As second semester rolls around, seniors start to say the famous statement of “I wish I would have done this” or “I regret not doing that”. Some of us, if we’re lucky, will even have the opportunity to talk to graduating seniors and listen to their advice on things they wish they would have done, before walking across the stage to end their undergraduate career.

As the rest of our time slowly trickles away, I created a “Before I Graduate” Bucketlist based on the top 5 biggest regrets graduating seniors have, and ways to avoid making the same mistakes.

The “Before I Graduate” Bucket List: 

1.Participate in more school activities.

One thing that you will hear graduating seniors say a lot is, they wish that they had gotten involved in more clubs and school activities. This is one of the things that can be hard for some people to do, especially if they don’t know that many people attending the same college. However, many people say that once you get yourself out there and join a club, it’s totally worth it! One of the biggest parts of college is making friends, and joining clubs and activities is one of the easiest and best ways to do that. Another perk to joining clubs is the experience you can get from them. Joining a club that is related to your major can present more and more opportunities to gain experience in the field you want to go into, which means internships and jobs!

2. Spend more time with friends/more time socializing.

Once the school year starts and classes start becoming more and more hectic, it can be easy to forget to socialize. One of the fastest ways to burn yourself out, is to forget to relax and hangout with friends. It’s easy to lock yourself in your dorm, or a UC study room, but we ALL need breaks and socialization time. Make sure to schedule an hour every day of just friend time, to avoid that burnout you hear about.

3. Work on developing better study skills/work ethic.

With college comes classes, and with classes come studying. Studying is one of the most valuable skills someone can take time developing, especially in college. With GPA requirements and grades that need to be met, taking the time to understand the best way for you to study is really important. Study skills can easily be translated into the work ethic that you develop, which is one of the main things that an employer will look for in internships or interviews. Work ethic says a lot about someone, and like anything great, practice makes perfect! So, practicing study skills and working hard can result in something great!

4. Save money! Or get a job.

Impulse buys are easy to come across and we all fall victim to them. If you live on campus and don’t have to worry about gas money, all that extra money in your wallet might be calling your name to be spent. However, by the end of the semester, all of those purchases add up and you start to think “if I had all of that money now”… Saving money now can go a long way in the future, so the next time you’re buying your fifth pizza that week, ask yourself if you NEED it. Or, even better, apply for a job on campus! This is one of the easiest ways to avoid a major dip in your savings during college, and can come with a ton of other perks. Most department buildings offer jobs that are flexible and work around your class schedule, making it an easy and ideal way to make extra money during the semester.

5. Have fun!

Have fun while you’re attending college. These years are huge eye-openers, and the best way to learn more about yourself. The biggest regret that graduating seniors will say they have is they wish they would have had more fun while in college. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress that comes with class loads and life. This leads to the final item on the “Before I Graduate” Bucket List. No matter what happens, having fun and enjoying the time you have as an undergrad is one of the key factors in graduating with no regrets and making the most of the time you have left.

Lastly, here’s a list of the top things a UW-W student should do before they graduate:

  • Paint the road purple
  • Win a trivia night in the Down Under
  • Get a pizza at h’EAT
  • Work at the UC!
  • Play giant chess at Andersen Library
  • Visit the therapy dogs during finals week in Andersen Library
  • Be front row at a UW-W football game
  • Walk in the homecoming parade
  • Get breakfast or coffee at The SweetSpot Cafe with friends
  • Go on the Whitewater Spirit Tour around Halloween
  • Eat lunch at the campus food trailer
  • Study abroad
  • Own too many UW-W sweatshirts from the bookstore
  • Go to a UW-W Wheelchair Basketball game
  • See a movie in Summers Auditorium
  • Eat breakfast at Ike Schaffer Commons
  • Take a picture by the UW-W sign outside
  • Go to Warhawks At Night
  • Sing karaoke in the DU
  • Take a picture with Willie the Warhawk freshman year, and another one at graduation
  • Attend the Career Fair
  • Hike the Whitewater Creek Nature Area
  • Compete in a billiards tournament in the UC
  • Play video games in Warhawk Alley
  • Get a smoothie at the Sideline Café
  • Attend Summer on the Mall
  • Fire the cannon at a football game
  • Go on spring break outside of UW-W with friends
  • Join an intramural team
  • Eat breakfast at Jessica’s in downtown Whitewater
  • Celebrate your birthday at Cozumel
  • Go to the Whitewater Farmers Market
  • Compete in the UW-W indoor Ironman, and finish it at least once

Remember, everyone’s college experience is different and we all have different priorities and goals while attending school. I wish you the best of luck as you start your new semester and hope this list gives you ideas on what you want to do more of before you graduate!

Author: Bailey Gaffney