Spice Up Your Summer: 10 Bucket List Ideas

It is crazy to think that we are already over halfway done with spring quarter and inching closer and closer to summer. However, while I wish the temperature was rising and beach days could make their glorious return, instead SoCal has been plagued with gloomy and even rainy weather. As other colleges are steadily finishing up (or are already done for the school year), us UC students are desperately dreaming of the day our summer vacation will start. While our freedom is still a few weeks away, it is never too late to start planning our future festivities. Despite the internships, jobs, or classes that may be the glaring red stop sign ruling over our summer priorities, there is no reason you cannot try to fit some exciting activities into a hectic schedule. To be done by yourself or with your friends, there is nothing more iconic or nostalgic than checking things off of a summer bucket list. Here are a few ideas to add to yours for this upcoming break:


1. Munch on some viral food trends

Photo courtesy of Eater NY

From charcoal ice cream to sushi burritos, there is so many crazy cool food out in the world to try. Not only will these treats look killer on your Instagram feed but they can become a fun bonding experience in trying out new places with your besties. To find the trendy food hot spots in your area, scroll through Yelp or check out local food Instagrammers for suggestions. With this bucket list activity, happiness is just one bite away.


2. Take a hike or go exploring

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Greenberg

Go take a hike...literally! I don't claim to know what the weather is like all around the world, but for those who live in SoCal, the summer is the perfect time to head outdoors. Lace up your hiking boots and try out some local trails or climb a mountain. Because yes, you can climb mountains. I did it, and so can you (and yes that was a subtle flex about how I climbed to the peak of Mount Baldy which is at 10,000 feet above sea level in case you were wondering). If hiking isn't your style, just take a walk around your neighborhood or take routes home you never take. Channel your inner Christopher Columbus (minus the exploitation of natives) and go exploring. Find something outdoors that you enjoy. Bonus points for dragging your friends along with you.  


3. Binge watch a new Netflix series

person holding remote pointing at TVPhoto Courtesy of Freestocks.org 

Netflix and chill, either literally or figuratively. I don't care. You just spent around 10 months stressing over finals and homework, you are totally allowed to turn into a couch potato if you so please. Just promise me, you'll watch the Blacklist or You if you haven't already. That's all I ask of you.


4. Go skydiving!

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Maybe this is just me, but I have always dreamed of jumping out of a plane. Call me crazy, but as an adrenaline junkie at heart, this item has been on my bucket list for years. However, I'm hoping this summer is going to be the one that I will actually be able to check it off my list. If you are scared of going alone, try to convince some of your friends to come with you. Not only will they provide you a support system but you can have the experience of jumping out of a plane and pummeling towards the earth together! If you have a fear of heights, that's no excuse - all the more better to use this as an opportunity to conquer your fear (they say immersion therapy is the best treatment for a reason). Skydiving is such an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience that is sure to be the highlight of all your future conversations reminiscing about your summer.


5. Take a day trip to a new city

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Greenberg

Grab a minivan and a couple of friends and hit the road! Although I was born and raised in SoCal, it is tragic and somewhat embarrassing to admit that I had never been to Hollywood until this past summer. So, my friends and I decided remedy that travesty by taking a little drive up to Los Angeles. From strolling along the Walk of Fame to climbing up to the base of the Hollywood sign, being a tacky tourist for the day is more fun than you would think. In regard to location, whether you decide to travel to a major city or even just to your neighboring city that you only go to because the gas is cheaper there, use the summer as an opportunity to explore new places. The best memories are those you stumble upon in a new environment, like getting stuck in the Church of Scientology. Trust me, when they invite you to come in and take a personality evaluation, don't do. Actually, do it. That's the whole point of this bucket list item anyway. Adventure is out there!


6. Go thrift shopping

Photo Courtesy of Billboard

Go and pop some tags with that $20 in your pocket. Thrift shopping is a super fun way to experiment with your personal style or to purchase those trendy pieces that you know will be irrelevant a few months for cheap. While you are not guaranteed to find exactly what you're looking for, at worst you will have a good laugh at what people wore a decade ago. Check out classics like Goodwill and the Salvation Army or peek into more boutique-y consignment stores. You'll never know what hidden gems you might dig up. 


7. Volunteer around your community

Photo Courtesy of Perry Grone

Lend a helping hand to those who need it the most. Round up your group of friends and spend the day picking up trash at the beach or volunteer at your local soup kitchen. You can even research some of your favorite causes or organizations online and see if there is anything you can do to contribute. There is no better feeling than giving back to your community and knowing that you are making a positive impact in the lives of others. 


8. Attend a concert, rave, or music festival

Photo courtesy of Rave Jungle

While the famous Coachella and Stagecoach festivals are long in the past, there are so many other concerts, raves, and festivals that are held all throughout the summer. From small, local ones to those that draw international attention, music festivals are a no brainer when looking for something fun to do. No matter what your music preferences may be, there is sure to be a concert that is geared towards your taste somewhere. Although this activity can tend to be on the pricey side, these music related events are at most described as “life changing” or at worst: "just a good time.” Don't forget to look up your favorite artists as well, because you never know when they could be coming to a town near you.


9. Start a new workout routine, and actually stick to it

Photo Courtesy of Bruce Mars

Ah, the item I am least excited to put on my bucket list. However, summer is the perfect time to start working out and establishing an exercise routine. From zumba and pilates to boxing and yoga, there is truly an option for everyone. Not all work out regimes have to suck. If you find that you don't enjoy your routine, try something new! Learn how to play a new sport or sign up for a Soul Cycle class (although the latter is a bit cult-y). The key to sticking to your routine is by finding something you actual like to do. Or, by finding someone to do it with. Find a gym buddy that will not only push you to keep going but will also make the experience fun. Just make sure you're not talking by the water fountain the whole time. You're not going to the gym to exercise your vocal chords.   


10. Visit an amusement park, aquarium, or zoo

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Greenberg

Scream your head off on a roller coaster or go where the wild things are...rawr. Pro tip: before going, check to see if they offer a student discount. You'll thank me later.