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The College Bucket List – 35 Fun Things to Do Before Graduation

Hello, lovely readers!

College isn’t just about 8 am classes and pulling all-nighters. It’s a time of exploration and freedom. I found college to be some of the most formative years of my life. I dyed my hair crazy colors, got my first job, fell in love for the first time, and had my heart broken in two. If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing because these experiences made me the woman I am today.

Since returning to finish my degree, I’ve plunged into collegiate life again. That’s why I created this college bucket list full of experiences every student should have at least once. So what are you waiting for? Read on to learn how to make the next four years your best!

The College Bucket List:

1. Go Greek.

Greek life can be an enjoyable experience for many students. You will share bonding activities like retreats, get to know other students by having mixers with other sororities and fraternities, gain leadership experience by holding officer positions, and more. Concerned about the historical lack of diversity or high expenses? Many multicultural Greek organizations cater to minority populations with lower dues than Panhellenic chapters. Another way to lower your costs is by obtaining scholarships. There is truly an organization for everyone.

2. Join a student club or organization.

Not into Greek life or want to broaden your social network further? No problem! One thing I love about college is that there are endless opportunities to make friends. Student clubs and organizations are a great way to do that.

There are many different types of student clubs and organizations. For instance, my university has nearly five hundred catering to other interests and professions. You can join social clubs, major-specific clubs, honor societies, volunteer or activist organizations, performing arts groups, and more. No matter where your interests lie, you’re sure to find your perfect fit.

3. Take electives that have nothing to do with your major.

Taking electives is an excellent way to lighten your schedule with fun courses. For example, since I enjoy studying human behavior and art, I took sociology, anthropology, psychology, and painting courses. Aside from having a blast, exploring other interests through coursework is a great way to expand your creativity, world knowledge, and critical thinking skills. Whether it be the History of the Roman Empire or Ceramics, you will have fun while learning.

4. Try a new hobby.

Hobbies can be vital to a student’s success in college by creating a much-needed outlet and distraction from classes. Start by assessing your interests. What have you always wanted to do but never had the time for? Have you always wanted to learn a new skill but didn’t have the resources at home? It never hurts to try something new. You may even find your next passion project!

Take it from me. Starting my blog while in school was the best decision ever. Because of this once hobby, I have the opportunity to help readers like you, which has been my life’s joy. You’ll have a blast no matter your hobby (or hobbies).

5. Tutor a student.

Tutoring a student is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in college. You can find opportunities by spreading the word through classmates or volunteering in your school’s tutoring lab. Who knows? You may even be able to turn this into a full-time business.

Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for help yourself. After all, we’re all in this together (here’s looking at you, Troy).

6. Pull an all-nighter.

The quintessential all-nighter is one of the classic college experiences. With multiple courses, club meetings, and even a part-time job, keeping up with coursework is nearly impossible, and sometimes a slip occurs. Maybe you forgot an essay or an exam date. It happens to the best of us. As far as I’m concerned, you haven’t started your collegiate journey until you’ve suffered through it.

7. Go to a college party.

I went to a couple of college parties in my day, and let me tell you; they were very different from what I saw on TV and in movies. Trade dancing on tables with playing Rock Band, add some Dungeons and Dragons in the mix, and you’ve got the picture. However, drinking alcohol was still a significant part of the atmosphere. If you decide to drink, remember to be responsible, have a designated driver, and watch your drinks closely. Know your limits and stick to them. Oh yeah, and have fun!

8. Bond with your dormmate(s).

There’s nothing quite as unique as the bond with your first roommate. Both of you are likely to feel a bit homesick during the initial semester, but this can be a way of bringing you closer together. Have an open conversation about your fears and hopes with college. Catch a sports game and scream with the crowd, even if you don’t know what’s happening. Share a table at the cafeteria and split a cookie. There are endless ways to bond with someone. It all comes down to instincts.

