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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

OPINION: The case for making seasonal bucket lists

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We are currently in that dreaded stretch of winter where it often seems there is little to look forward to. The nights are long, the air is frigid and the next extended break from school is weeks in the future. But rather than wallow in these cold dark months, I think it would do us all some good to wholeheartedly embrace it.  

One of the best tools I’ve found for finding joy in every season is making seasonal or monthly bucket lists. At the beginning of each season, I sit down and consider a few fun things I would like to do. Summer activities might include a day trip to a lake or biking to get ice cream, while the fall boasts a visit to a pumpkin patch and watching my favorite Halloween movie.  

Coming up with bucket list items is perhaps the most difficult in winter, when the most obvious seasonal activities are centered around the holidays —and therefore only relevant in December — or rely on the presence of snow — an unfortunately less and less common phenomenon in Indiana. But I’ve found that if I get creative, I can always think of exciting things that I’ve been wanting to do to add to my bucket list. What’s on the docket for January and February? Making paper snowflakes to hang in the windows of my dorm’s lounge, a Mario Kart tournament with friends, games of subjective “Guess Who” and a collage night.  

Many people think of bucket lists as an inventory of dream activities and big-ticket items like traveling to Europe or going bungee jumping. But for me, bucket lists are an opportunity to find joy in the everyday moments of life. I love to make lists and often fixate on being productive. But my bucket lists remind me to take time for fun moments with friends. They break up the monotony of the days and remind me to savor the moment I am in rather than wishing for warmer weather.  

But the greatest trait of a bucket list is its power to create intentionality. Many life coaches talk about envisioning and actively creating the life you want. They advise that it is not enough to just dream of how you want your life to be; you must take action. Bucket lists are a smaller scale way to do this. By consciously curating activities for the next season of your life, you are creating the memories you envision for yourself.  

Now, don’t think it’s all that serious. Mostly, bucket lists are just fun. 

If you would like to create your own, I advise creating a physical list, perhaps with drawings and colorful markers. Making a physical copy is just more fun, and by hanging it on your wall, you’ll be able to see it every day. Better yet, share this idea with your friends and create your list together. If you’re drawing a blank on ideas, brainstorm activities you’ve been wanting to do or things you saw in passing and thought looked fun. These do not have to be extravagant activities; most of my bucket list items are simple things like watching a certain movie. But I find that placing these activities on a bucket list adds an air of adventure to my life and makes the simple things feel special. 

In these cold and interminable months, maybe a bucket list is just what we all need to sink the growing feelings of dread and reinvigorate our winter. And one of the best parts of a bucket list? At the end of the month or season, you have the opportunity to purposefully look back. You will have a tangible reminder of the fun you had, indeed the fun you created for yourself.  

Samantha Camire (she/her) is a freshman studying journalism with a minor in Spanish. 

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