It's My Last Semester of College: Here's How I'm Planning to Make It the Best One Yet

It's official: I'm finally in the second semester of my senior year of college! Graduation is approaching a little faster than I'd like, and I can already feel myself getting emotional just thinking about it. But because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I hadn't really thought about what that meant until recently.

Last semester, after living at school for a few weeks, I made the decision to move back home to stay safe. While I did travel back to school every few weeks to check in with my roommate (we would quarantine and get tested), I realized that I had barely spent any time enjoying the school and campus that I'd come to love over the past four years. I hadn't soaked up the moments of walking around my favorite campus, rushing to class after a coffee run, or doing stupid stuff with my roommate. But once the new year hit, I began to do some self-reflection. I thought to myself, "Even though this isn't the senior year I had dreamed of, it's still *my* senior year, and I need to make the most of it."

This time is what we make of it, and I want to make my last semester of college one to remember despite the challenging circumstances.

Immediately after having this realization, I opened up my computer and began typing furiously. At the top of the sheet in big pink letters I wrote "BUCKET LIST FOR LAST SEMESTER TOGETHER!!!!!!!!" I filled the sheet with crazy, weird, fun, and, most importantly, safe activities to do to make my last few months of college epic. For example, my university has a famous fountain that students jump around in at night. Somehow, as a college senior, I still had not completed the infamous task, and so I added it to the top of my list. If not now, when, right?

Another task, while very simple, is to stay up all night. If I can so easily stay up all night to finish an assignment or cram for an exam, why shouldn't I stay up to just talk, make TikToks, watch movies, or catch the sunrise with my best friend? From my experience, those nights where you make plans to hang out but don't actually have plans end up being the most fun. You never know what spontaneous activities might occur. And so, I was making it my mission to have more of those spontaneous nights before it was too late.

Since I'm fortunate enough to live in a warm climate year-round, I also decided that my friends and I needed to take better advantage of this fact. You'd be surprised how little I actually enjoyed the warm weather to its full extent (I've only been to the pool about three times in the past four years). Regardless, I added, "Watch the sunrise," "Have a photo shoot at sunset," and "Go stargazing" to the list — all things my friends and I could do safely outside. And while I know not everyone lives near mountains or in a warm climate, you can adjust these bucket list items to where you are. You can still watch the sunrise or sunset (bundle up and bring hot chocolate or coffee), have a photo shoot in your bathroom, and even look up at the stars from inside a warm car. And if you and your friends aren't currently living together, you can still do most of these things via Zoom or while socially distanced. Get creative!

At the end of the day, 20 years from now, I know I'm going to remember the things I did this year instead of the things I didn't do. I want my friends and I to be able to look back and say, "Remember when we all were so into filming random TikTok dances?" or "Remember when hanging up sheets in our bedrooms was how we created our own photo shoot backdrops?" or "Remember that night we made our own music videos to the iconic song 'Driver's License?" This time is what we make of it, and I want to make my last semester of college one to remember despite the challenging circumstances.

I'm still adding things to my list, and I don't plan on stopping until that graduation cap is in the air. I hope you decide to add to yours, too. Here are some ideas to get you started, because no matter what year you are in school, there are still a few months left to make it great:

  • Go get hot chocolate and watch the sunrise.
  • Walk around campus and have a photo shoot.
  • Start a new Netflix show together and binge it all with your favorite junk foods.
  • Make a music video (it really is fun, I promise).
  • Take disposable photos.
  • Have a wine and painting night.
  • Sneak onto your school's football field and take pictures.
  • TikTok prank your friends (call someone and once they answer say, "Hey, I'm busy right now, can I call you right back?").
  • Have a dance party — because why not?