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All summer, those three words have been rotating through my head, followed by all the things that I have to do before graduation, all the last few college experiences that I want to have. This is on top of the stress of thinking/starting to apply to grad schools and starting to adult even more. I know I won’t be living here after I graduate. Life and career will take me to other places, so I have to get this list knocked out this year right?

I remember having a college bucket list that I made the summer before I started college. I honestly have no idea where that list is or if I even checked anything off of it. Surely I did at some point over these past three years. However, I know that I haven’t taken a picture with Scrappy. I just get too nervous. Let’s not talk about it.

So here’s the list, not in any particular order:

A bar crawl through Chattanooga

This isn’t exactly something one can do as a freshman, so it’s gone to the top of the last year list. Sounds like a fun night to me!

Paddle boarding on the river

I’ve said I wanted to paddle board since I started at UTC, even though I’ll probably be horrible at it and fall a million and one times.

Host a dinner party

Mainly, I just want to have a lot of friends together with some good food. That’s just sounds like the best time.

Go to ALL the coffee shops in the city

I’ve been to a good number of them. They’re a great place to write (and they’re not Starbucks), but I know I haven’t been to all of them because new ones keep popping up left and right and are hidden in all corners of the city. But I will do it!

More hiking

My hiking record for my time here is very sad. I don’t even want to talk about it. And there are just so many places to go and see, I definitely want to improve this. Plus, I might not be living in a place with such easy access to the mountains.

Volunteer at Young Williams Animal Shelter

Ever since I heard about their Valentine’s Day speed dating with dogs, I’ve wanted to volunteer there. Plus, they let volunteers check dogs out and take them to the park or to campus. So free, personal dog therapy!

Decorate my graduation cap

I already have my quote picked out: “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.” – Bilbo Baggins. Now I just have to figure out how to decorate it.

Spend as much time with friends as possible

This is probably the most important item on the list. I’ve made some wonderful friends during my time at UTC. Who knows where we’re all going to be after graduation day and when we’ll see each other again.


All in all, this “Before I graduate” list is just a matter of making more memories. That’s what this is all about, right? Making more memories? I’m ready to make the most of this year. What’s on your list?


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Hannah Rials

UT Chattanooga

Hannah Rials, originally from Maryville, TN is a senior creative writing student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her first young adult novel Ascension was published August of 2016 by Aletha Press and is the first installment in the Cheyenne Lane Trilogy. Ascensionw has won two awards and is featured in Kirkus Review's magazine. Apart from writing and reading as much as she can, Hannah is obsessed with her Corgi Buddy, loves spending time with her family and friends, gardens, knits, and watches way too many movies.
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