Sunday, April 26, 2015

School Counselor Bucket List for High School Seniors

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Do you have a bucket list?  It wasn't until I got older that I really thought about all the things I wanted to do, but hadn't had the opportunity or the time.  Although bucket lists have become really popular with adults, I rarely hear teens talk about having a list of must do's before graduation. However, I recently read an article from Huffington Post that proposed students make a a bucket list for their last year of high school.

What is a Bucket List?

According to the Urban Dictionary, a bucket list is a list of activities that a person should do before he or she dies. Take the characters in the movie, The Bucket List, Carter and Edward.  Both men find themselves
Edward and Carter carrying out their bucket list in Egypt
looking at the end of their lives and feeling like they still had many experiences left. After forging a friendship, the two men decide to create a list of accomplishments they wanted to complete before they "kicked the bucket".  And quite a list they had...trips to foreign countries, eating at the finest restaurants in the world, kissing the most beautiful girl, and experiencing something magnificent.  Truly when one nears the end of a journey, the person begins to think about all the things he or she wanted to do before "the end" comes. Not only near "the end" does one think about his or her lack of  endeavors, but also during a end of a journey. For instance, I realize how difficult it can be to fit in all the activities I want to do when I go on vacation or even when I go back home to visit my family. Also, I often look back at my life and wished I had taken more chances or been a little more adventurous when I had the opportunity.
Going up?

My Bucket List

Believe it or not, I have my own counselor bucket list. Some of the items on my list can be a little serious and others are down right ridiculous.  For instance, one of my silly items is that I want to set up a mini office on the elevator and talk to the kids who sneak on the elevator.  In another item,  I want to dress up like a member of KISS with some other faculty members and lip synch Shout It Out Loud during lunch.  Okay, so it is a little strange, but these are my ideas...so don't judge me.  I think everyone needs a list of things to accomplish before
we transition to the next level whether its retirement, going to another job, or graduation. 
Me as Paul Stanley!
 
School Counselor Bucket List Challenge for Seniors

Some students will think this is dumb!
 So, why wait until you get "old" to have a bucket list!  I really love the idea of having a bucket list for high school students and challenging them to step outside of their comfort zone before they graduate. As a school counselor, think about incorporating a positive way to challenge your seniors to step
outside of their comfort zone. One way to do this is to publicize a Counselor's Bucket Challenge List to your seniors.  Create the list and hand it out to your students.  While some may roll their eyes, others may embrace the challenge.  If you have students to take the challenge, make sure you recognize their efforts whether it is during graduation practice or at a senior class meeting.  It means a lot to your students!!

Now, without further ado...my School Counselor Bucket List Challenge:

1.  Write a note to yourself on your graduation day.
2.  Clean up your social media to prepare for colleges/employers to view your pages.
3.  Create a memory box of all your high school memorabilia.
4.  Buy a yearbook and get everyone in your senior class to sign it.
5.  Learn 100 words every high school student should know before graduation.
6.  Start using Google Scholar rather than Google as a reference.
7.  Join a club.
8.  Attend a high school sporting event and show your school spirit.
9.  Say thank you to a teacher or staff member who has inspired you.
10. Bury the hatchet with an old high school feud before you graduate.
11. Apply to at least one scholarship.
12. Exchange emails with people you want to keep in touch with in the future.
13. Visit the career center and research a college.
14. Plan a college visit and spend the night.
15. Stop by and have a conversation with the principal.
16. Tutor an underclassmen.
17. Leave a senior class gift.
18. Take an AP class.
19. Visit a college class.
20. Give a do-over speech to a freshman class.
21. Sign up to be a peer mentor.
22. Perform at least 30 hours of community service.
23. Take a picture with the school mascot or at a school landmark.
24. Sit with someone at lunch you don't know and start up a conversation.
25. Start a new club.
26. Attend a high school theater production.
27. Register to vote.
28. Take a photo of yourself every month for senior year.
29. Dress up for spirit days.
30. Take a picture with your friends wearing our future college's t-shirts.
31. Eat lunch in the cafeteria.
32. Take a career interest inventory and talk to your counselor about your results.
33. Meet with your counselor once a month to talk about your post secondary plans.
34. Thank the cafeteria workers and custodians for their hard work.
35. Create your high school brag sheet or resume early.
36. Ask your favorite teachers/staff write a recommendation letter for you early in the year.
37. Take a college entrance exam the fall.
38. Befriend the quiet kid in one of your classes.
39. Buy someone's meal at your favorite fast food restaurant.
40. Give your friends a challenge to donate to a local charity.
41. Plan a senior scavenger hunt. Come up with some fun ideas for you and your friends to gather items from the school.
42. Open a bank account.
43. Take an online class.
44. Do you own laundry.
45. Fill out the FAFSA.
46. Sign up for Circle of 6 app for your phone.
47. Learn how to sew a button.
48. Wake yourself up using an alarm clock or your phone.
49. Take a first aid course.
50. Keep up with all your senior fees and activities for your parents/guardians.

Okay, this is my list so feel free to add or modify this list.  Please share your ideas with me!!

Sources:

FASTWEB: Seize the Moment Bucket List
How to Create and Cross Off Your High School Bucket List