Senior Year Bucket List: 5 Things to Do Before You Graduate from APU

by Savannah Lawrence

You’ve made it to senior year—congratulations! At this point in your academic career, you may feel like you’re hanging on for dear life (you can do it!) or consumed with thoughts of post-graduation life, including career questions or graduate school plans. Perhaps you’ve experienced a mix of both. To help you maximize the time you have left in school and with your college friends, it’s important to not let senioritis get the best of you. Here are five things that should be on your list of things to do before you graduate:

1. Make Lasting Memories

When you look back on your college experience years down the road, what you will remember most is the people you connected with and the memories you made with them. That’s why you should carve out time from your busy senior schedule to cut loose and have fun. Grab a friend and go to a local museum you’ve never been to before, or get out and explore the diverse cultural opportunities in the L.A. area.

If you aren’t sure where to start, look no further than Communiversity, which organizes social and student community programming at APU, from clubs and dances to outdoor adventures (how about a night hike in Yosemite?). This is a great way to stay connected with others during your senior year, and attending an event every other week or so can be a breath of fresh air from school work.

2. Become a Sports Fanatic

During college, your access to sporting events is at an all-time high. Take advantage as a senior by making time to cheer on the Cougar athletes to victory. A little time spent in the stands enjoying a game, wearing your ZU gear, and getting a little rowdy could be just what you need to refocus and recharge. And, if you’ve made it to senior year without ever attending a game, break the streak now so you can cross this classic college experience off your bucket list.

If you want to be part of a team instead of on the sidelines, join an intramural sport. There are a variety of sport and fitness interests available throughout the year.

3. Cultivate Relationships Beyond Your Fellow Students

As your undergraduate experience draws to a close, take time this year to build relationships with your professors and staff at APU. That may mean grabbing coffee or tea with a professor outside of class, or seeking a discipleship mentor for your spiritual walk. These relationships can help guide you through your senior year and beyond. Tap into the wisdom and experience of those around you who are ready and willing to speak into your life and help you transition to life after college.

4. Go Ahead—Document Everything

Don’t be shy about snapping that selfie, capturing a beautiful day on campus, or broadcasting your trip to Disneyland on every social media account. (Remember to stay engaged in the moment, too.) Pretty soon, you’ll enjoy the walk down memory lane that these pictures will provide. Indulge your roommates with a fun photoshoot, or go fully analog with a disposable camera—whatever medium you prefer, these are tangible memories you’ll look back on with nostalgia and joy.

5. Focus on the Finish Line

Sometimes, the struggle is real, but of all the things to do before you graduate, the most important one is to keep your eyes on the finish line. Senioritis is a real and occasionally powerful force. Don’t be ashamed; it’s normal for motivation to wax and wane. At the same time, power through those feelings of ambivalence and don’t let anything stop you from finishing well and getting your degree. In those lower moments, it might help to picture yourself crossing the stage on graduation day, diploma in-hand and bursting with pride.

So go to the library or sit in that coffee shop and study like crazy. Soon, you really will be on the graduation stage, looking back at all the memories you made during your college experience, with a brand-new adventure just ahead.

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Savannah Lawrence ’19 is a journalism major and an editorial intern in the Office of University Relations.