30 Things to Do Before You Graduate from CSULB

30 Things to Do Before You Graduate from CSULB

A bucket list by a senior in denial that she's (almost) out of college.

Okay, so I guess this doesn't just have to be for seniors, but if you're a fourth year (or fifth or sixth or whatever), you really need to start crossing things off, because it may be your last chance (sniff sniff).

  1. Give your favorite professor a cheesy teacher gift to say thank you. If even ONE professor has impacted your life, or even an advisor or CSULB staff, make sure to thank them before they forget your face in the next few years. Even a nicely worded email about how they've changed your life will literally make their career.
  2. Actually use the Rec center, since our tuition pays for it anyway. There's even yoga class and rock climbing.
  3. Roll down that one grass hill your SOAR advisor told you about. Isn’t it supposed to give you A’s? Who knows. I think it's the hill by the Hall of Science building, but I'm sure any hill you find will do.
  4. Actually talk to someone in your class and make a friend instead of being anti-social and only talking to the people you've met before.
  5. Drink a beer or wine at the Nugget. This one isn’t for me, but for any other legal student that has been lagging. I’ve crossed this off my list a long time ago, as displayed here (the beer is green because it was St. Patrick's Day):
  6. Make friends with a professor. And by friends, I mean to the level where you have at least one inside joke and they've added you on Facebook. This is a plea to my professor Norbert Schurer - you're the bomb!
  7. Go to a sports game that isn’t basketball. Unless you have friends who are athletes, it's tough to be motivated to go to events, but I guarantee that our student athletes will surprise you with their energy and skill. STILL go to basketball games, but make some time to see women's volleyball or even baseball!
  8. Buy an alumni shirt for yourself. Or maybe a shot glass. Do they have those?
  9. Find out where you can use your student ID to get a discount, and go there while you still can. I don't want to be a real adult yet. Maybe I'll go to school one more year so I can keep getting a measly discount at some places...who could turn down this messy-bunned blonde?
  10. Go bowling at the USU. Why haven't I done this yet?
  11. Explore the library. Find a secluded spot for some...ahem...private studying with that one guy from your chem class that smells like AXE but has really cute dimples.
  12. Go to the University Art Museum. That little tucked away place next to the Horn Center needs some extra loving!
  13. Study at the Horn Center for once instead of the Library. The chairs alone make me dream about taking naps there between classes.
  14. Do all the fun things that CSULB offers during finals week, like massages and henna.
  15. Lay in the hammocks whenever they’re up. They are actually super comfy and surprisingly big. I suggest sharing with a BFF and avoid running into the professor of the class you ditched that morning.
  16. Get your face painted by Dave, the guy who paints on the grass during the day on the commencement lawn. Go follow him on Instagram, too @ davetherainbow.
  17. Go to a show at the Carpenter Center. They're always having events there like musicals, concerts, lectures, and student performances. Some are even free if you're a student!
  18. Take a class I would never take in a million years just to challenge yourself. I suggest Love, Life, and the World, or a class that is the total opposite of your major.
  19. Pull a finals week all-nighter. Like, a legit all-nighter with NO sleeping. Push some library tables together, drink a Monster, pile up pillows and blankets to stay comfy, and study until the sun rises the next day. But no camping, I guess...
  20. Juggle something with the juggling club. Man, they always look like they're having fun when I walk by them.
  21. Go through Fall or Spring sorority recruitment or rush a fraternity. Hey, don’t knock it till you try it! Even if you don’t join, you can end up making a few friends and realizing a bit about yourself on the way. I ended up making lifetime friends and memories with some amazing Alpha Omicron Pis! But don't let me convince you. Sign up for Formal 2015 Sorority recruitment here and learn more about fraternity recruitment here.
  22. Eat a meal at the Outpost. If you're a Liberal Arts major like me, you may not have even heard of this place. It's just like the Nugget, but it's by the Engineering buildings. The breakfast is the bomb, and it's usually less crowded with obnoxious people, unlike its counterpart.
  23. Become involved with your major department. Actually go to events they put on like the mixers, apply for a scholarship, maybe even join one of their clubs if you haven't already.
  24. Go to the Japanese Garden. Look up the hours beforehand, or even go during a break in classes. Bring a friend or go alone - either way, it's beautiful and relaxing. You can even feed the koi fish!
  25. Eat at a dorm dining hall. Befriend a student who lives in the dorms so they can swipe you in, or go and pay per meal with card or cash. I suggest the off-campus dorms at Beachside, but they've finished construction on the Parkside dining hall and it's gorgeous. Sure, it's not restaurant quality (believe me, I used to work there), but you gotta do it once, especially if you're a transfer or never lived in the dorms.
  26. Befriend an international student! Help them with English, and maybe learn a few phrases from their country. Who knows, if you ever do end up in Germany, you could have a place to crash!
  27. Leave a big tip for your favorite Starbucks or Coffee Bean barista. C’mon, they make us coffee to get through all those midterms, suffer the sighs and requests and complaints from bitchy professors and students, and do it all with a smile. Yeah, they may not always spell our name right, but they’re literally college students just like you, so tip ‘em really nicely after you get your paycheck.
  28. Study abroad, if you haven’t already. Go to Brotman Hall and pick up a flyer, or stop by their office and look into programs with international universities. Expand your horizons! Traveling abroad always looks good on your resume, especially if it has to do with your field of study. I recommend doing volunteer work in an underprivileged country, but visiting a touristy European city can be worthwhile, too. There are always scholarships available to help sponsor your tuition, and even trips that happen during Winter Session or Summer Session. You can even earn college credit while you're away! I personally went to India for three weeks, and was so glad I did.
  29. Vote in the ASI elections. Actually research candidates and VOTE! These students lobby for us on our behalf in order to make CSULB a better place for us and future students.
  30. And last, but not least, jump into the Brotman Hall fountain. Snap a few selfies while you’re at it, too, to memorialize your senior year. Brownie points if you jump in with your grad gown.

