The countdown to graduation has begun. With 100 Nights come and gone, now is as good a time as any for seniors to start getting serious about their bucket lists, wish lists for experiences—ranging from the adventurous to the mundane—for their final semester at Vassar.
And, as VC Senior Scramble is officially in business, a rudimentary version of Tinder to match exclusively Vassar students, many seniors have sex on the brain.
When I sent out an email to over 50 seniors asking that they share their bucket list items, Alix Masters ’15 was the first to respond. “Have sex under the sex tree!” she wrote, alluding to the weeping willow tree outside Chicago Hall, the branches of which could easily conceal a couple coupling. It seems like a less-than-ideal spot for any activity given the possibilities of grass and dirt, but it still endures in the Vassar imagination as an icon for campus deviancy.
“I heard about it freshman year,” Masters wrote. “Hasn’t everyone had sex there?” (With a different kind of appreciation for nature in mind, she added she would also like to visit the Walkway Over The Hudson.)
Another senior lady, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “[I’d like to] have sex in the circle couches near the Art Library for the thrill.” Thinking about the logistics, she added, “I’d have to observe the space and then make a plan on how to do it…I guess I’m just too paranoid.” Lorena Lomeli ’15 chimed in: “Sex in the meditation room or the roof of the library.”
Many have tried and many have failed—and students should tread lightly if they want to avoid finding a report of their sexual exploits on Yik Yak or, of course, in Safety & Security’s records.
Lomeli and Jesslyn Mitchell ’15 dream of passing a J to a professor. “I just realized something on my bucket list is to smoke with a teacher,” wrote Mitchell. “I have a particular teacher in mind but we dont have to go that far,” she teased.
For one anonymous student, the taboo of including a professor is unnecessary. Their bucket-list item was to “smoke in every building on campus.” Next time you dismiss the faint smell of weed in your Rocky class room, you might have to think again: The student said she was close to clinching this goal.
Senior Class President Zoe Fullerton’s ’15 number-two bucket list item, however, isn’t so much prohibited as it might be frowned upon. “[I want to] steal a home fry off of someone else’s plate in the Retreat,” she wrote, specifying that it would be from someone she doesn’t know. Fullerton had some other food aspirations: “1. Eat one thing from the top row of the vending machine…3. Try everything at Tasty Tuesday.”
Chili Wednesday, another weekly campus dining staple, made Rachel Garbade’s ’15 anti-bucket list, among things she decidedly would like to continue avoiding for the rest of her time at Vassar. “I’ve never had chili Wednesday and I honestly don’t intend to, I’m not a big chili fan. My friends find this absolutely heretical,” she admitted.
Garbade has also managed to bypass two other staples of not only the Vassar experience but the college experience in general: all-nighters and coffee, the only way to sustain this state of sleeplessness. “I’ve also never pulled an all-nighter nor have I consumed any coffee, and I also don’t intend to do either of these, especially with my thesis out of the way!” Garbade said.
Guillermo Valdez ’15, however, is still in the throes of his thesis on the denationalization of the Mexican oil industry for Latino/a Studies. “The thesis has been stopping me from sleeping, so no night terrors yet, but I feel like they’re coming,” said Valdez when he shared that the second item on his reverse bucket list is “suffer from thesis-related nightmares.”
On Lomeli’s anti-bucket list was bathing in a Cushing bath tub; Mitchell said she hopes to never set foot into a party in sports houses. Looking to the future, another reverse bucket list item for Valdez was being homeless in Brooklyn after graduation.
For Nathan Bazan ’15, freshman year looms in the back of the mind, try as he might to push it out.
“Bucket list entry: Finally unsubscribe from the email list for every org I added at the Activities fair freshman year, but never attended a meeting of. Anti bucket list: Never let the phrase ‘I wish I could go back to freshman year and start all over’ come out of my mouth, drunk or not,” he wrote in an emailed statement.
At the student activities fair freshman year, Bazan signed up for at least 20 orgs and has never attempted to unsubscribe. “I think about doing it every week and then I just say, ‘Fuck it I’ll do it tomorrow,’” he wrote. As far as lamenting first-year missteps: “I’m just very satisfied with my time at Vassar and ready to move on. I don’t want to taint my enjoyment of my senior year by reminiscing on things I can’t get back.”
Alumna Ruth Bolster ’14 felt similarly, joking in a tweet that her senior year she kept only a “failed bucket list filled with regret and impossible dreams.” During her final months at Vassar, she and her housemates learned to take the concept of the Vassar bucket list with a grain of salt.
“Throughout my four years, the ‘bucket list’ was often the crux of jokes between me and my friends: You wanted to have sex in the library basement? After frolicking among the squirrels? And after smashing the server that houses Moodle with an aluminum bat? Put it on the bucket list! And we’d all have a good laugh,” wrote Bolster in an emailed statement.
When Bolster’s senior class president began sending out emails counting down the days to graduation with accompanying suggestions for students’ bucket lists, she was irked. She didn’t want to be reminded of how many days she had left until she was forced out into the unforgiving “real world,” decidedly without sex trees and Chili Wednesdays. Nonetheless, it gave Bolster room to reflect on her time at Vassar, and she realized there were a few things she wanted to accomplish before it came to a close.
“Unfortunately, having sex in the library basement never made my real list, which instead included more wholesome activities like visiting the observatory and venturing out to DIA Beacon. But as my thesis picked up, I couldn’t even manage to do half of what I said I would do (I chalk that up to poor planning on my part),” she wrote.
Bolster said she took solace in the fact that, still living in the Northeast, she could return to the Hudson Valley and retroactively knock these things off of her bucket list. But in spite of her shortcomings, Bolster said her senior year still proved memorable. As she put it, she chose to spend her time with her Vassar friends as a Vassar student doing Vassar student things—something she won’t get a second chance to experience.
“With the exception of never making it to the observatory, I don’t have any regrets. I instead spent that time making memories with my friends—baking cookies and watching Netflix with Adam, having snack dates with Michael, staying up late and drinking wine with Jennifer—which I guess is the entire point of the bucket list,” she said.
Bolster ended, “Flashy things can be fun, but sometimes the more lasting memories come from the things you do every day.”