If you’re looking for the ultimate college bucket list, then read on. I’ve compiled a complete list of 50+ things that you should before you graduate to experience college to the fullest.
Let’s jump in!!!
1. Attend Freshman Convocation
One of the events that happen at the start of every college student’s first year is freshman convocation! It’s a super special ceremony where the College President and all the Deans of the Schools parade into an auditorium with their robes, staffs, and banners to welcome you and all the other freshers! There you’ll recite your college’s pledge and sing the college anthem, and I believe fire is involved to mark the start of your year. I did not get to go and I deeply regret it! Almost every college freshman I knew went and told me how epic it was, so make sure you put this on your college bucket list and go.
2. Buy College Gear
You cannot go four years of college WITHOUT buying college gear. You must check this off your college bucket list, no exceptions!! Raid your college store and buy a college hoodie, a backpack, socks, hat, or whatever suits your fancy with your college’s letters.
3. Attend a Football Game
Football is huge in America, and while you may never attend a national football game, you can get close to the real deal by attending your college’s football game. So go out in your college colors, scream for your team, buy game food, and have a fun time.
4. Attend or Host a Tailgate
Before every epic college football team is an awesome tailgating event. Tailgating is a social event that happens hours before a football game and where a bunch of people line their cars and tents up right outside the stadium, drink, and grill food to share. Consider attending a Tailgate or Hosting Your own Tailgate. It’s super fun.
5. Go to Office Hours
Take advantage of your Professor’s office hours and meet with them one-on-one to ask them any questions you may have. This is your opportunity to really understand their teaching style, their expectations, and gain insight on what they might put on a future test. Who knows, they may even flat out tell you what’s on your next test. It’s happened to me and it’s a strategy I’ve used every semester to get a 4.0 G.P.A.
6. Join/Host a Study Group
In college, you have to study ALL THE TIME if you want to keep up with the work and make good grades. It can get super boring and difficult, however, if you have to do it all alone. That is why joining or hosting a study group is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself motivated and moving forward. Plus if you’re ever struggling in a super difficult class or you need your essay peer-reviewed, your study buddies are right there to help you. Just make sure you find a group of people who will actually study and not joke around. You don’t want to have to study after your session with your study group.
7. Pull an All-Nighter
Not that I am wishing this on you but pulling an all-nighter will happen at some point during your college career if you’re a full-time student. Studying for Finals is brutal and EVERY hour counts when you are studying for multiple exams. That’s why I put this on the college bucket list and why you should consider adding it to yours so you can check it off when it happens to you.
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8. Attend a Step Show
Have you watched Stomp the Yard or Drum Line??? (If you haven’t, add these to your college movies bucket list!) These movies capture one of the most exciting and anticipated events on campus at night. The Greek comes out in their letters and colors and recite their sorority’s/fraterity’s history and then put on one of the best step shows you’ve ever seen. More importantly, you finally get to find out which freshmen went greek because up to this point, they’ve had to keep it a secret! Finally, there is always a fun, little competition at the end between the frats and the sorors on who’s the loudest or who steps the best. It’s definitely something to watch.
9. Go Greek
Going Greek made this college bucket list because going greek ONLY happens when you’re in college. If it’s been your dream to go greek, then definitely add this to your college bucket list. Just make sure that if you decide to rush, that you do some investigating into each greek organization because some are better than others. My school suspended one of its greek organizations because a few “brothers” got together and raped one of my residents when I was a Resident Assistant. (True Story). They had developed a pretty bad reputation wayyy before that incident occurred so it was no surprise when it did happen. Sororities aren’t as bad as some Frat organizations but I still highly recommend that you ask around before you rush.
1o. Make Straight A’s At Least One Semester
There is something extremely powerful about making straight A’s. Once you hit straight A’s once, you gain this enormous confidence that you can do it again and again and again. Which you can!! I did. Plus it’s an amazing and totally doable goal to reach for during your four years of college. So make sure you add this to your college bucket list.
