick a spot on the map” game? Life is all about trying new things and nothing brings people together like jamming to good music and driving down a high way to an unknown place. The best memories often come from an unexpected place. Go find good ice cream shops or bookstores or art museums or parks, hiking, etc. in a new place. Meet strangers. The possibilities in a new place are literally endless. Of course there is the possibility of it being a boring old town but you never know where you’ll end up if you don’t get out there. It takes some guts and a bit of gas money but keep an open mind!
3. Get a tattoo or piercing
Ah yes, the fan favorite. Nothing says new found independence and “take that Mom and Dad” like a fresh piercing or better yet, fresh ink. Now, of course I will throw out some caution of the whole “this is a permanent decision make sure you know it is there forever and you are 100% sure,” blah blah blah. In all seriousness if you feel strongly about a tattoo and have wanted it for a long time, I say go for it. I might be slightly guilty of this spontaneous-ness within the first month of college but hey, live for you. Tattoos are literally art work on your body that tells the world a piece of you. Unless you want to just slap a random one on there, that’s chill too. Just a few tips before the decision for both piercings and tattoos, (1) make sure you have at least $80 dollars with you and (2) make sure that you tip!
4. Study Abroad
This is a bit of a long term “spontaneous decision” but totally worth it. Though I have not “studied abroad” I have been abroad quite recently and I know that I am going to go back as soon possible. Wherever your heart desires, there is no time like the present to start planning and searching for study abroad programs. Signing up and checking out the possibilities is half of the fun—the anticipation of what could be. One moment you’re signing up to study abroad and the next you’re climbing the stairs to the Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower in Paris! College allows many opportunities that were not there before and it is one of the best times to travel! Who needs a boring old lecture hall in the middle of Kansas when you could be in a University in the middle of Spain or Ireland? The world is your oyster!
5. Random Acts of Kindness
This sounds extremely cliché, however, when was the last time you did something nice for a stranger? I was once in the middle of Plato’s closet paying and I did the old credit card swipe, and of course I didn’t have as much money as I had previously thought. I suppose the woman behind me had overheard that I was going to pay in a moment as I struggled to get the internet to load on my phone, and just as I had turned around to pay she turned to me and said, “I paid for you.” I looked at her in shock, surely she wasn’t speaking to me? But she was and I said “Oh I can do, please can I give you money? Something?” And she looked at me with a smile said, “No, please, have a great day,” and she left. Now, I am a somewhat stereotypical “broke college student” but I most definitely didn’t need a stranger to pay for me, I was fully capable. But this woman saw me struggling and decided to do a nice gesture without knowing anything about me or the situation. I am not saying to go out and start throwing money around but every once in a while, do something random, do something kind. Tell that stranger that you like their jacket, don’t just think it. Offer up even a dollar to someone in need, or pay for the stranger behind you if you can. It truly is the little things, the genuine kindness that goes a long way!