5 Essentials for Your Senior Year Bucket List (And How They’ll Help Your Career)


It’s your LAST year to really be at your university. It’s your last year to celebrate $2 Tuesdays at the local bar with your buddies. It’s your last year to lay out in the quad on sunny days while pretending to read that statistics book. It’s your last year to smile knowingly as a freshman runs around campus, frantically searching for their first class.

We don’t want you to miss out on any of it. We also want to help you make the most of your last year as a college student. That’s why we’ve created the Senior Year Bucket List. Of course on our ideal bucket list we would have you crossing off every task Career Services has for you, AND YOU SHOULD, but we’ve decided to make this list a little less serious. With our help, you can enjoy these college events while identifying skills and traits acquired during each. With a little bit of fun, a little bit of risk, and hopefully a little bit of usefulness, this bucket list is great to keep in mind as you start off your senior year.

1.  Attend a Toga Party

If you haven’t already, you should probably check out THE classic college film: Animal House. Even if you’re not the type of person to head off to fraternity parties on the weekends, it is definitely worth recreating this iconic party scene. Where else is a toga considered appropriate party attire?

Skill You’ll Practice: Styling

If nothing else, a toga party will help you style a simple piece of clothing to make it your own. Soon you may be in a world where everyone is dressed in business suits. How are you going to stand out (in a good way)? Consider this practice.

How It’ll Help Your Career

  • Business casual doesn’t have to be boring! Look at how LocalLEVO Leader and fashionista from Levo League Seattle Kate uses accessories to make a look her own.
  • Also, check out our post on how Diane Loviglio used her “fashion flops” as inspiration for her own company. Learn how she turned her lack of style into a business about sharing style!

Trait You’ll Enhance: Leadership

Let’s also not forget practicing leadership skills. Even in the face of double-secret probation, Otto and John are able to convince an entire group of people to throw a toga party. Take charge of your peers with a simple chant: “Toga…Toga…Toga.”

How It’ll Help Your Career

  • A BPW Foundation study says that by 2025 Generation Y will make up around 75% of the workforce. Some of you will be hired on in leadership positions. The Brazen Careerist posts tips for being a better young leader: “Young and in Charge: 7 Steps to Becoming a Great Gen Y Leader.

2. Organize and Participate in Beer Olympics

This series of drinking game challenges is fun to both watch and participate in. Gather up a few teams and create team names, uniforms, and strategies in order to be named the Olympic champions.

Skill You’ll Practice: Networking

It may not be a business networking event, but you’re sure to meet a variety of different people while competing in the Beer Olympics. There will be students from many different programs and sports teams participating. It’s a great place to meet people you may not normally hang out with.

How It’ll Help Your Career

  • Networking is a large part of the job search these days. Here are The Daily Muse’s “9 Tips for Navigating Your First Networking Event” (though we don’t recommend wearing a suit to the Beer Olympics).
  • Also, once you subscribe to our Job Search Survival Kit (more on that later!), we’ll give you some tips on networking.

Skill You’ll Practice: Teamwork

You’ll also learn a lot about teamwork as you and your teammates strategize how to win flip cup, beer pong, civil war, and maybe even the Das Boot challenge. There may come a time when someone slips up and can’t bounce that quarter into the cup. It will really test the strength of your team’s bond.

How It’ll Help Your Career

  • Even if you’re not working in a team, it’s important to have good relationships with the people you work with. Careerealism gives us great insight into “How to Build Positive Workplace Relationships.

3. Streak Through the Quad

Yes, running naked across your campus is on our To Do list. We’re not saying that you should follow directly in the footsteps of Frank the Tank (from Old School) and streak every time you drink, but you should consider taking part in this tradition at least once.

Trait You’ll Enhance: Confidence

It takes a lot of guts to run naked across the quad and confidence is key to success. Actually committing to this run and sporting only your birthday suit may really help your self-esteem.

How It’ll Help Your Career

  • Confidence is what you’ll need to rock your job interviews, excel in public speaking, and negotiate for raises and promotions. If you need a little pep talk, check out The Daily Muse’s post “Boost Your Confidence (to Boost Your Career).”

4.  Try to Walk Through Your Favorite Fast Food Drive-Through

Yes, there will come a time when you are in desperate need of late night fast-food and no one has a car.

Trait You’ll Enhance: Determination

Trying to walk through your local McDonald’s or Burger King drive-through shows real determination. It shows that when you want something, you’re not going to let a little blip in the road stop you from getting it.

How It’ll Help Your Career

  • Talk about determination! Read the Intern Queen’s Secret Tip for keeping in touch with employers. Not to mention the guest post by Alexandra Appleby on “How to Save Yourself if You are Drowning in an Interview.

  • For a really inspiring story of determination, check out our post “3 Tips for Finding Your Future Dream Job” about how Marie Hernandez didn’t let getting fired from her office management job rain on her parade.

Skill You’ll Practice: Sales

Even if you’re not planning on going into a sales position, you’re going to have to be able to sell yourself to your future employer. This is a great way to practice. How are you going to sell yourself to these food establishments? How are you going to convince them that you are not a crazy college hooligan and are in fact a very respectable young person in dire need of sustenance?

How It’ll Help Your Career

  • The Undercover Recruiter points out “Why You Should Start Your Personal Brand in College.” You need to know what you’re selling to employers before you start to sell it.

  • Also, if you are interested in a career in sales, be sure to check out our post on what it takes to work in the sales industry, “Working in Sales Doesn’t have to Suck: A Quick Rundown.

5.  Make It to At Least One Home Football Game

You may or may not be a football fan, but either way, you should try to make it to at least one home game.

Trait You’ll Enhance: Loyalty

Maybe you aren’t Ms. or Mr. School Spirit, but you have spent the last four years at this place. It’s nice to show you care. As a generation that has been frowned upon for having no loyalty and for switching jobs as often as Mr. Rogers switched his shoes, we should work toward proving that notion wrong.

How It’ll Help Your Career

  • Despite the uncertainty of the economy and waning job security, loyalty is still a valued trait among employees. Read more from Alison Green (of Ask a Manager): “Job-Hopping is Killing Your Career.”

It’s your senior year. This is your last chance to do everything that want to do in college. Don’t let the fear of the future scare you from completing your bucket list. To make it easier for you, subscribe to our Job Search Survival Kit for Seniors* and allow us to guide you through the transition from college student to employed worker.

Homework Time! Notice anything missing from our bucket list? Create your own list. Take some time to think about what you really want from your senior year, write it down, and work toward crossing it off your list.

P.S. If you’re really dedicated, take the time to think of a skill or trait associated with each item on your bucket list. Leave a comment telling us what you came up with.

*The Job Search Survival Kit for Seniors is launching on Friday, August 30. We’ll send a weekly email to college seniors throughout the school year to help with each step of the job search. We’ve got interviews, videos, articles, and tons of other resources that break the job search into small pieces so you don’t have to put it all off until the end of the year. If you’re a college senior and you want to sign up, just visit AfterCollege, create a basic profile, and update your communication settings. Or, come to this blog and check out all the content in the “Job Search Survival Kit” category.


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