I wished I had had a senior year bucket list in 1987. I’m always about trying to make the best out of my life experiences and a senior year bucket list would have helped. Undoubtedly, your senior year is the most memorable out of all your years in school. You are at the top of the food chain in the school, but you’re stuck somewhere between being an adult and being a kid. You have lots of responsibilities, but are still permitted to occasionally act childish. You have waited your whole life to get the heck out of this god forsaken town, and you want the first ticket out. You can hardly believe anyone who tells you this is the first place you’ll want when you get homesick. Make a senior year bucket list.
Your senior year will fly by! Before you know it, you’ve graduated and you and your closest friends have all scattered in different directions—many of which, you will only see at high school reunions. Time has a way of creeping up on you, making once important details fade to nothing. Nostalgia has a way of keeping you young at heart by remembering the past and wishing you could repeat it again. Here is a senior year bucket list of ten items to make the most of your senior year and to etch all those wonderful memories into your brain.
Senior Year Bucket List
- Have Fun: The most important thing you can do your senior year is have fun! Don’t skip out on team nights, prom, awards banquets, or any function that your friends will be at. Memories are so precious, so don’t miss an opportunity to make one.
- Start an Address Book: Collect social profile handles, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of all your closest friends and teachers/coaches. Despite how you feel right now, you will eventually want to reconnect with everyone who was important to you at this time. Make it easy for yourself and gather all the contact information now.
- Be Thankful to Your Mentors: If there were special teachers or special coaches who connected with you and helped you navigate something personal or difficult, buy them a special gift and include a handwritten note. In the note, describe how much you appreciate their help and what it means to you. Let them know how their words of wisdom helped you to overcome an obstacle and how grateful you are. Teachers and coaches really have a selfless job. Let them know they are appreciated and valued.
- Apologize: Apologize to anyone you may have hurt or wronged. If you don’t have the courage to do it face-to-face, consider buying a small gift (candy, soda, etc.) and writing a note. Without going into details, you can simply just say that you’re sorry for making someone else feel crummy. Back in my day, I made fun of someone who only owned one pair of designer jeans. I didn’t know the gravity of it until 20 years later at a high school reunion. After all those years, this person still felt hurt by my comment. I took the time to apologize. The ironic thing about this is that I probably owned only one pair of designer jeans as well. I’m sure this wasn’t the only time I made someone feel awful, so in the words of the infamous Maya Angelou, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Make someone feel special.
- Pack Away Your Mementos: Pack away your ribbons, medals, plaques, certificates, t-shirts, love letters, pictures, newspaper clippings, programs, report cards, detention slips, school ID card, or anything else you’d like to save for later. Put them all in a box or plastic container and store them in your closet or attic. It’s so much fun to reminisce over these things years later. Having them all in one place will make the trip down memory lane a lot easier.
- Plan a Best Friends Party: If you’re lucky, you have a big, special group of friends—girls and boys alike. Plan a special event for you all to enjoy each other’s company. A movie marathon, scavenger hunt, or fun 5k obstacle run are all good ideas. The mundane activities will disappear from your memory easier than the unique ones! Plan something fun!
- Get Your Yearbook Signed: Get your yearbook signed by all your friends, your teachers, your coaches and even the people who you didn’t necessarily hang out with as much! Years later, it will be fun to read what they had to say. (Side Note: My senior yearbook was lost forever shortly after high school when it was in one of my best friend’s car when it was repossessed.)
- Start a Journal and Print Your Cell Phone Pictures: Even if it’s just one sentence every day, start a journal now. Jotting down special events and memories will serve you well to remember them in the future. Memorialize all your special times, even if they are sad or disappointing ones. Journey (Android/Chrome), Day One (IOS) and Flava (Both) are all good apps to accomplish this. You also need to get those digital images off of your devices and print them. You will upgrade, lose, and break your digital devices. They will also fail you at one time or another. Print the images that are important to you and help to preserve your legacy. There is no better way to recall an important time in your past than by looking at a printed image! There’s also a ton of apps for this and some of them even claim to print your images for free.
- Write a Letter to Your Best Friend: Write a very special note to your very best friend. Let them know how much fun you’ve had with them and how important it is to keep in contact with them. Detail some of the wild and crazy stuff you’ve done together and keep a copy for yourself. It will be so much fun to break this puppy out at your high school reunion. The two of you will laugh uncontrollably.
- Write a Thank You to Your Parents: Lastly, your parents have spent the last 18 years changing your diapers, teaching you to walk and talk, tucking you in at night, playing Santa, Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny, taking you to first days of school, following you around watching you participate in extracurricular activities, talking you through crushes and first loves, witnessing all your achievements, and trying their best to mold you into a responsible human being. For most, it is very hard to let their babies go. Write them a very meaningful note letting them know you recognize their sacrifices and that you appreciate them. Let them know they’ve been a good parent and set a good example for you and you will continue to do your best to make them proud.
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I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of!
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