11. Cook with Friends
Cooking with Friends is so much fun, especially if you have a friend that is a killer cook. You get to learn each others cooking styles, taste new flavors, and enjoy a meal that you all pitched in to create. And if you’re the killer cook, this is an amazing time to show off your skills. My friends and I used to do this at least once a quarter. They were Pakistani, Italian, and Cuban, so I got to enjoy shish-kababs, garlic bread, paella, and more!
12. Host a Game Night
Consider hosting a game night! Game nights are a wonderful way to make new friends and further bond with your roommates and old friends. Hands down, the best college games to play are Taboo and Who’s Most Likely To!!
13. Live on Campus
You most definitely have to add this to your college bucket list. Commuting to college and living on campus are TWO different experiences and you’ll get wayyyy more satisfaction and wayyyy more bang for your buck living on campus than if you commute. Instead of complaining and getting upset about parking, you can roll out of bed 15 minutes before class and get there on time feeling well-rested. You’ll also get to take advantage of all the amenities that you ALREADY paid for in college tuition like the gym, the pool, and the clinic where you can get free massages.
Most commuters miss out on these amenities because few give themselves enough time to enjoy some free time outside of class.
Finally, campus life really comes to life AFTER CLASS at night. When you live on campus, you get to drop your books in your room, change into some fun casual clothes, and enjoy the event free from worry about a long commute home. Commuters don’t have that same luxury.
14. Play Intramural Sports
Love playing sports without a crazy strict coach yelling at you and the crazy conditioning and practices that COMPLETELY SUCKS the joy out of playing a sport?? You know, the type of fun you enjoyed with your siblings and the kids on your block? Then you’ll want to add this to your college bucket list. Intramural Sports are a wonderful opportunity to have fun playing a sport you love without the pressure of being your teams’ superstar and without all the stress that comes with being a part of a college sports organization. Plus you can form your own team and play with those you love – your friends, roommates, etc.
15. Binge Watch a Season on Netflix
I feel like every college student does this at some point. With all the shows on Netflix, there’s always at least one or two shows that every college student gets addicted to and has to binge-watch, class or no class. Some students even host watch parties to binge-watch their favorite shows together. This is definitely something that you can easily tick off your college bucket list if you have a Netflix account.
16. Attend the Homecoming Game
If you want the ultimate college football experience, go to the homecoming game. Homecoming games are typically the most-attended football game and the tailgating is at its best. The Alumni return to root for their alma mater and everybody that goes gets super decked out in their college colors with spray-colored hair and eye black marks. Plus, if you get to the game early enough, you have a chance to win some pretty sweet free stuff like a free t-shirt or even a speaker.
17. Go To One Dorm Program
Now you can only do this if you live on campus but if you do, please go to AT LEAST one program. They’re fun and you’ll make your Resident Assistant (RA) who works hard to throw on these programs really happy. Most college dormitories require RAs to throw at least 3-4 programs a month and when no one shows up to them, it really looks bad on the RA. The RA’s supervisor may give your RA a negative review for not “performing” or “failing to create community.” So you’ll be doing your RA a huge favor by showing up.
18. Study Abroad
Like going greek, studying abroad is an experience that you can ONLY have in college and that is why it is has made the college bucket list. It is one time in your life where you’ll be able to study in another country and truly live like the everyday person in your visiting country. Plus you’ll get to make a whole bunch of new friends (which is easy to do since most people will be entranced by your accent) and eat lots of new and wonderful food.
19. Try a New Cuisine
Let me TESTIFY!!! Before I went to college, the only cuisines I had in my lifetime were Jamaican, Indian, American, Mexican, and Thai Food. In College, I was introduced to Peruvian, Pakistani, African, Cuban, Syrian, and Sushiiiiii (okay fine, Japanese Food.) Let me tell you. When I tried these different kinds of foods, I was like “Where have you been all my life???” Since then, I’ve become the sushi master of my own house and I’ve dibbled and dabbled into a bunch more other cuisines at home too. I want you to have the same “OMG, Where-have-you-been-all-my-life, Come to Jesus” moment too!! So DEFINITELY add this to your college bucket list.
