Bucket Lists and Advice from Graduating Gators

As pollen season descends once more upon Gainesville, seniors are scrambling to enjoy their precious last few months in the Gator Nation. I talked to a few seniors to get an idea of how they’re preparing, and they each gave me a unique bucket list centered around engaging in typical Gainesville/UF traditions. The list includes activities such as enjoying all the lovely nature Gainesville has to offer and munching off local menus. Our college town has so much to offer, and between spending time with friends, lazing around on weekends and catching up on lectures, students often postpone sightseeing until the pressure of graduation sets in.

So what are some of the things on people’s bucket lists?

  • Bike the Hawthorne Trail

  • Relax at various springs, such as Ginnie Springs or Ichetucknee

  • Watch the bats fly at sundown

  • Meet up with friends at Swamp Head Brewery

  • Try the best brunch spots Gainesville has to offer

  • Stroll across the DNA bridge at night

  • Eat a Satchel’s Pizza

  • Attend UF events, such as Big Orange Fest or an ACCENT talk

  • Take a famous Plaza of the Americas nap

  • Drive to St. Augustine

  • Walk to the stairs at Devil’s Millhopper

  • Have a rope swing adventure at Bob’s River Place

“[I’m] also trying to hang out with my friends as much as possible and only going home if absolutely necessary. I really love the city of Gainesville, so I just want to enjoy the little time I have left here! I find myself taking the long way home so I have an excuse to walk through campus,” our own Campus Correspondent, Victoria Messina, said. Her advice? Victoria suggests leaving the bubble we call campus to explore everything Gainesville has to offer. For those of us still ignoring the fact that we too will one day graduate, our seniors have some more advice to offer.

“Come up with a plan, like a bucket list, and do one thing a month from now until you graduate, which is nothing,” senior Nathan Kaplan said. “When three months are left, you’re not panicking to finish.”

Nathan has spent the past few months saying yes to everyone — Jim Carrey-style in Yes Man — in order to not miss out on anything or have future regrets.

“I don't really have any advice except for that corny stuff like really appreciate your time here, find a balance between school and your social life,” Kaplan said.

“Also, don't be afraid to room with a stranger in the dorms,” Sharon Sabbagh, another UF senior, said. “Even if you guys don't get along, you'll at least have some funny stories for the next year, and you shouldn't be spending that much time in your dorm room anyways. You should be in class, at the Broward pool, or out meeting new people.”To our seniors, we’re going to miss you! Life has more exciting adventures to come, so have no fear. The rest of you, you heard them: Start enjoying your time in college thoroughly because it does sadly come to an end.

Photo credits: toodamnyoung.com, emilykatharine.com