The Final Hurrah: 20 Last Minute Things To Cross of Your Senior Bucket List

by Shannon Asher

The finish line is in sight and senioritis is in full swing. Second-semester seniors everywhere are beginning to go into full-on panic mode from the anxiety of entering the “real world.” The days of sleeping in until noon and Googling through homework assignments are quickly dwindling away. With graduation approaching, students are reminiscing on the past four years and questioning if they have fully taken advantage of their “official student” title that so many adults are nostalgic for.

We are allowed four years to make some of the most wild, rebellious and idiotic decisions. The “best years of your life” have suddenly flown by and stressed out twenty-something year olds are wondering if they’ve failed to live life to its fullest and seize the day, or however one chooses to label it. So behold, anxiety-crazed seniors: we have fashioned a list of the most sought after endeavors we believe each U Iowa senior should embark upon (if they haven’t already) before it’s time to receive that diploma and enter a world void of typical campus shenanigans. Some may call this a bucket list, but we look at it as your last assignment as a student. Take on each task with confidence (and a sense of humor, because yes, you’ll laugh when you realize you still haven’t gone to a CAB event) and live out these last few months to celebrate the final hurrah of life as a college student.

1. Go to the wrong class, on purpose

Changing your major three times during sophomore year didn’t exactly leave you much room to take fun electives like Relaxation Techniques and Introduction to Scuba Diving. Seek out a class that you’ve always wanted to take and sit in on the lecture one day just for the fun of it. Like, you might actually miss going to fun classes at some point in your life (maybe not for a while, but still).

2. Attempt to cook a full four-course meal with your roommates

We all have to embark on the journey that is learning to cook whether we like it or not. We might as well start now when we have like-minded, clueless roommates who also have no idea how to make meals outside of ramen noodles and reheated Mesa pizza. (Tip: Pick up all your cooking necessities at the Bread Garden and don’t forget to claim your Hawkeye Rewards points).

3. Plan a rendezvous with your good ol’ freshmen friends

We can’t forget about those friends who survived freshman year with us. They were not only our first friends in college but they were also the people who were there to witness the late night breakdowns, the hot mess of a Saturday night and the progress of our freshman fifteen in action. So, reach out to them. Go out downtown, grab some dinner, take a study break—whatever! Just see what they’ve been up to before parting ways. What’s the worst that could happen? (We don’t want to know).

4. Sing your heart out at karaoke night

Karaoke guys

A photo posted by bojamesbar (@bojamesbar) on

Bo-James, The Mill or Joe’s—honestly take your pick. Channel you inner Beyonce and let loose by jamming to your favorite song at a karaoke night with your best friends (or strangers, we don’t judge here).

5. Attend a game for each school sport

Most of us have been to at least one football or basketball game, but have you experienced a Hawkeye baseball game, wrestling match or volleyball tournament? Support your fellow students, and give them some recognition! Plus, there’s always food and cheering, so you’ll have fun regardless.

6. Ask a freshman year fling out to coffee (unless you really hate them now)

How could we forget our first college romance? Sure, you may have drifted apart and went your own ways but what do you have to lose by reaching out and asking them to reconnect? Your dignity? Sanity? Maybe! But hey, if you’re on good terms, catching up could be funny. Plus, you get to be all nostalgic together. Reach out and see if they want to grab a cup of joe at Java House or High Ground Café.

7. Go rock climbing at the Rec Center (or just use it in general)

This is undoubtedly the only time in your life when the gym membership will be free (*cough* kind of). Take advantage of the CRWC and all it has to offer. I mean, a free sauna, too? Hell yeah! Get your butt to that gym because it’s really freaking nice.

8. Visit another friend at his or her campus.

Need a change of scenery outside of Iowa City? (Who could really get tired of this place, eh?) Reach out to an old high school friend or a person you studied abroad with and ask to visit them for a weekend on their campus. It’s always cool seeing the similarities and differences between campuses and you’ll probably have a pretty rad time in any college town.

9. Take a freaking picture with Herky already!

Ok, a little cliché, yeah. And unless you have a huge fear of giant dancing mascots (which totally exists) you should probably snap a selfie with Herky. Did you actually go to Iowa if you don’t have a pic with Herky? Your children and grandchildren won’t believe you if you don’t have photographic evidence. Make sure you’re wearing black and gold if you want the full #GoHawks effect.

