Seniors should cherish last days on campus


Photo courtesy of Pixabay

As graduation approaches, make sure to enjoy your last weeks as an Illini.

By Bella Keys, Staff Writer

The sun has started to shine on the Main Quad, there is now a warm breeze that brushes through your hair and the days of heavy winter coats are no more. Finally, we are entering the time of year when motivation wanes as the spring sunlight sinks into our skin.

For seniors, the incentive to do homework is basically gone; the collegiate chapter of their lives is about to slam shut. The days left on campus are numbered, and reality is coming crashing down. But as your time here comes to a close, it’s time to tie up all loose ends before you leave these four years behind you. Once you’ve wrapped up the tumultuous learning experience that encompasses college, you need to have some fun. So, during the last summer before true adulthood, you need to check off as many bucket list items as you can. If you don’t have a bucket list, I made one for you:

1.  Do something that scares you every day. Venture outside of your comfort zone. Tell someone who has changed your life they’ve done so and how. Take a risk, and look at the times someone outside of your circle of friends has made this impact. It could be something as small as a compliment that challenged you to dream bigger or someone who gave you hope when you were weary. Whatever it is, go out and tell them how they changed your outlook. Most times, the people who do the most for you are not even aware of their impact on your life. Don’t be afraid to say what you need to say before you graduate.

2. Plan to travel. Take yourself anywhere you can imagine. Take advantage of this summer of freedom. The world is your oyster, so adventure and find yourself. Buy a plane ticket to wherever is cheapest and go see the world. If a fortuitous vacation is not your style, do something you’ve always dreamed of. Backpack through Europe, ride a gondola in Italy or picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower. Put on your rose-tinted glasses, and let yourself experience the world without any responsibilities holding you back. Immerse yourself in your vacation, and enjoy the freedom of this exciting period of your life.

3.  Bars. Bars. And more bars. If you enjoy this part of Illini culture, do one last barcrawl. Make it noteworthy; let it be the biggest crawl you’ve ever done. To make the most of it, hit every bar on campus. This includes The Red Lion, KAM’s, Joe’s Brewery, Murphy’s Pub, Legends Bar and Grill, Brothers Bar & Grill and The Hub. It may be your first and last time going to Legends, but what is better than having a first when you thought you only had lasts left? Splurge and experience the nightlife of Champaign-Urbana in one last barcrawl full of memories.

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4.  Before you go, memorialize your time here. Maybe you want to carve your initials into something that probably shouldn’t be carved into. A better option would be to do something more legal. Join the Mug Club at the Illini Inn! Simply pay $5 and chug a beer, recite some numbers and you’ll become a member and get a mug. Then sign your name in their book full of signatures from students who’ve also passed through your school. Immortalize your legacy at the University of Illinois, and ensure this school will never forget you.

5.  Surround yourself with those who have made this journey with you. As you hug and congratulate each other, celebrating all the hard work you’ve done these past years, don’t let it be a final goodbye. Instead, get your group together and take one last trip. Make it a legendary best friends vacation. Rent a beach house and spend a week drinking and hanging out in the sun. Whatever your plan is, you will be in it together, spending time commemorating all of the strenuous effort you’ve put into the past four years. Make sure you let loose during your final summer before adulthood.

6.   You are now entering the workforce, and the years of college and young adulthood are gone. This period of change calls for a more personal alteration. Get a makeover. Dye your hair. Cut it. Then, treat yourself to a new, more adult wardrobe. Just like when you graduated high school and became who you really wanted to be, this graduation calls for changes that will only bring a better you. Find the true you that’s been hiding inside, afraid of what a new haircut could do to your face, and just do it. There’s no time for fear, and adulthood will always challenge you to be your best. Start your new life by putting the last years behind you, and step out into the real world dressed as who you are ready to become.

Bella is a sophomore in Media.

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