I remember the sensation of being done with school, done with the uniform, done with the teachers and done with the cloud smoking school bus.

But what now?

As many of you I was also one of those kids, passed school well enough, going to varsity but unsure of what the future holds.  A bit of a scary thought, the uncertainty of tomorrow.  I say no to this uncertainty and urge you to turn it into a desire of what tomorrow can bring.

Start by planning your own Varsity bucket list.  This bucket list is not a fixed plan, but rather a measuring stick of how much procrastination is costing you in life experiences.  I never created my own Varsity bucket list when I needed to (due to procrastination) sadly, so today I thought I can at the very least get you started on yours.

 

1. Travel

Most travelers will say travelling is great if you have money, and that is true.  Travelling cost real money, but the reward you will reap from this life changing experience will be significant to you.

Travelling doesn’t have to be thousands of miles away, like America, Europe or Asia.  We live in a beautiful continent with happy faces all around us.  Visit the white soft beaches of Mozambique or go experience the serenity of the Namib desert for 2 weeks in December. They are literally just a couple of hours drive away.

 

2. Learn a new language

You might say that I don’t have time for this, but is this really true.  Do you really don’t have enough time throughout your varsity career to even try and learn a new language.

Consider this if you are an anime fan, then why not learn a bit of Japanese.  Put on the subtitles and rather read as you hear Japanese spoken to you.  You will be surprised by how much you can pick up, a friend of mine actually managed to teach himself quite a bit of Japanese with his engineering and programing degrees continuing all at once.

This will not only improve your memory and thinking patterns, but it will also improve your self worth.  There are several small languages dying every day (1000/’s over a year), because we choose to only know only 1 or 2 languages, choose to know more.

Languages to consider:

  • Spanish
  • Mandarin
  • German
  • French
  • Zulu
  • Xhosa
  • Afrikaans
  • Sign Language – Note that there are a various dialects.  The one you want to learn is know as the International Sign Dialect (American Version)

 

3.  Be Healthy

I can’t stress this one enough, you are now out of school out of your parental home and now you are in control.  You are in control of how you look, how you feel and how other perceive you.

Feeling healthy and looking good will make your future easier and happier. I’m just thinking climbing a few flights of stairs, shouldn’t be a problem at your 20’s.  Don’t wait until your wedding or after your first child’s birth.  Get fit now, because it literally influence the rest of your life.  Healthy living is becoming easier and easier with food and gym discounts all around us.

Healthy living will result in you experiencing live to the fullest.

 

4.  Take up a new Interest

Why walk through life doing the same things you did when you were 18.  Stop wasting your life being a couch potato, instead go find a new interest. You will not only widen your mind, your knowledge and spirit, but you will widen your friendship circle and your life quality.

I did manage to start taking art classes in varsity, the knowledge I gain from those classes I still have with me today, and I still very much paint and draw today.  Currently I started taking an interest in gardening, I’m getting so much joy out of simply enjoying the growth of my produce.

Your interest can be culture, sport, art, music related, whatever tickles your fancy.  The point is find a new passion, learn from it, grow from it, become the person you want to become by experience what you want to experience.

Some New Ideas:

Sports:

  • Archery
  • Bowling
  • Ice Skating
  • River Rafting
  • Horse riding
  • Hiking – South Africa has some of the best hiking routes in the world
  • Rock Climbing – There are many Indoor Rock Climbing Facilities
  • Mountain Biking – There are so many Bike paths all around you.  Just start asking around.
  • Running – Be safe, don’t go running late or alone at night.
  • Yoga

 

Cultural:

  • Chess
  • Harts – There are so many card games, your ouma might know a few.
  • Dancing
  • Poetry
  • Art Classes
  • Performance at classes
  • Musical classes
  • Pottery
  • Sculpting
  • Photography –  Just take the pics already, you have a smart phone use it.

 

Lifestyle/Social:

  • Baristo
  • Wine/ Whiskey Tasting
  • Gardening – You might have a balcony, try some pots or a bonsais.
  • Baking or Cooking – Go take a class in how to make the perfect Curry or Cupcake.