10. Plan an epic getaway with your best friends

The best kinds of trips are the last-minute ones. Don’t know where to go? Search airline sites for their deals of the day. It’s not too uncommon these days to find round trip flights for under $100.00 if you know when and where to look (Hint: The cheapest day to book a flight is Tuesday, according to It doesn’t have to be some extravagant retreat, a road trip works too. Just grab your best friends and get the hell out of Iowa for a bit.

11. Get people from your major together outside of class

You sit next to these people lecture after lecture, complain about the same assignments, work together in group projects and eventually, you really enjoy seeing them around. Why not get together and complain about class OUTSIDE of class with a beer or two or three. You might realize you’ve had a really good friend all along. Plus, you can all cry about having to venture into the world of actual adulthood together.

12. Go to at least one CAB event

For some reason, seniors have it in their heads that the CAB events are cheesy and are only meant for the freshman. Not true (most of the time). We encourage you to attend at least one IMU or CAB event this semester. They even help host Senior Week, which is a series of events dedicated to your last days at Iowa. There’s a wine tasting involved and you get to return to Kinnick one more time. Try and hold back the tears, guys.

13. Go see our Acapella group perform

Because, Pitch Perfect. No explanation needed. Check them out here.

14. Find five restaurants you’ve always wanted to try in Iowa City

Barkeep, Ash Eastham. #clintonstreetsocialclub #iowacity #oldfashioned #bourbon #speakeasy

A photo posted by Clinton Street Social Club (@clintonstreetsocialclub) on

Ever checked out Pagliai’s, Trumpet Blossom or Clinton Street Social Club? These gems often get overlooked by students because of the convenient chain restaurants you can find downtown. Known for their charm, Iowa City locals rave about these tasty spots and their iconic menus. Not feeling any of these suggestions? There are many eateries to choose from in IC, so take a break from Chipotle and try a restaurant you won’t find anywhere besides here.

15. Have a life chat with a professor that meant a lot to you

We’ve hopefully all had one or two professors that have made an impact on us during our time here as a student. Muster up the guts to go into their office hours and just have a conversation about life and what you hope to do post graduation. More than likely, they will be happy that they made a resonating memory with one of their students and you’ll probably get some great advice in the process.

16. Eat lunch with your friends on the Pentacrest

There is nothing better than when the snow finally melts and students come out of hibernation to experience the glory that is the Pentacrest in the spring. Grab a football or Frisbee and get your friends to come hang out on the grass and eat lunch with you while taking in some fresh air between classes.

17. Go to a multicultural event

Get out of your comfort zone and dive into a culture that is different than yours. Our campus is diverse and full of interesting people—most likely you’ll learn something that you didn’t know before. Learning about new foods and languages can certainly help you down the road when you decide to start acting on those epic dreams of traveling the world. So, why not head to the IMU for the annual Taste of Asia? Or go fly a kite with the Pakistani Student Association at the Spring Kite Flying Festival Basant!

18. Go to Hamburg Inn or Bluebird Diner the morning after a long night out

These two breakfast-luring restaurants are known around town for their tasty eggs, bacon and pancakes. Get there at a semi-decent time if you’re there on a Sunday, because there’s bound to be a line. Order plenty of coffee and laugh about the night before with your roommates. Not into brunch? You should still go at some point. Hamburg Inn is famous for serving various presidential candidates  when they are passing through Iowa City in the midst of campaigning. The walls are filled with framed pictures of candidates who rallied in Iowa City and then stopped there for a hardy breakfast. Who knows, you may just be able to grab a selfie with the next soon-to-be President of the United States (We can dream, right?).

19. Check out a movie at FilmScene

Not many campuses have something as unique as FilmScene. You’ll find an eclectic mix of flicks to choose from and they even have free Monday night movies for students. Win.

20. Get to the roof of a university building 

Alright, one last rebellious memory. Find your favorite university building (preferably one with a great view) and find your way to the top of it. Take in the city that’s been home for four years and get excited for all that’s to come.

Featured Photo by Alan Light via Flickr

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