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Illustration by Trevor Brighton | Art Director

Senior Year Bucket List

Published August 15, 2022

Class of 2023 ultimate senior year bucket list

By Emma Dollenmayer | The Beat Editor

Well seniors, it’s come time for your last run on the bricks.

While that sentence alone might have the capability to bring you to tears, celebrate, because senior year is going to be one big party full of “lasts.”

Three years ago, when us current seniors were bushy-tailed, bright-eyed freshmen, no one could have ever guessed that a global pandemic would have tainted part of everyone’s college experience. Think about it, the senior class was the last class to be at OU when COVID-19 was still non-existent.

Now, three years later and a deeper appreciation for quality time spent with friends, and in-person classes, it’s only right that the next eight months are lived to the fullest with the people that will make leaving Athens so hard.

Here are 11 ways to have the best senior year ever:

Karaoke night at The Overhang

The Overhang hosts karaoke every Wednesday night—just one of the many special events/deals that happen on Wednesdays in Athens, in addition to $5 liquor pitchers on Wednesday’s at Pawpurr’s and Destroyer night at Stephens.

So, gather your friends, head up to Court Street, muster up your best singing voice and make sure your phone is fully charged because you won’t ever want to forget your friends terribly singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” or “Before He Cheats.”

Host a themed party

TikTok has seen many popular themed-night videos inspire friend groups to host their own, such as white lie, red flag, dress like your ex and charcuterie board night parties.

Currently, there isn’t one that dominates the app, but all of the former ideas—though seemingly out of their viral, popular phase—are nonetheless, still fun.

From personal experience, trying to come up with either white lies or red flags for your friends is really entertaining and is sure to encite a lot of laughter. Just remember not to take yourself or others too seriously, and instead, just succumb to the slight roast—it builds character.

Have a picnic at Strouds or on College Green

Picnics are so simple, yet so fun.

Planning one could be as easy as picking up a pizza for your friends and grabbing a blanket and speaker, or as elaborate as assigning everyone to bring something different including champagne, of course, and dressing up for some Instagrammable photos.

Either way, it’s an easy way to get outside and treat yourself to a likely delicious meal.

Eat at the dining hall

Another way to treat yourself is by taking a trip to the dining hall.

Pigging out on all of the terribly good dining hall food one last time is a must.

Ask either a freshman or sophomore you know—or don’t know, no judging here— to swipe you into either Boyd Dining Hall or Nelson Dining Hall for a final memorable meal.

Just thinking about Nelson’s general tso’s chicken, french fries and omelets, or Boyd’s stir fry, rotisserie chicken and pasta is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.

And as for me, well, I’ll be having my freshman brother swiping me in at least two times a week.

Learning community reunion

As a newly adjusted freshman, learning communities can feel, at times, elementary-like and silly. You may have thought the organized events your leader planned were boring or pointless, but looking back, that group of 20 something students truly was everyone’s first sense of “community.”

People in the same learning communities understood the stress of those first semester classes, the shared opinions over certain professors or assignments and how it felt to be majoring in the same subject.

Whether you were best friends with your whole community, only a few people or absolutely none, consider reviving the old GroupMe for old times sake and grab a bite to eat together or host a game night. The nostalgic feeling will be unbeatable.

Be sure to send a selfie to your old learning community leader. They will love it.

Complete a photo album

It can’t be stressed enough how crucial it is to document every single moment of this next year.

Take photos of your friends cooking dinner, watching a movie, your professors teaching—literally everything. It’s a year you’ll want to remember forever.

And yes, taking photos on your phone is great and all, but if you’re more old-school, buy a disposable, film or digital camera, and get the photos developed.

From there, add the photos in overtime, and once the year is over, you’ll have a book full of some of the best memories. It truly will be filled with documented moments to last a lifetime.

Go camping at Bong Hill

First, if you’ve never hiked up Bong Hill, do it.

My friends and I took food up to the best view in Athens at the end of last school year to reflect on the past couple of months and to talk about what we were each most looking forward to for senior year.

When we were on our way down, we saw a group of kids heading up with camping gear who told us they were seniors and were going to spend the night up there.

After that, it stood out as something that needed to be crossed off my bucket list this year, and it should be on yours too.

Take a spring break trip

Whether you’ve never taken a spring break trip with your college best friends or if you’ve taken one every year—probably to Fort Lauderdale—it’s practically an unwritten rule that you have to take one senior year.

And we’re not talking about a relaxing trip, we’re talking one last completely unhinged vacation full of stereotypical college spring breaker activities, because you have the rest of your life to take sophisticated, adulting trips.

Although it is not always feasible, look into going out of the country to an all-inclusive in Aruba, Punta Cana or Cabo.

But please, just don’t go to Fort Lauderdale again; that city doesn’t want to see you for the fourth year in a row.

Go to a bar you’ve never been to

Let’s face it, every bar has groupies. Whichever bar you walk into on a Friday night, you’ll likely know someone already there, and if not them, then the bouncers and bartenders.

And while familiarity can feel so good, just once, have a night where you don’t step into whichever bars you’re considered a regular.

Typically spend your time at Courtside? Go to Tony’s. More of a *Lucky’s kind of person? See what’s going on at North End.

You never know, it could be the most unexpectedly fun night of college and ultimately, it’s good for the plot.

Have a sleepover with your roommates or friends

College is practically one big sleepover with your friends, but most seniors don’t share rooms or bunk beds with those same friends anymore.

So, plan a slumbie with your roommates and grab your mattresses and make a mega bed in the living room—or just some blankets and pillows will do—and pop some popcorn, buy some candy, put a movie on and let your inner-child flourish.

Who knows, maybe you’ll even end the night with a pillow fight or end up doing messy makeovers.

Shot shuffle

If there’s one thing every senior should complete on the list, it’s a shot shuffle.

It’s practically ingrained in OU’s culture at this point.

Even though most shuffles aren’t completed until the last few weeks of school, it’s never too early to start planning, especially if you’re aiming to top the penguin shot shuffle from last year.

Class of 2023, good luck trying to complete this list, and have the best year ever. See you at graduation!

AUTHOR: Emma Dollenmayer
EDITOR: Grace Brezine
COPY EDITOR: Kayla Bennett
ILLUSTRATION: Trevor Brighton