With graduation coming up in a couple of days, I’ve been getting all reflective. And those reflections brought me back to a little idea that myself and a friend had in first year, that became something ultimately much bigger. A campus bucket list.
It was 22 May 2013, and just before the final exams of my first year. One of my new friends, Andy King (who, incidentally, is now my best friend), had taken to hanging around my first year halls a lot once severe procrastination had set in. And when the majority of my flatmates had taken to shutting themselves away for hours on end to revise, and we were sat there still mucking around in the kitchen at 10pm at night, we came to a big realisation. Actually, we didn’t really care about our degrees.
So what better way to give ourselves more reasons to procrastinate and deviate from our degrees than to set ourselves a campus bucket list, which was almost entirely non-academia related? And more than two years later, two days before graduation, I am thrilled to be able to say that yes… I have completed the Campus 50 Challenge.
The last couple of years have led us through an exciting and turbulent array of adventures. From the embarrassing (starting a conga, triggering a standing ovation in a lecture) to the emotional (go on a blind date, ask someone out who you don’t have a chance with). From the physical (graduate fitter than you’ve ever been), to the mental (study in every library on campus, go to a lecture out of your field), to the seriously mental (go on a student adventure). From the philanthropic (go on a RAG raid, busk for a charity) to the reflective (forgive yourself for doing a “useless” degree, make a difference to a society).
Looking at the list of things I’ve done over the past three years makes me feel proud, not only of the big things I’ve done like winning a Union award, but also the really small things on the list, like feeding the wildlife on campus and making a zombie apocalypse plan with my housemates (yes, that happened). The truth is, all of those things are what I’m going to remember about my university experience. Just the vast range of things on that list demonstrates to me that I’ve not only done the things I’ve always wanted to do, but dared to try some things I never thought I would. I may not put all of those things on my CV, but professionally and personally, they’ve made me a very different person coming out of university to who went in. I think I did university right, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
And to Andy? Thank you for pushing me further than I ever thought I’d go. This campus bucket list is just one example of how you’ve done this and you truly are an inspiration. My university experience would certainly have been much duller if you weren’t in it.
But, I would like you to remember – and I don’t often have the chance to say this, so do forgive me that I’ve done it while you’re out of the country and away from the internet so you can’t abuse me – I beat you.