5. Do some volunteer work

This I’m sure is on many bucket lists, but now is the time to do this one.  Not when you’re married, not when you have a job, now and only now.  Your ample time is going to become something of the past very soon the moment you put your feet out of the varsity grounds.

Don’t wait, give back today.  You can do this by interacting with people, with animals, or with nature. Our people need feeding, education and general help anywhere.  Our animals need protection and our parks need cleaning.  Find the one where you feel at home.  Please don’t let procrastination take this one from you.

Consider contacting one of these organisations, they will be able to help you find your charity

Try Charity Vault, I’m sure they can help to find your charity.

 

6. Buy a Stranger a cup of coffee

A friend once told me, “it’s so strange how our school friends, always seems to become our weird friends”.  At first I needed to think about this statement for a bit, but it is true.

If this hasn’t happened to you then I say enjoy your friends from school, because sadly time in the outside world weathers some friendships and those that remain after school, might take a surprising turn.

This idea of how something once familiar might become out of the norm, made me realise how much we grow in our varsity years.  How much we change and how much the people around us changes.  It is for this reason that I say embrace the weird and wacky, because it might become your norm one day.

Embrace those strangers you wouldn’t have given a second glance, varsity it there to meet and interact with new people and new ideas.  I say not only interact, but rather get to know and you will most probable get to love them as well.

 

7. Throw a MEGA Party

You have the right to be young in varsity, all you have to do is make it worthwhile.  As such, throw a MEGA party for no reason at all other than having a create epic time.  But be the one person in the dorm that invited everyone.  People will bring their own booze and food, all you need to do is make sure you have the tunes and that everyone is informed.

 

8. Date multiple people

I can honestly say that in South Africa we have this notion that if you are kinda seeing a person, then you have to kinda stay monogamous to that person.  I hate this notion, I love the American way of dating – your not exclusive unless stipulated.

Varsity is the time where you should take every opportunity to meet as many people outside your normal circles as you can.  Consider this after varsity most of us will get our boring 8-5 jobs, after that your social circles will consist out of your existing friends and their friends, your family and then whoever and whatever ends up working with you. Its kinda boring and slightly depressing, but it’s the reality.

As such take every advantage you have to meet as many people as you can, even if they are blind dates.  You might find your soulmate in a blind date or your new best friend.  Remember boys and girls the word “date” doesn’t imply anything you aren’t comfortable with.  Take the date as far as you want and allow the chips to fall where they may.

P.S. Try lunch dates with blind dates, they tend to be easier.

 

9.  Learn a Musical Instrument

I can honestly say, knowing how to play at least one musical instrument will improve your life.  You will feel more assured in simply understanding what others are referring to when they talk about music and all its different facets.

My mom forced me to play the piano as a child, and I hated it.  But today as an adult I’m so grateful for that push.  It is time for me to start learning the guitar now, what musical instrument did you always wanted to play?

Good Musical Instruments to start with:

  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Ukulele
  • Keyboard
  • Autoharp
  • Bongos/Tambourines
  • Harmonica

 

10.  Last but not Least!

This one I’m leaving for you, decide for yourself what would you want most out of varsity.  What is that one thing that will make your 3-4 years the best you possibly could.

For me it was to make as many friends as I could, I struggled with that a bit but it’s always worth the try.  Anything and everything is worth a try atleast once.

Bucket list has become something of a fad notion, but whether it is in fashion or out, you should remember why you are writing these ideas and experiences down.  They are there on paper as a reminder of the experiences you want to grow from.  Make sure procrastination doesn’t simply start by putting the pen down.  Put your bucket list on the fridge, make sure you see it and plan for every experience you want out of life.

You are the master of your own destiny to a great extent, be excellent at it by starting your own (achievable) small varsity bucket list.

 

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 Written by Lizl Brink, Lizl is copywriter and designer based in Johannesburg, she is also a frequent contributor to the Mafadi blog, and as an Urban investor and rejuvenation shares a passion for urban regeneration, go check out her personal portfolio here

 

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