It’s that time of year again — winter quarter is over and more sun is on the horizon. For seniors, that means one thing: graduation.
As the clock ticks closer to the last days as a Cal Poly student, what better way to spend the last quarter at Cal Poly then by checking off those remaining items from the college bucket list?
Those who have yet to create a bucket list for the ultimate San Luis Obispo experience are in luck. A list exists in the form of the “Cal Poly SLO Bucket List” Facebook page, which posts ideas and information on the different “must-do’s” of SLO college life.
The page was originally created as a project for the Principles of Oral Communication course (COMS 102) by computer science freshman Theo Davis, biological sciences freshman Rachel Cuizon, business administration freshman Nate Vickers, computer science junior Thomas Nguyen, business administration freshman Stefan Cook and architectural engineering sophomore Derek Tom.
The group of six was taken aback by the widespread positive reaction to the page, and they soon realized their idea had become more than a school project.
“The reason behind why we started it was because we wanted to kind of get rid of the problem of boredom that plagues the campus,” Tom said.
When the creators come up with ideas, they post it on the page with information such as how far away the activity is from campus, the price and how long it will take to complete, as well as a brief description, Vickers said.
Currently, the list consists of activities such as hiking to the Bell Tower, the Serenity Swing, Bishop Peak and the Architecture Graveyard. It also includes going swing dancing and taking advantage of High St. Deli’s 4:20 sandwich deal.
People can add their own ideas to the page by taking an online survey. The group is also planning to hand out flyers to get more students’ opinions, Vickers said.
“I’ve been starting to do a daily post with daily challenges for people to incorporate into their daily life,” Tom said.
One such challenge was finding the person you want to marry, which was inspired by a response to the survey. Tom said he believes these in-depth, personal accomplishments are important to think about before leaving college.
After watching student interest grow, the group sees a long-term future for the page.
“Since the project has been so successful and I’m a third-year, I think I’m going to end up doing a senior project with this,” Nguyen said. “Since I’m computer science, I’m planning on making a ‘Bucket List’ application so that people could plan events, attend them and kind of socialize through that.”
Mechanical engineering senior Elise Kiland said she began checking off items on her own list her freshman year.
“My freshman year, I was reading the Mustang Daily and I found this bucket list of San Luis Obispo,” Kiland said. “I thought it was really cool because there was a lot of stuff I didn’t know existed.”
The list Kiland referred to consists of 40 items ranging from basic activities such as going to a sporting event, to less common items such as hiking the Seven Sisters.
“Some stuff is simple, like find a different place to study other than the library, or take a trip to the Arboretum,” Kiland said. “And then some of it’s, like, go tide pooling at Moñtana de Oro or do the 40 beer challenge at (Spike’s Pub).”
She said has been able to check off approximately 30 items so far.
“One of them is (to) pull an all-nighter,” Kiland said. “I don’t think I ever want to do that again, but I’m glad I did it. And I think that’s what college is kind of all about — having these experiences and looking back on them and thinking, ‘Why did I do that?’ but being glad you did it at least once.”
Kiland said she realizes she only has three more months, so this list motivates her to “live up” her last little bit of time here.
“Now that I’m 21, I want to go wine tasting on a Wednesday afternoon because I’m never going to be able to just do that again,” Kiland said. “Or I want to have mimosas on Sunday morning, because once you leave college, your life changes so much and you don’t have the freedom to just do the stupid stuff like that anymore. So it’s good to do it while you can.”
Biochemistry senior Morgan Murphrey realized this same thing and created a list at the beginning of the school year.
“I have a bucket list going,” Murphrey said. “It’s my house, my neighbors’ house and a friend of ours. We started it at the beginning of the year and we’ve been adding as the year went on and it’s three pages now.”
Their list ranges from completing the many hikes of San Luis Obispo, to watching “The Bachelor” every week together, to the places they want to eat, such as Noi’s Little Thai Takeout or the cake at Madonna Inn, Murphrey said.
Bucket list activities don’t always have to take place in San Luis Obispo, however. Some of Murphrey’s favorites from the list were their group trips to Las Vegas and Coachella.
“I think it’s really important,” Murphrey said. “Since we have this bucket list, we aren’t really paying attention to the fact that it’s ending, we’re just more paying attention to the fun things that we’re going to do that we haven’t done in the past. And it’s a proven fact that if you write down your goals you’re more likely to achieve them.”
Agricultural business senior Jason Wilson has created a bucket list of approximately 50 items, and has finished approximately 35 so far. One of his favorite moments he experienced from his list was storming the field after the men’s soccer game vs. UC Santa Barbara.
“After we won, the entire stadium was just a crazy party,” Wilson said.
He also recommended experiencing a Cal Poly baseball game from Krukow’s Klubhouse.
Having a light class schedule his last quarter at Cal Poly, Wilson plans to get involved with Poly Escapes to go outside of the San Luis Obispo area, he said.
Wilson also said he plans to join the tradition of waking up at 6 a.m. on graduation day and going downtown to the bars, which he described as being “a little outrageous.”
Whether it’s the experience of hiking up the Bell Tower in the middle of the night or enrolling in a class and learning about marine biology on the Cal Poly Pier, Wilson said he has been thankful for his bucket list and the experiences it has brought.
“I think it’s hugely important, ” Wilson said. “Especially because it’s somewhat relevant to a normal to-do checklist, something that keeps your life structured and keeps you off the couch to do fun things and lift your spirits.”
For others, a physical list isn’t necessary to accomplish their college goals — which is the case for recreation, parks and tourism administration senior Anna Wagner.
“I’ve never actually created a bucket list, but there have been different things that I really wanted to get done before college was over, and I can definitely say that I’ve done them, which is cool to say,” Wagner said.
Her list included getting involved with a local church, studying abroad, learning to surf, climbing the rock wall, going on hikes, joining the cheer team, eating healthier, cooking more often and a more recent goal of completing her internship.
“I guess what it encompasses is enjoying the Central Coast,” Wagner said. “With the waves, the rocks and all of the hikes around, it’s been really awesome.”
With 10 weeks and counting left in the school year, graduating seniors still have time to experience and accomplish their goals.
“Dream big and you’ll conquer,” Wagner said. “The more you think, the bigger you think, the harder you’ll try, and you won’t ever stop until you reach your goals or accomplish what you want to.”