20. Go out to eat with Friends after Midnight
Some college students say that the food at restaurants and diners tastes better after midnight but I think it’s just some made-up myth that some college students say to convince their most hesitant friends (which was me!!) to come along for the ride. I will say it is fun to do at least once because it’s different, it’s an adventure (albeit a small one), appetizers are usually half off at that time, and it’s pretty cool to say that I’ve done this at least once while I was in college.
21. Plan a College Road Trip with Friends
Going on a road trip with friends is so much fun and definitely worth ticking off your college bucket list. You’ll get to eat as much junk food as you want, sing karaoke to your favorite songs, and take some amazing pictures with your friends against some pretty epic backdrops. Plus, with multiple people in the car, you can take turns driving and share gas costs, which will make the journey easier and affordable.
22. Go on an Alternative Breaks trip
Now if you haven’t started college yet, you may not have heard of this. Alternative Breaks is a trip you take during spring break to some location (either in the US or abroad) to volunteer. It’s a lot of fun because you get to go with friends or colleagues from your school, live on-site, and take part in pretty cool activities that help the community. For example, my group got to read to kids living in refugee camps and make soap that would be donated to the homeless. This is also a great trip to take if you need some community service hours. You can easily rack up 100 hours by taking this trip.
23. Attend a College Club Fair
College club fairs are usually held at the beginning of every fall semester and it is one of the best events you can go to if you’re a freshman. At this event, all the clubs on campus gather in an auditorium with their boards, flyers, a list of their upcoming programs, and souvenirs, ready to showcase all that their club has to offer you. This event is a really great way for you to scope out all of the clubs you’re interested in all at once, ask all the questions you want to ask, and meet and make friends with like-minded people.
24. Join a Club
Okay, so this one is a super easy one to knock off your college bucket list. Not only is joining a club a great way to make new friends and take part in some pretty cool programs, being a part of a club is a great resume builder. You show prospective graduate schools or employers that you can juggle multiple things successfully, that you’re a team player, and that you hold leadership qualities (if you run and take up a leadership position within your club).
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25. Attend a Banquet
Are you looking for an opportunity to get super dolled up in a beautiful dress without paying little to no money?? Well, you’re in luck! In college, most clubs hold banquets at the end of every semester just to celebrate and reminisce on everything they’ve accomplished together. Some colleges also hold banquets for students who live on campus and make the dean’s list. And trust me. attending these banquets is definitely worth going to! You’ll get your choice of wine (or sparkline wine) and be served a 3 or 4-course meal by waiters and waitresses dressed in black tuxes and dress suits.
26. Vote in your College Election
If I had to guess, only 10% of any college student body actually votes in their college campus election (it could be smaller). Casting a vote in college campus elections, however, is super important. Whoever becomes Student College President and Vice-President gets to decide how the Campus Life budget is spent (which is usually in the millions of $$$) and how much is divided up among the student organizations. If you help elect the right candidate, you can have better events, a better home-coming week, more resources like: free printing, more laptops, more outlets, more water fountains, and on-site transportation to class. For this reason, I highly recommend you add this to your college bucket list of things to do this year.
27. Get Your Resume Reviewed
One of the best resources on campus is getting your resume reviewed and revised by resume experts in the career and development department. Almost all colleges have them and it’s free. The resume experts can help you turn your less than stellar resume into something that impresses prospective employers and those you’re hoping to land an internship. So take advantage of this and check this off your college bucket list.
28. Use Your College Student Discount Off-Campus
As a college student, you get many discounts and specials from stores, restaurants, and movie theaters surrounding your college campus. Why not use your student I.D. card and take advantage of them?
29. Study on the Lawn
College Campuses have some of the most beautiful lawns and landscaping in the communities and cities they reside in. During the warm months, you can often find college students stretched out with their friends on a blanket studying, eating snacks, or just grabbing a quick nap before class. I highly recommend that you take an afternoon and study on the lawn. It’s one of the most refreshing experiences ever.
