Bucket list motivates seniors to reflect on last four years

Grabbing a pizza from the Retreat is one of many activities listed on the Class of 2014 Bucket List. The List allows seniors to reflect on their experiences at Vassar and perhaps make new ones. Photo By: Spencer Davis
Grabbing a pizza from the Retreat is one of many activities listed on the Class of 2014 Bucket List. The List allows seniors to reflect on their experiences at Vassar and perhaps make new ones. Photo By: Spencer Davis
Grabbing a pizza from the Retreat is one of many activities listed on the Class of 2014 Bucket List.
The List allows seniors to reflect on their experiences at Vassar and perhaps make new ones. Photo By: Spencer Davis

Seniors, have you ever eaten a slice of Retreatzza? Gone sledding on sunset hill? Gotten a meal with a professor or done sake bombs at Tokyo Express?

President of the Class of 2014 Connor Martini began a new tradition this year for the 150th class to graduate: the Senior Bucket List.

The Bucket List is a collection of 150 tasks for seniors to complete during their last months at Vassar. In his email to the senior class, Martini wrote, “Each week I will send out ten or so items from the Bucket List, which was compiled by Senior Class Council. The list is made up of traditions, events and just fun stuff to do on campus.”

Other items on the list include teaching a student seminar, having dinner with your old fellow group, attending an ALANA Center event, getting a piercing and to finish off the week—come in like a wrecking ball. Martini said in an emailed statement, “[The List] has been a collaborative effort among members of senior class council, with a few things added by seniors at large.”

The List isn’t something to be taken too seriously. Martini wrote, “I know of many seniors who have been reading the list and using it as a way to reflect upon their Vassar experience, which is really the point of the whole thing.”

While the List is a way to reflect, it is also a way for seniors to make the most of their last days in college.
Claire Grosel ’14 wrote in an emailed statement, “There isn’t much more time for ‘oh, we’ll do that next weekend;’  we’re just going to start doing things right when we say we’re going to do them.”

As the end of the semester looms larger and larger, some seniors say they are giving the idea of the Bucket List some consideration.

“I’m not necessarily planning on completing the formal senior class bucket list (150 items is a lot of ground to cover),” Grosel wrote. “But I do think it is fun to look over many things that are quintessentially ‘Vassar’ and pick and choose the ones I want to do, if I haven’t already. I plan to do these and other things that are on just an informal list I have with some close friends, by just doing things.”

Grosel has been using the List to experience new things. “Some ones I’ve especially liked so far are get a meal with a professor and find the earth circle—especially since I finally got a chance to go to open hours at the observatory last week with some friends. We saw Jupiter and it was really awesome. I was also glad to finally get to do karaoke on Saturday night at the Dutch/Billy Bob’s.”

But not all the seniors are as hyped about the idea of the all-encompassing Bucket List. Evan Einstein ’14 wrote in an emailed statement, “I think senior bucket lists are quite personal to each respective senior. Some seniors may not want to ‘get a piercing’ in Poughkeepsie during their time at Vassar. And that’s okay.”

Einstein does appreciate the idea of the Bucket List helping seniors make the most of their time left at Vassar. “Well, some of the tasks have asked seniors to go to places that they haven’t been to yet in the neighborhood or on campus. I agree with all of these types of tasks,” he wrote. “I think it is important that every student has some sort of exploratory understanding of where they’ve been developing for the past four years.”

Einstein added, “I’m working on my own bucket list. I definitely would like to spend more time in our beautiful library. Also, I’d like to make sure I try all the restaurants in the surrounding area. I just went to the Mill House Brewery and it was awesome.”

The Bucket List isn’t just about commemorating Vassar. There are also prizes to be won. As Martini’s email to the seniors read, “Each week I will bold one item on the list. Snap a picture of you doing that activity and tweet it at the newly-made 2014 twitter (VCClassof2014), and one person will be chosen to receive a prize!” Last week’s bolded item was to go sledding.

Seniors said they are also more than willing to compete for the extra perk of prizes. “[Deciding to fulfill the Bucket List] ended up being more of a coincidence than a decision to fully do it,” Grosel wrote. “My housemates and I had been meaning to go sledding since the big snow last week. We took some cute pictures and with a potential to win merch, senior week tickets, or VCash, I thought why not tweet it to the class2014 handle?”

She added, “I like to try to support the great work of the senior class council because they do a great job, and its fun!”

When asked to share his own plans about completing the list, Martini wrote, “You know I haven’t thought about it, but probably! I won’t submit anything for a prize, but I’ve used making the list and sharing it as a way to reflect on the completeness of my own unique Vassar experience.”

For the senior class, as much as the Bucket List represents the celebration of their past four years, it also marks the passage to the post-grad years..

Wrote Grosel, “In that way it is somewhat bittersweet because that is definitely something I will miss next year, but in the mean time, why not take advantage of all the phenomenal opportunities here! Vassar is what you make of it, and I plan to enjoy what it has to offer.”

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