10 Things to Do Before College

Make 2022 the year to look back on for being the year of true accomplishment

Concert

Hundreds of people in a concert audience raise their arms to celebrate the incredible music performed by the musician.

Avery Kibbey, Business Manager

Graduation year is going to sneak up on you. Not knowing what you want to do with life, and the uncertainty of the future, is going to cloud your mind. However, if you make and commit to a bucket list of different things that you want to do or achieve before you graduate, it can help relieve some stress that you may be experiencing. Having the opportunity to create a bucket list could be a fun way to spend some of your leisure time, while also creating memories with friends and family. Here are some ideas that can help you jump-start your bucket list for the year 2022: 

  1. If you are considering something spontaneous to do with your friends, look no further than a unique location and arrive there with only a paper map and some light supplies. If we are being frank, most of the generation Z’ers don’t know how to navigate a paper map. As a result, having to put in some extra work to get to the desired location may be a rewarding experience and also educational. Choosing a spontaneous location can be as easy as the first charming beach, park, historical place, or town that comes to mind. 
  2. Another activity to add, which may be more known as recreational, is plate smashing. Plate smashing is sometimes seen on the app Tik-Tok, where kids write personal struggles on plates and smash them to pieces on the ground. Plate smashing is known to be therapeutic by giving individuals an outlet for any type of emotion that they may be experiencing. Some supplies that you need for plate smashing are a plain white plate, a sharpie, a Ziploc bag, and a concrete ground to smash it on. The first step is to get your sharpie and plate, then start reflecting on things that you may need to let go of. You can write about someone or something that has held you back, or harmful thoughts and experiences that you just need to get out of your head. After you have written on the plate, you can either choose to smash the plate on the ground as is or place it in the Ziploc bag. If you place it in the Ziploc bag, it is guaranteed that all of the mess is constrained to just that bag, versus if you were to smash the plate on the ground itself where it would send shards of the ceramic plate all over the place. Plate smashing may be therapeutic for you to endeavor as you begin to move forward in life and realize you may need to let something go from your past. 
  3. One of the things to add to your list that is on the more expensive side is going to a concert. At the end of it all, you are going to wish that you had gone to more concerts when you could. Concerts are the primary way to experience one of the greatest and most personal art forms: music. One way that you can get this bucket list item going is to start some research on concerts coming up in the next year. Reach out to friends and family members who are willing to attend a concert, where everyone can be there for a common reason: to experience the passion that music can give. 
  4. In the summer, many different things are also available. One of the great things about living in Grand Rapids is that we have Michigan’s largest amusement park only a few hours away. Michigan’s Adventure is the place to travel to when you need a boost of adrenaline. Take a day out of your summer and travel to this amusement park for an experience of a lifetime, and pile some friends in your car while you’re at it. Michigan’s Adventure is most commonly known for the Thunderhawk and Shivering Timbers. These rides will give you a heart-dropping experience that will leave you smiling senseless by the end of your trip, and may even possibly ignite nostalgia from past trips.
  5. As mentioned before, there are many action ideas inspired by summer. Another thing to do during this season is to go to a drive-in movie theatre. Drive-in movies are an alternate way to experience some fun films that have been created throughout the years. It is commonly noted that drive-in movies are more for the experience than watching the movie itself. There are many pros and cons to drive-in movies, but in the end, it is a memorable way to spend a summer evening. 
  6. Another great location that we have access to is the airport viewing area. With Gerald R. Ford Airport within a few miles, we are allowed to experience the awe of watching planes take off right in front of our eyes. At the viewing area, there is a parking lot and picnic benches for outdoor seating. While seizing this experience, you can bring friends along to play board games, watch a movie, or just enjoy the company of one another. A viewing area is an excellent place to socialize and relax at the same time. 
  7. On the long-term side, there are many shelters in our community that you can adopt an animal from. Adopting a pet is something that you may need to put some thought into, but animals are known to bring out the best in humans. Some of the top reasons for adopting a pet, according to the Humane Society, is knowing that you are saving a life, all pets are good for your mental and physical health, and you will be receiving an animal with minimal cost. Adopting a pet can change your life for the better and create a companion that you will have the chance to turn to for support. 
  8. An intellectual action to add to your list is reading more books. Reading books is the perfect way to add 30 minutes to your day where you get to spend time just with yourself. You can even set a goal for how many books you are committed to reading that year and check them off until you reach or surpass the desired number. There is no comparable feeling to that experienced after the accomplishment of completing a book that you just read simply for enjoyment. Choose books that appeal to you without the concern of comparison, and actively section out time for your own reading relaxation, perhaps with a lit candle and cup of tea.
  9. Another item to add to your list is buying a house plant. It may sound boring at first, but buying a plant gives you something to look forward to in your day by making your house feel more alive. Waking up every morning and knowing that something living is relying on you every day may boost your mental health by increasing your desire to get up in the morning. According to Affinity health, “Indoor plants can boost your productivity and your creativity.” If you are looking for something to liven up your house, getting a house plant is the answer. If you’re able and feeling ambitious, starting an environmentally-friendly herb, vegetable, or flower garden in your yard can create an oasis where you and your family can truly appreciate the fruits of labor.
  10. The final idea to add to your bucket list is finding a job that you will enjoy. As you are looking into your future, you may feel daunted by the fact you are going to be working until retirement. High school students often have the chance to make money from any job that they want. Many students get a job for the money rather than the fulfillment provided by the work itself. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to be working at a job that you enjoy, rather than focus on the amount of money you are receiving? This is the time where you may have the opportunity to try out any job that you want, so why not spend it doing something enjoyable? Find a job that can help you save money, while also enjoying what you are doing. 

The idea of college can be intimidating, but spending the time that you have left before that mindfully can be extremely rewarding. Being able to spend it with your friends and family creates memories that you can always look back on. So start now. Make that bucket list and set a goal to complete at least half before leaving for college.