College can be scary, so having a supportive friend can be essential to enjoying your next four years. Don’t worry if you two don’t bond right away. These things can take time. Trust me; the effort is worth the outcome.

9. Host a movie night for your floor.

Hosting a movie night is a fun and easy way to get to know your floormates. Keep it casual with a low-kye feel, or make it themed with a particular genre, like horror or romantic comedy. Bonus points if you add some fun decorations that match. Snacks are a must, so make sure to put out some chips, sweets, and plenty of soda.

10. Study Abroad.

“Broaden” your horizons by studying in a different country. There are many reasons to study abroad. It’s a fun way to understand other cultures better, try out a new location for your future career, learn a new language, and expand your network. Those global connections could be helpful in your career, especially in governmental roles such as Foreign Relations.

11. Work out at the university’s gym.

Get your gym babe on at the university’s recreation center. The membership fee is built into your tuition, so why not take advantage of it? Swim in the lap pool, lift free weights, or try a fitness class. My university’s recreation center even offers monthly cooking classes and massages during finals week! Your university doesn’t have a gym? No problem. There are many ways to get moving, from hiking to online fitness classes.

12. Dye your hair a fun color.

There’s nothing more sacred than the first time you dye your hair yourself. Whether it’s a fun color like pink or blue or a natural color like red or brown, you’ll remember this day for the rest of your life (for better or worse). Just ask me, a purple-haired 26-year-old.

Read Maintain Your Hair Color at Home with this Easy DIY for instructions on how to dye your hair.

13. Try out for an intramural sport.

Did you play a sport in high school but didn’t get to play on an official college team? Or have you always wanted to try a sport but didn’t have the time or recourses? I have the perfect solution for you: an intramural sport! Depending on the university, there can be many different sports that you can try out for, such as volleyball, soccer, or track and field. My local university even has a Quidditch team!

14. Get on the Dean’s List.

Making it on the Dean’s List is a huge accomplishment and one to be proud of. Every school has different GPA requirements, so make sure to check the website.

15. Start a blog or YouTube channel.

Take it from me; starting a blog is well worth it! Although I technically started Lifestyle on a Budget in eighth grade, college is when I took it to the next level. Working on side projects in college can help keep you on track for success, and you never know; your hobby could turn into a profitable business!

16. Become a brand ambassador.

From Dr. Pepper to Bumble, there are endless companies to choose from. If you’re well-connected on campus, this should be a snap. $15/hour? Sign me up!

17. Wear your pj’s to class.

Wearing pajamas to class is a right of passage for any college student. Who doesn’t want to be comfy during a stressful exam?

18. Move into your first apartment.

Moving into your first apartment is a special time for everyone, but there’s something extra special about moving out of the university dorms and into your own space. You finally have control over decorating your space and picking your roommate. Your first apartment may or may not be the best, but you’ll look fondly at the memories you created there.

19. Decorate your dorm room/off-campus apartment.

This was one of my favorite activities in college because I love interior design! Home Goods was my go-to store for decor and furniture. Target and IKEA are also universal favorites among students for their cute and affordable furniture.

20. Take a summer class.

Taking a summer class may not be the most fun activity on the list, but you’ll finish your degree quicker, which means less studying and more time for yourself. Taking it at a community college can save money, so it’s a win-win! Another option is testing out of courses through CLEP exams. Reach out to your university to see if they accept CLEP credits. If they do, more power to you! In addition, make sure to look up fee waivers online.

21. Attend a school sports game.

The screaming fans, throwing out my back doing the wave too fast, and the stale popcorn, I love it so much.

22. Explore your new city.

Why not explore your new residence? Instead of staying in the dorms for four years, discover the hidden gems. Whether it’s a fun dive bar or a cute park, you will surely find a place to make memories.

23. Experiment with your personal style.

Trying new things is always a good idea, and style is no different. As you’ll soon find out, reinventing yourself is a classic part of the college experience. So go out and try something new. Whether it’s Barbie-core or e-girl chic, you’ll look fabulous while having a blast.

