A Glorified To-Do List

Annie Schein, Managing Editor

Recently I’ve been a little stir crazy, constantly itching to get out of Hamilton for a day or just the afternoon. It could have something to do with my self-diagnosed seasonal affective disorder making me angsty, or maybe because this is my fourth February in our tiny, sometimes monotonous town, but I’ve just been feeling anxious to get out and do something different. So when this weekend it was 50 degrees and beautiful I thought, what a perfect day to get out and go on an adventure. But where should I go? Enter the senior spring semester bucket list. The beloved and well-intentioned yet totally unrealistic list of everything I just have to do before the dreaded g-word in just a few short months.

I feel like my life this semester is constantly circling back to the idea of the bucket list. That every moment of my last semester here is precious and no time can be wasted. And my list is constantly growing, ironically, as my time keeps shrinking. My friend heard of a good Greek place in Utica – add it to the list. Last time I went to Suzi’s for brunch I said: “we have to make sure we come back here before the end of the semester” (but that shouldn’t be too hard; have you had their homemade bread?) – add it back to the list. And then there’s the stuff I’ve been saying I want to do since my first year, like cross-country ski behind campus (although with this moderate winter and lack of consistent snow it seems like that ship has sailed). I experienced this same sense of anxiety about “the lasts” when I was abroad. And when I spent my summer in New York City, I would go to a good restaurant and coffee shop and tell my self I had to go there “one last time before I leave.” Eventually you have to go everywhere “one last time” and to complete my bucket list I would be eating like eight meals a day (notice the pattern that most of my bucket list items revolve around food) in between a million other activities.

What I have to keep reminding myself is: this stuff will happen organically. When I’m feeling adventurous on a Friday afternoon, I’ll suggest to my friends a trip to Pastabilities in Syracuse, or the waterfall in Caz. For a type-A person like me – who literally schedules out every minute of every day – sometimes I really have to take a step back and remember I can’t plan everything. Being so consumed with lists and “have-to’s” and “must-do’s” and “lasts” will take away from the fun of this semester. So what if the last time I went to Suzi’s is the last time ever? The eggs, toast and hash browns were amazing and I’ll always remember it fondly. So what if I never go to dinner at Michael’s or make it up to the Darwin Thinking Path again for the first time since freshman year? I’ll try to do that when I come back for reunions. I can’t let my last semester be a disappointment because I didn’t get to every item on a glorified to-do list.

Last Saturday, what I ended up doing was driving out to the Owera Winery in Caz with my friend for wine tasting and dinner. Ironically, that wasn’t even on my bucket list. But it was a ton of fun and it was nice just doing something spontaneous and random. At the end of the day, it sucks that this is my last semester. But all I can do is love it the same way I’ve loved every other semester before that dreaded g-word arrives in May.