We often hear about the idea of having a bucket list when you’re older, but the truth is, there’s no good or bad time to have a bucket list. Instead, it’s a good idea to think about creating one at different stages in your life. That’s where you might have heard of a high school bucket list.
But is a bucket list for high school students really the way to go? What would you do with it? How does it really work? We’re going to take a look at all of these factors and more. Not to mention, we’re going to look at some of the great things you should be adding to your things to do before you graduate high school.
What Does it Mean to Have a Bucket List?
The first thing to think about is what it really means to have a bucket list. Well, the original version of a bucket list is a list of things that you want to achieve before you ‘kick the bucket’ or pass away. It’s a list of things that would make your life feel more worthwhile or fulfilling.
When you’re talking about bucket list ideas before graduating, you’re toning this down a bit. It means a list of things that you want to achieve before you graduate. And that makes it a lot less morbid. It also means that there are some different types of things you’ll want to achieve.
The things you would want to achieve by the time you’re 17 or 18 years old (the age at which you would graduate high school) are entirely different from the things you would want to achieve by the time you’re in your 80’s, 90’s, or even 100’s (the age at which you may die).
So, creating a high school bucket list is something you should definitely be thinking about, but it’s also something that may require a bit more thought than you think. After all, it may seem like a lot of pressure to create a list of things to do in a period of time that could be only a couple of years (depending on when you make your list).
How to Make a High School Bucket List?
Let’s start with the basics; just how do you make a high school bucket list? It actually doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. After all, you’re going to have a few years to complete the list, and you have to think about what’s reasonable for you to achieve.
You’ll also have to think about the things that you really want to achieve. That’s because a bucket list is meant to be personal and to relate to the things that you actually want to accomplish rather than just generic things that other people want you to do (or even things your family or friends want you to do).
Start by thinking about how much time you have left before graduation. This could be one year, two years, three years, four years, or maybe you’re ahead of the curve and starting your bucket list while still in middle school. The length of time that you have will affect the number of items you may want to put on your list.
Once you know the amount of time you have, start thinking about the things that you would really like to do within that amount of time. Remember, you’re at most going to be 17 or 18 years old when you graduate, so everything you’re planning needs to be possible for that age group.
Also, think about things that are going to push you to stretch your boundaries and your limits but be realistic. Do you really want to get the lead in the school play, or is that something you think you should do because you’re timid? Your bucket list needs to be things you want, not things you think you need to do.
What to Add to Your High School Bucket List?
Once you’ve got an idea of how to start assembling your bucket list and the types of things that you should be thinking about adding, it’s time to get a little more specific. This is where you’re going to start considering different types of activities or accomplishments that you want to add to the list.
Sports Activities – One of the things that you may want to add to your list is something related to sports. If you love playing sports, you may have a goal in mind that you want to achieve. Maybe you want to get on the team, or you want to beat a personal record.
Academic Activities – It’s always a good idea to do well in your studies, but maybe you have specific goals that you want to achieve when it comes to your academics. You might want to attain particular grades, receive a particular award, complete honors or AP courses, or any other academic milestone.
Extracurricular Activities – Extracurricular activities could be related to other teams or organizations at your school. These could be just about anything and could relate to helping achieve specific fundraising goals or awareness goals, or just participating in an activity.
Outside Activities – Not everything that you want to achieve while in high school needs to be related to high school. You may have other activities that you want to accomplish that have to do with something entirely different. Maybe these are organizations you belong to outside of school or things like studying abroad or volunteering.
Friend Activities – It’s always a good idea to have some goals and plans on your bucket list that have to do with your friends. After all, they’re the ones helping you to get through this entire experience. So, make sure that you’re putting in some fun things to do with your friends before you graduate.
Just for You – Finally, make sure you include a few things (at least) that are just for you. These are things that you want to accomplish just because you want to. They might not be necessary to anyone else or even have anything to do with anything you’re doing for the rest of your life, but if they’re essential to you, that’s all that matters.
Bucket List Ideas for High School Freshman
If you’re looking at creating a bucket list for high school freshmen, you may be uncertain just where to start. The good thing is, there are plenty of things to add to your list, and since you have four years of high school to go, you’re at the prime time to start.
- Find a Mentor – A mentor is someone who is going to help you throughout the rest of your school years and maybe even beyond. They’re going to help you with either your entire high school experience or a specific piece of it, and the earlier you can find someone who really helps you, the better.
- Join a Club – You may not know just what you want to do or where you want to start, but joining a club (any club) is a great way to go. You can try out something that seems interesting to you and if it’s not a good fit you can try something different. You’re not locked into anything.
- Attend a School Event – There are plenty of school events to choose from, and you don’t even have to be a participant. You could attend a play or go to the track meet. You could go to a school dance or a fundraiser. There are events in every style that you could think of, so make a point to go to something.
- Try a New Class – You get a few classes (at least) in high school that are entirely up to you. These are classes that don’t have to fulfill any specific requirements. They’re just about trying something new. So, do just that. Try something entirely new that interests you but you’ve never thought of before. You might find a new hobby or even a career to pursue.
- Be Who You Are – Far too many people think that when they get into high school, they need to be someone that they’re not. You may not quite know who ‘you’ are yet, but you probably have a couple of good ideas about who you are not. So take a little time to find yourself, and then don’t be afraid to be that person.
- Make New Friends – You’re going to have old friends from middle school and maybe even earlier, but that’s no reason to ignore all of the new people that are going to be around in high school. In fact, you should actively set out to make some new friends while still keeping the old ones. You might find a few new acquaintances or even some great friends.
- Participate – There are lots of fun things that your school will do for things like spirit days. Don’t be afraid of being ‘lame’ or ‘awkward.’ Participate! Enjoy yourself. Go all out for those fun days and then own it.
Bucket List Ideas for High School Seniors
So, if you’ve created a list starting in your freshman year, you have a lot of time to move through. But what if you’ve only just started your list when you’re a senior? The good news is there is still time to make the most of it.
- Take a Road Trip – Before you graduate, you and your friends should definitely take a road trip. This is going to take some planning, and you might be surprised at what it could entail, but a road trip will definitely give you something to remember when you’re away at college, trade school or wherever you end up going after graduation.
- Enjoy the Experience – You only get to be a senior once, so enjoy the whole experience and live it up. That means going to all of the different events and experiencing everything that your school (or even your community) has to offer for seniors who are getting ready to graduate.
- Take Lots of Pictures – Once again, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure you document it. Take pictures of your friends and the things that you do during this period in your life. It’s definitely going to be a big thing, and you want to be able to look back at it and remember everything.
- Don’t Stress – Take some time to relax and just enjoy yourself. Yes, there are a lot of ways that you may feel pressure during this year of your life, but you need to take some time to not take yourself so seriously. You can and should be having a lot of fun during this year.
- Apply Wherever You Want to Go – If you want to go to college, make sure you’re applying to the schools you want to attend. If you’re planning on going to trade school, you need to do the same. For those who want to join the military or even the workforce, there are forms to fill out, so make sure you’re getting everything taken care of and early, so you can get back to step 4.
Wrapping Things Up: High School Bucket List
When it comes down to it, your bucket list for high school is going to be entirely unique to you. So make sure that you’re doing everything you possibly can to enjoy the years you’re in high school. You’re not going to get these experiences again.
Add plenty of things to your bucket list, and don’t stop adding as you work your way through your high school years. Whether you start really being you in your freshman year or your junior year doesn’t matter. It’s about making sure you do it. And definitely take the road trips and the pictures.