24. Sing your heart out at a local Karaoke bar.

Nothing is more fun and terrifying than getting up in front of a crowd of strangers and singing your favorite songs. The thrill is addictive, and you’ll be back in no time. You may even find a hidden talent!

25. Create a photo album for your memories.

You know the saying – pics, or it didn’t happen. A photo album is a great way to conserve your favorite college memories. Take it from me. I still look back on my old photos occasionally and smile. It could be digital or physical. Either way, you’ll treasure them forever.

26. Connect at a networking event on campus.

Many colleges host monthly networking events. Although seemingly boring, these events can be crucial to getting the job of your dreams. Some companies even recruit directly from specific universities. Make sure to wear a blazer or a nice shirt. You’ll look so profesh.

27. Cook a pot of instant ramen.

Instant ramen is a great way to save time and money at less than a dollar per pack. Since instant ramen can contain some serious salt, limit your intake to a few times weekly to prevent your sodium levels from becoming too high.

28. Take an early morning class.

Everyone’s done it at least once in their college career. I remember having a class at 9 am once and thought I would sleep through every lecture. Even though you’ll probably hate it, it will be a funny story to tell in the future.

29. Find your go-to coffee order.

Drinking a fresh cup of joe is essential to the college student’s morning routine. Or afternoon routine… Or night routine… Don’t ask.

30. Apply to graduate school.

This activity only applies to some students, but I wanted to include it anyway. Applying to grad school can be stressful, but the result is often worth the pain. Just think, a few years from now, you could have “MBA” or “Ph.D.” next to your name one day.

31. Develop a self-care routine.

When I was in college, I was often an anxious mess. From exams to essays, I felt overwhelmed and crushed by my ever-increasing workload. Eventually, I started going to therapy, where I learned the importance of taking care of myself, mentally and physically.

A daily self-care routine is a great way to keep stress at bay. Self-care activities could include taking a short walk outside to taking ten deep breaths every morning. Choose them based on how they make you feel. Do they relieve stress or cause more?

Finding a routine that works well for you takes some time. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish, and you deserve happiness and inner peace.

32. Write for the college’s newspaper.

Writing for your college’s newspaper isn’t just an excellent way for students interested in journalism to gain writing experience; it’s also a way for students in other majors, such as Marketing, to gain valuable skills by promoting the paper across campus, designing graphics, or monitoring the website.

Not looking for work experience? Joining the paper can be a fantastic way to make friends and explore your creativity. No matter where your interests lie, you’re sure to have fun.

33. Apply for your dream job.

College is the time to try new careers, and internships are one of the best ways. You will build a resume by interning at companies to increase your hireability. You may even receive a job offer before graduation. I believe in you!

34. Take graduation pictures before your school’s sign or sculpture.

One of the best parts of graduation is taking that treasured photo in your cap and gown. Taking it before an iconic school symbol packs an even bigger punch. Bonus points if you include a few funny faces.

35. Create a group chat so your BFFs can stay in touch.

Afraid of losing track of your friends after graduation? Creating a group chat is a great way to stay in touch. All your BFFs can stay together, regardless of their journeys.

I hope you enjoyed my college bucket list! I plan to tick these off throughout my last years in college. What were your favorite college memories? Share them in the comments below. I can’t wait to read your responses!

Still in high school? Read The Ultimate High School Bucket List – 10 Things to Do Before You Graduate to make the most of your high school experience.

As always, I love my lovely readers!


Lauren Hochman

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Lauren Hochman
Lauren Hochman

Lauren Hochman is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Lifestyle on a Budget and THE TEEN RUNWAY. She has over a decade of experience giving women advice through her writing. When she isn’t at her laptop, you can find her exploring Texas with her fiancé, Alex, and dog, Mr. Cantaloupe.

Find me on: Web | Instagram

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