If there’s anything we’ve learned from movies, it’s that the final year of high school is a time for wild parties, shocking personal confessions, and flawless choreography. But you don’t need to belt out catchy musical numbers to make your senior year as memorable as any feature film. Just put together a list of things you want to do before you leave.
Or better yet, we’ll do it for you. And we have. You’re welcome. Really, it was nothing.
Visit your old elementary school. Drop in on old teachers. Say hello. Have yourself a small existential crisis when you realize just how small the toilets are. You can even visit the playground after hours and marvel at how much better you were at the monkey bars back in the day. Also: be sure to take a moment and realize you’ve become the kind of stately old geezer who says things like “back in the day.”
Hold a nostalgia fest. Invite your friends over for a sleepover and eat your favorite childhood snacks (I’m talking Cheetos, Oreos, and Fruit Gushers) while watching movies and cartoons from when you were little. The Magic School Bus just gets better with age, like a fine kombucha (you’re too young to be drinking wine, so).
Make friends with someone you’ve always admired. You know that classmate of yours you’ve always thought was cool? The one that’s a total mystery, and could just be a pile of cats in jeans and a sweatshirt for all you know? Ask them to get coffee with you. Learn all about who they are when they’re not in math class. Maybe they have a secret life you’d never even guess. Maybe this will turn into a lifelong friendship. Maybe it won’t. At least you’ll have clarified the cat thing.
Learn a recipe from a family member. Don’t have any idea how you’re going to survive in college without your dad’s signature avocado mac and cheese or your grandmother’s homemade apple cinnamon donuts? Ask them to teach you their craft. Not only will you have a cure for the unique brand of collegiate hunger otherwise known as “I’m broke and the dining hall’s closed,” but you’ll get to bond with a loved one. If your family can’t cook, they can always teach you the age-old technique of microwaving. (Not setting the dorm room on fire when you’re trying to make popcorn at 3 AM is harder than it looks.)
Pamper your pet. Now is the best time to form great memories with your dog, cat, or beloved family Pygmy Puff. Take your faithful companion on a hike or buy them a new toy. They’ll appreciate all the attention, and you’ll look back on these times fondly when you have four midterms to study for and can no longer cuddle your furry friend and/or force them to spend time with you against their will. (Every interaction with my dog involves me begging “PLEASE LOVE ME” and her having better things to do.)
Buy or make a symbol of your friendship. Want a fun way to stay connected with your best friend next year? Get matching bracelets or T-shirts so you’ll be reminded of them even when you’re not Skyping each other obsessively.
Be a tourist in your hometown. I can’t stress this one enough. Make sure you check out everything your hometown has to offer—even activities a local would never do. Take a tour. See the sights. Find out what exactly is up with that statue of a man riding a unicycle. Odds are, you’ll miss it all soon enough.