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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Bucket List: College edition

<f the year when the seniors among us feel a growing sense of mortality in regards to this place. We don’t die when we leave Carleton, but a certain version of ourselves does. A version of ourselves that played IM sports, and wrote things for the CLAP, and was friends with some hipsters, some jocks, and some hard-working scientists.

I think it’s a truth we’re all going to have to face, even the non-seniors among us. After we graduate we will become different people. We’d be foolish not to. The set of circumstances we enter after graduation will be vastly different than Carleton, and like it or not, we will adapt to them.

It’s like study abroad. If I had tried to play as much Frisbee as I did my freshman and sophomore years at Carleton when I went to Ireland, I would’ve found it extremely difficult and frustrating. So I spent more time walking around outside, and mainly, writing. It’s a great chance to push the reset button on your life, and become the version of yourself that makes the most sense given your surroundings. A rebirth, or sorts.
So after we graduate, we are reborn as very different post-collegiates. But that’s not what this column is about. This column is about the lush green of the freshly-mowed Bald Spot on June 11th, and the 500 of us that will die there.

We have a month left to live as our Carleton selves. What will we do?

When I was in high school I had a list of things I wanted to do before I died. It had things like fall in love (#8), ride a mechanical bull (#27), and beat Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels for the original Nintendo Entertainment System (#36 COMPLETED March 24th, 2005). I’ve come to realize that devoting my life to what my sophomore-in-high-school self thought would be cool things to do isn’t the best source of direction, but the spirit of that list has stayed with me.

This kind of list is typically called a ‘bucket list’ (list of things to do before you kick the bucket) and I’ve heard other seniors talking about their Carleton bucket lists, which got me thinking about all this. What do I want to do before I die here?

My initial reaction was to fill this list with strange and exotic places to have sex (arb, libe, roofs of various buildings…), and admittedly, that would be pretty cool, but maybe not the best use of my Carleton self. I’m assuming I’ll still be interested in sex after I graduate, and the world is full of interesting places, so that can all be put on the back burner, or at least lower down the list.

No, after some more thought, I’ve decided that the trait of Carleton I most want to exploit in my last month here is the low barrier of entry to any and everything. Unlike many other places in the world, people at Carleton will let you, even encourage you to do things that all evidence suggests you will be woefully bad at it. Pete Berg wants to talk to you about the purpose of education even if you’ve never thought about it. My roommate, Danny Hoppe, will teach you Capoeira if you ask him, and he doesn’t care if you have no sense of rhythm. Peter Bonamici wants to show you how to climb upside-down, and he will help you up when you fall. I want to write a poem with you, even if it’s your first.

Heads up Carleton Cricket Club, I get your emails, and I am coming to your next practice.

My goal for the rest of college is to consistently do things that I’m bad at and things I’ve never done before; things that take me outside my comfort zone. I have the rest of my life to find “my place in the world” and be in “my element.” For the next month, I want to be awkward as hell. I’m still not that great at starting conversations at parties, so guess what shy-but-extremely-insightful-whenever-she-opens-her-mouth girl from my English seminar, you’re about to get talked to.

Carleton is like one of Jameson Siegert’s miniature horses. When you fall off, it’s so easy to get right back on. It’s so much easier to try something after you’ve done it once, you just have to embrace that it’s gonna be awkward the first time, and we’re all awkward and none of us care.

So here’s my list so far:

-New Orleans Marching Band – I have a sousaphone. We’re gonna march around campus playing and singing “When the saints come marchin’ in.” Email me if you play any instrument, or just want to be along for the ride. This has to happen.

-Write a script for a movie

-Attend a freshman party in disguise (can I borrow a Carleton hoodie?)

-Arb walks with people I barely know (Email me. Let’s do this.)

So here we are. It’s the last waltz. It’s the final encore and the band is giving everything it has left. It doesn’t matter how goofy you look. Everybody’s gotta dance.

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