30. Attend or Host a Friendsgiving
One thing better than Thanksgiving is having one more with friends. Whether you choose to do this before or after thanksgiving with family, hosting or attending a Friendsgiving is an awesome experience that you should definitely have. It’ll be a great night of eating really delicious food and good conversation.
31. Take a Friend Home for the Holidays
One thing that college students definitely do, especially if they live on campus, is TALK about home. You’ve probably heard it. It’s the typical, “Oh well back home, we have the best….” (My Bff from college was like that lol.) If you’re one of these students, then I challenge you to quit talking about your hometown and bring your friends home for the holidays to experience everything it has to offer.
32. Take a Self-defense class
Taking a self-defense class is another thing that you should add to your college bucket list, especially if you go to a Big College. Campus crimes do happen from time to time and you’ll want to be ready to defend yourself if you ever catch yourself in a compromising or dangerous situation. I highly recommend you doing some light research to see if your college offers a class. More than likely you should be able to find a class that is either free or costs a nominal amount.
33. Learn a New Language
College is one of the few places that you can learn a new language with real accountability: homework, exams, an actual grade!! On your own at home, however, it’s much tougher to stick with it unless there is some urgent need or incentive. As such, if you desire to learn a new language, I highly recommend you doing it now while you’re in college.
34. Take a Nutrition Class
Taking a nutrition class is literally ONE OF THE BEST CLASSES you’ll ever take in your entire life. That class will teach you everything about food and your body — how to burn fat, how to gain muscle, which foods to avoid, which foods to eat more of, and which foods to eat occasionally so you are always hitting your health goals. Instead of being led on by different fad diets, misleading labels at the grocery store, and celebrities promoting different “healthy weight loss” products, you’ll be able to objectively and confidently choose what’s right for you.
35. Attend a Local Attraction in Your Area
College can’t be all study and no play. Add this to your college bucket list and take time to explore your area.
36. Skip class and go to the Beach
Like eating out with friends after midnight, skipping class to go to the beach is another random act of adventure that college students commonly do. Grab your friends, have some fun, and check this off your college bucket list, so you can say that you did it too!
37. Plan an Epic Spring Break with Friends
College spring breaks are pretty much the only break where college students aren’t rushing home to spend the holiday with their parents or off to some internship/job somewhere. They’re all about living up their break with friends. For this reason, I highly recommend you use the break to plan an epic spring break. For example, My best friend and I went to Washington D.C. for our spring break and it was a lot of fun. We ate smoky hot dogs and visited as many museums as we could.
38. Tutor Someone
You may be surprised that “tutoring someone” is on this college bucket list but it’s there for good reason. In college, you’ll take classes that you find super easy and then take other classes that will make you feel like you have no chance of passing without a classmate/tutor who can help you. It feels amazing when you can pay it forward by helping someone out who is struggling in a subject that you’re good at. More often than not, those we help end up helping us in the classes we’re weak in. It’s a win-win situation.
You can easily tick “volunteering” off your college bucket list because most colleges require that you complete a certain amount of community hours before you graduate. Luckily, there are an endless amount of opportunities to volunteer on campus. It’s just a matter of figuring out which volunteer opportunity you want to be a part of. Have fun with this one.
40. Do an Internship
In college, it’s super important that you do an internship. It’s during your internship that you’ll get to confirm whether what you are pursuing is really still the dream. It’s one of the things I deeply regret not doing in college. I ended up spending nearly $200,000 in student loans for a career I don’t even want anymore all because I didn’t take a couple of internships during my college years to confirm it was what I really wanted to do. I would have learned to pivot sooner had I took the opportunity to intern. Don’t make my mistake. Make sure you check this off your college bucket list.
41. Get an On-Campus Job
If you’re like most college students, you’re probably broke. One of the best things you can do to earn money without working too much is getting an on-campus job. Most on-campus jobs will have plenty of open windows for you to study and because they know you’re in school, they are super flexible about your schedule. They’ll let you prepare for a test or make an event that you really need to be at if you let them know.
