ALEXIS PRICE | OPINION COLUMNIST
There are people who know how to make anything lively or enjoyable. They know how to turn a casual evening in their rooms into a rip-roaring night out with friends. These people know how to balance school, work and social life.
I have never been one of those people.
School and my future have always come first for me, and while I desire to have fun and be spontaneous, it has never been in my nature. But I had promised myself that once I graduated high school, I would find that perfect balance others seem to have. So I did what my visual-thinking, plan-loving mind knows best: I made a list.
I created—and am still adding to—a bucket list of activities I want to accomplish before I graduate college. The list includes aspiring to do things such as taking a weekend road trip with friends; getting a tattoo; taking a (legal) risk; convincing someone else to come to my school; and writing a short story, not because it is for a class, but because it is something I stopped doing while I was growing up so fast.
Now, in the prime of my early adulthood, I realize there should not be a rush to grow up. This rush to look into the future becomes too much. As college students, while the academics are important and should be given extensive attention, I realize we also should not be paying around $50,000 a year to have a crumby social life.
Freshman Erik Guevara said that while he has always been a go-with-the-flow type of person and does not actually have a bucket list, he believes the benefits of one depends on the student.
“If you are like me, then you will find your own fun memories and become successful without having a bucket list,” Guevara said. “But if you are the type of person who enjoys lists, and has certain expectations in life, then a bucket list is good for you.”
He said it might provide further motivation and a “kick.”
He also said bucket lists give people something to look forward to. I believe this is the true benefit of a bucket list: to have other aspirations outside of career goals. From my experience, students often forget to create other, nonacademic goals when they are in a cloud of school work, suffocated by the idea of failure.
While we may have thoughts and ideas about experiences we wish to indulge in, there is something refreshing about writing it down. When your goals are plainly written in front of you, there is no impeding pressure of your career surrounding that sheet of paper; a bucket list allows for those thoughts floating around in your mind to become “real.”
But I think, sometimes, that is what scares people the most. Once something becomes real, and is written down, there is this preconceived notion that it must be completed now. But Alice Boyes, a social psychologist who writes for Psychology Today, makes a point about bucket lists I think is important to reiterate:
“Don’t censor yourself because you are worried how others would judge you, or because things seem unachievable,” she said. “It does not matter if you don’t achieve some items—a bucket list isn’t an exercise in perfectionism. If you want it, write it down.”
Therefore, create small goals, create hefty goals. Create goals that may seem a little crazy. Chop off your locks and dye what you have left a new color. Generate a new Starbucks name every week, just because. Discover a new restaurant every month, and try cuisine you have never tasted. Explore, and keep exploring, because there is no better time than at the peak of teen and young adulthood years to simply enjoy the small things—and write them down.