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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? Friends, family, and interviewers all ask this question expecting me to answer with some kind of vision for my future. I — and I’m sure many others — haven’t planned out that far (besides maybe some farfetched manifestations).

For me, thinking about the future can feel daunting but, in the end, I know growing up is inevitable; I want to feel somewhat prepared for what’s to come. I both worry and anticipate my fate, sometimes forgetting to stop and enjoy the present. I look back on my childhood, remembering the days spent longing to be older and to grow up faster. Now, I wish I had slowed down and enjoyed more of my youth. I’m determined to look back on college with no such regrets. That being said, I want some mementoes to remind me of these four years, my “Roaring 20s.” So, this serves as your reminder to start a time capsule. ASAP!

Time capsules are a great way to see how things have changed: how you’ve changed, how the world’s changed. They fulfill our desire to be remembered and harbor feelings of nostalgia. Looking back on pictures and videos is different from physically holding onto mementos from your past. These are things you have touched, used, and loved. Each thing is uniquely chosen by you to remember or celebrate a certain experience or event.

Make sure you don’t put too much planning into your capsule; spontaneously choosing your items and randomizing them gives more variety to your collective stories. It can be as disorganized or organized as you like and should be easy since it takes little time (albeit overtime) to throw together. You can make one for yourself or make a combined one with friends. Either way, make it personal.

Start off with a box, or anything else that might store your collections. Make sure it’s durable so it can last the years it remains unopened. Then, start saving up. Here are some ideas to get you and your fellow Gauchos started:

  • Keep your Duffl note from your last order.
  • Pocket some sand from Campus Point in a small jar.
  • Save a tortilla from a soccer game (and pray it stays well preserved overtime).
  • Sneak a fork from DLG or Portola.
  • Keep your wrist band from a Dayger.
  • Add in your access card (when you’re done using it of course).
  • Grab a rock from Lizard’s Mouth.  
  • Save a tar-stained seashell.
  • Write an entry of a typical day for you. Add what you’re up to and who you’re with.
  • Frame your Bid from recruitment and add it to the capsule.  
  • Keep a Blender’s cup.
  • Add a list of your favorite songs and artists that you’re currently into.
  • Write yourself a letter with a prediction of your future — or what you think the world’s future might look like.  
  • Grab a menu from your favorite restaurant downtown. Highlight or put notes by your favorite foods!
  • Ask your friends to pick one item to add into your capsule. Anything that will remind you of them.

Most importantly: start NOW! Even as a senior, it’s not too late! You may even have an advantage in thinking about which items to include since you already have a better grasp on which experiences or traditions you cherish most. Like they say, “it’s better late than never.”

By making a habit of saving little keepsakes, you’ll have more to look back on. Not only can future you laugh or cry about little stories and memories attached to each item, present you will feel more connected and appreciative for each experience you choose save something from. By taking the time to dig up some sand or steal away a fork, you see the value in each item and become grateful for the little things each day.

Overall, a time-capsule is very fulfilling. The time and effort put into constructing it, the anticipation for the chosen day to unwrap it, and the continuous cycle of discovery and connection allow this simple craft to transcend the boundaries of time.

Lastly, choose a date to open the time capsule. In 5 years? 10 years? You choose! If you’re impatient like me, challenge yourself to stick to it – some advice: hide it somewhere it can’t tempt you. And who knows, maybe one of your friends gives you an item with their signature — and years later, you discover you scored the signature of the next Jack Johnson!

Hi! I'm Margot, a first-year student majoring in Global Studies at UCSB. I grew up in New Jersey but later moved to the Seattle area (bless Santa Barbara for saving me from all those rainy days). I'm an editorial intern but when I'm not writing for Her Campus, I like to eat good food, read, and make pottery or scrapbooks.