42. Become a Resident Assistant
Becoming a Resident Assistant is one of the most rewarding jobs ever and it comes with A LOT of perks. You get your own private dorm room, free food stipend, a college restaurant stipend, and a modest paycheck. If you don’t mind throwing programs for your residents, conducting room checks occasionally, and playing mediator when roommate fights happen, then consider adding this to your college bucket list and try out to become an RA.
43. Take a Picture with the College President
While the President of Your College isn’t as famous as the President of the United States, you’ll get almost the same feels as though you were with the real deal due to your College President’s his/her tremendous influence and responsibility on campus. It truly can be an exciting experience to meet your college President, so why not take a picture with him/her?
44. Take a Picture with the College Mascot
Another figure you should consider taking a picture with is the college Mascot. The mascot is the most decorated figure on campus and only comes out at special events and sports games. This is the one figure that college students want a picture with. If you can check this off your college bucket list, you’ll definitely capture a coveted moment.
45. Take Part in a College Tradition
All colleges have their own funky traditions and superstitions. At my college, the word was that if you walked on the university seal (which laid right outside the main entrance of our food court) you wouldn’t graduate. If you spun the giant cube that sat in the middle of the campus courtyard, you would pass your final. Believe it or not, I participated in all my college’s traditions just to be safe haha. Have the same fun by participating in at least one of your college’s traditions.
46. Take Part in a Cause
If you ever get the chance to stand up for justice or something that really matters (like the environment) while you’re in college, I highly encourage you to be apart of the cause and be a part of bringing about good change. If you do this, years down the road when you look back at your college years, you’ll be proud of yourself for doing your part.
47. Attend a Festival
Festivals are literally the best events to go to with friends while you’re in college. At festivals, there are typically food trucks galore filled with all types of delicious cuisines, great music, and games. Plus, there are festivals around almost any hobby: music festivals, art festivals, food festivals, dance festivals. So go look up festivals coming up in your area and make sure you check this off your college bucket list.
48. Attend a Concert
Second to festivals is concerts. Why second? Because concerts don’t have all the good food like festivals do. (Haha) Anyway, you should definitely try to check off attending at least one concert from your college bucket list.
49. Attend the State Fair
Attending the State Fair is another great event that you should attend with your roommates and college buddies. There is literally nothing better than riding the Ferris wheel, egging your friends on to get on Big Ben with you, and eating funnel cakes, roasted corn, and turkey legs at the end of the night. Plus, most fairs give college students discounts so definitely take advantage of that.
50. Go Vegetarian/Vegan for 30 days
If you ever become undone by the Freshman 15 and you want to work it off FAST, consider going vegetarian or vegan for 30 days. I promise, in addition to working out in the gym, going vegetarian or vegan for 30 days will definitely help you lose weight. I did it and I lost 8 pounds in the first two weeks and a few more pounds in the remaining two weeks. Plus, you’re bound to run into somebody–whether it be a close friend, a close colleague, or some college animal rights activist–who will try to talk you into trying. If you do this, you’ll be able to save yourself from receiving a lecture and you’ll get to share from your experience what you think about going veg.
51. Use the College Gym/Rec
Whether you live on campus or commute to campus, use your college’s gym/recreation center at least once. Whether you realize it or not, your tuition has paid for you to use that facility. And because you and thousands of other students have paid to upkeep the facility, you can bet that it will be one of the best buildings with the best equipment on campus. For this reason, make sure you check this off your college bucket list.
52. Read Your School’s Newspaper
The last and final thing on this college bucket list is to read your school’s newspaper. I know, weird request, right? But unless you’re on your school’s newspaper editing team or are a friend of someone who is on the editing team, you may forget that your school’s newspaper even exists. Trust me. I almost went four years of my undergrad without reading a single issue, and when I did, I was like ‘Oh wow, this is actually good.’ Plus, your fellow colleagues work really hard to put that newspaper together, so I know it would mean a lot to them if you showed your support by reading an issue.
Alright, that’s it. If you can check everything off this college bucket list by the end of your senior year, I’d say you’ve had a pretty epic, well-rounded college experience.
Good luck to you this semester!
Your go-to-girlfriend for college advice.
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