Anything you'd add to this CSULB student bucket list? I'd love to hear from you in the comments before they send me my diploma and kick me out!

Cover Image Credit: Megan Crayne Beall

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Change Starts With Letting Go Of What Doesn't Serve You

Why do we feel the need to stay bound to things that aren't bettering us?

I am someone who is not big on change. I like having a routine to my everyday life and I won't venture far from that. As a college student, this is rough because things are changing, truly, all the time. Your class schedule changes every semester. Your living arrangements change every year. Your friend group shifts according to what clubs and extracurriculars you're involved in. Everything around you is constantly evolving. Some people are all about the ever-changing lifestyle, and I envy those who are able to roll with the punches and enjoy the constant commotion that comes with adult-life.

I wish it was that easy for me.

Since graduating high school, I find myself constantly overwhelmed with the little challenges and annoyances that pop up, and then pile up. Sometimes it feels like it's one major problem after another, and that it's never going to stop. After many sob-filled phone calls with my mom, it's becoming clearer to me that the challenges and annoyances are never going to stop coming. Life is never going to get easier than it is. Be the kind of person who doesn't fear all that's coming, but sees the changes as an opportunity to grow as a person.

I'm beginning to realize that, essentially, everything is temporary. Our jobs, relationships, homes, and feelings are not going to be the same for the entire duration of our lives. So why spend so much time worrying about the inevitability of change? It's imperative to learn to embrace the constant flow of life and use it to your advantage. All of these experiences are molding you into the person you're supposed to be. It's so easy to hold onto things you've been close to for a long time, and it's extremely hard to say goodbye to them. Especially if you're someone who values routine and structure.

As I step into my big girl panties and claim the title of a "young adult," I'm coming to terms with the fact that people come and go, and things are bound to change. At some point, I think everyone needs to learn that it's okay to let go of things that no longer serve you. It's okay to walk away from situations that don't make you a better person. It's okay to let go of people who make you feel less than your worth. Why do we feel the need to stay bound to things that aren't bettering us?

Instead of packing your plate full of things that drag you down, free yourself. Find what gives you purpose and don't let any outer negative factors weigh in on what you make of yourself. Accept everything that comes towards you with open arms and never let certain things hold you back from whatever makes you happy.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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What I Wouldn't Wish On My Worst Enemy

Karma is a fundamental concept of Buddhism, but compassion and understanding are the fundamental concepts for a long and happy life.

I am a practicing Buddhist. Yes, I'm that annoying person whose house always smells like those stores in the mall that sell swords, hoodies that look hand-woven but probably aren't, and hemp jewelry. Why would a white American college student practice Buddhism? Simple: the teachings of the Buddha have helped me overcome some of the greatest struggles I've ever had to endure. Keeping those teachings in mind has aided me in my efforts to manage my PTSD, keep a level head when my job at a fast food place makes me want to tear my hair out, and most importantly, it has helped me forgive those who have wronged me.

There is a central concept of Buddhism that everyone is familiar with, and that is the concept of karma; good karma, bad karma, everyone has heard of it. At least in the Buddhist tradition that I practice, intentional decisions we make will impact our cycle of rebirth. I believe this to be true. However, I don't like karma. More specifically, I don't like bad karma. I believe it exists, just as good karma does, but I do not agree with it. My reasoning?

My high school bullies.

I was bullied all throughout my childhood and adolescence to the point where I was suicidal at times. Recent events, namely, the shooting in Parkland have made me think deeply about my high school experience. Once a school shooting occurs, fingers are pointed in all sorts of directions to try and find a reason why such a tragedy would occur. Gun control, mental illness, and bullying are all topics of debate. I am of the belief that it is ease of access to firearms that contributes the most to these tragedies, but that is not what this piece is about.

My mom never kept guns in the house. Ever. But if she had, would I have taken my revenge and shot the people who made my life a living hell?

No. I wouldn't have.

Chances are, the first and only person I would have used a firearm on would have been myself.

As much pain as I was in at the time, and as heavy as the weight of that pain is even today, I still would not wish harm to those who caused it to me. My mom always tells me, "Those people will get their just rewards. I promise." But I don't want that. What kind of person would I be if I wanted those people to suffer? I would be no better than they are.

If I got the chance to confront my bullies now, my first question to them wouldn't be, "So how was it, peaking in high school?" (as satisfying as that would be to ask). My first question would be one word: why?

Why did you think it was okay to say, "Go kill yourself." to someone? Why was I the one you thought deserved to be treated like shit? What did I ever do to make you hate me? Because no one says the kinds of things that you said to someone they don't hate with a passion?

To anyone who once knew me, who might be reading this and thinking it might be about them, chances are it probably is. So I want you to know something.

I don't hate you. I never did. I didn't hate you when I was angry, I didn't hate you when I was sad. I didn't hate you in any of the moments I probably could and should have. I don't want you to suffer. I don't want bad karma to come to you. It pains me to see that for some of you, it already has.

All I want for those who have intentionally hurt me in the past is to see that they have changed for the better. I want to know that they regret what they did because it was wrong, not because karma has come knocking. I have learned to be kind because I know how it feels to be the victim of someone else's cruelty. I want the same for the people who committed those acts of cruelty.

Cover Image Credit: Yogapedia

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